Some area manufacturers are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel as their businesses compete with low-wage countries – China in particular.
Jason Faykosh, assistant manager of Centaur Tool & Die, Inc., is noticing a different attitude among those who are involved in his industry and its efforts to fend off foreign competition.
“In 2001, foreign competition began to hurt this type of industry,” he said. “It was bad for several years because we had trouble competing with China. People are beginning to realize that the quality and durability that they are getting overseas is not what they need for the long run. More and more work is beginning to stay here because of the quality of work that the U.S. can provide.”
Centaur, which was founded in 1973 as a small job shop by Paul Faykosh, moved into a 16,400-square-foot facility in rural Bowling Green in 1995. Paul’s son, Jack, is the president and general manager of the company
Jason estimates about 70 percent of its business is with the automotive industry, 12 percent with the food industry and 10 percent with manufacturers of household appliances.
The company recently designed and built a series of dies used to produce fuel rails for the large truck and automotive industry.
Jack sees an improvement in the overall economic environment for those in his line of work.
“Hopefully people are realizing that we cannot become just a service-oriented country and that manufacturing has to be part of this country’s workforce in order for the U.S. to survive. This country was built on manufacturing and we have lost a whole generation of workers who chose not to get into this field of work because there was not enough work – since everything was being sent out of the U.S.,” he said.
In response to a growing demand for computer numerical control of machine tools, Centaur a few years ago invested in a Mazak CNC machine.
The equipment is capable of upholding tolerances to 0.0001 of an inch. The company’s machining services mainly cater to custom tooling applications and can be used to mill an array of materials, including plastics and glass as well as a variety of metals.