American Imports and Exports (04:29)
Savannah, Georgia is a fast growing port welcoming ships that carry cheaply made products from all over the world. The ships leave carrying paper; Larry Gerkus explains that most of the paper is used for packaging for American imports. Despite this low-value export, American manufacturing is developing in new ways.
Changes in American Manufacturing (05:47)
In Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkswagen’s new plant is a model of efficiency and high-value products. While many American auto manufacturers have closed, foreign auto makers are opening in the U.S, supporting the economy with investment and highly skilled jobs. Factories are becoming more efficient, taking the Ford assembly line to a new level with robots.
Increased Efficiency (08:48)
Even though a third of American manufacturing jobs are gone, production has almost doubled. At the Volkswagen training center, employees are involved in improving efficiency and programming robots. In the arms industry, engineer Tim Switzer is transforming war ship construction with new technology and techniques to reduce waste and speed up processes.
Innovation in the Steel Industry (05:04)
After the collapse of the American steel industry in the 1980s, Nucor tried a new strategy using scrap metal. By heating scrap metal using a electrode-powered furnace, large amounts of steel can be produced quickly. The company has become the largest steel recycling company in the world.
Future Development for Microchips (05:18)
At an Intel manufacturing site, cleanliness is a priority to keep dust away from microchips and robots performing microscopic tasks. Brian David Johnson works with a team to study behavior and predict future needs in computers.
Tradition in Guitar Manufacturing (05:52)
Amid many abandoned factories in Pennsylvania is Martin Guitars, a company that has survived by maintaining tradition. Factory manager Fred Greene explains the company’s focus on its best product, acoustic guitars. He has added a few machines to increase productivity, but most of the work is done by hand, and employment is permanent.
Ideas-Based Products and New Technology (11:38)
A trench running through the high desert in Wyoming carries a fiber optic cable to connect remote communities to the rest of the world. The engineering department at Facebook is developing products from ideas and distributing a customized experience to every user. Willow Garage is pioneering personalized robotics, hoping to create a new industry.
Future of American Manufacturing (04:36)
Yul Kwon explains that instead of dying, American manufacturing is thriving, though it has completely transformed. Many jobs and companies are gone, but others are innovating and improving efficiency.
Credits: Made in the USA (00:59)
Credits: Made in the USA
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