Instead of competing with imports, Mr. Jack Abel's company, Brooklyn-based Watermark Designs, is manufacturing plumbing parts and shipping them to China.
Mr. Abel, started his business in 1976 in a small metal plating company in Brooklyn. For some years, it went well by selling plumbing fixtures to neighborhood bath stores and other local businesses. But later they found that they just couldn't compete with overseas imports.
Instead of selling their products cheaper, Mr. Abel decided to move into supplying high-end fixtures. In 2006, Watermark invested $60,000 in a 3D printer and it allows them to quickly print prototypes of those luxury fixtures in just three or four hours. After the prototype is approved, they start to produce the parts with their lathes and milling machines in their East New York factory. With 45 employees in this 55,000 square feet factory, they have exported thousands of fixtures to luxury hotels and condominiums in Shanghai, Macau and Hong Kong.
U.S. exports to China are on the upswing. For the first time ever this year, total U.S. exports to China have passed $100 billion. Companies like Watermark are facing stiff price competition from Chinese manufacturers of these products. How to become successful in such a competition? "The days of mass producing in New York City are gone," Mr. Abel said. "If you were producing nuts and bolts by the tens of thousands 50 years ago, you're not going to do it today. But creativity, or uniqueness or design is definitely something that can flourish in New York."
Watch below the video from Watermark:
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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