did BendPak® start manufacturing offshore?
In today’s global marketplace, BendPak® is forced to continually
search for best possible manufacturing options and locations. Options
and locations that give our customers the best value. If BendPak®
is to survive, we must acknowledge and respect global pricing for
will pay more for name brands, high quality, elevated service, and
proven designs, but few are willing to do so if priced 40% - 60%
higher. Our approach to overseas manufacturing is based on the needs
and demands of our customers. We’re giving them what they
want. We focus on doing everything we can to deliver a product that
exceeds every quality expectation at a price they demand.
is my new car lift now labeled with Made in China?
Ever since 9-11, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Department
of Homeland Security continues to impose stricter country of origin
marking laws. According to current country of origin laws, a product
claimed to be Made in USA must use raw materials and assembly parts
that are "all or virtually all" produced in the U.S. "All
or virtually all" means the product should contain no —
or negligible — foreign content.
our industry, steel and other assembly components may represent
60% of the product value. In today's global environment it is impossible
for BendPak® to entirely source domestic raw materials and parts.
BendPak® consumers getting less quality?
BendPak®’s considerable investment in offshore manufacturing
facilities was a means to provide our customers with a better-made
product for equal or better value - not to make our products cheaper.
I trust that BendPak® overseas factories are safe?
Some believe that manufacturing quality is not reliable overseas,
or the quality will suffer but that is simply not the case. By outsourcing
raw materials and certain fabrication overseas, we are able to produce
a product that is identical and many times better than what could
be produced for the same amount in the U.S.
must remain competitive in this market. We simply could not devote
the resources required to make the best product possible if our
choice was to remain 100% U.S. based. A car lift sold today, comparing
inflation and accounting for the rise in fuel and raw materials
is being sold for 200% less than the same product sold in 1985.
U.S. manufacturers hoping to retain their “Made in USA”
heritage quickly find they must reduce manufacturing costs to stay
in business. They’re forced to reduce the amount of raw materials
used in production; they’re forced to look at alternative
methods of design, and they’re forced to cut corners in the
manufacturing process; all at the expense of the consumer.
BendPak®, we ensure that our offshore manufacturing is no different
in approach, standards, quality, inspection, and packaging than
our domestic manufacturing. BendPak® factory engineers visit our
overseas factories year-round verifying that our quality conformity
and high standards are being met. BendPak® engineers at our factory
headquarters in Santa Paula, CA retain all responsibility for product
designs and for performing strength and structural reviews to ensure
structural integrity of our entire line of products.
a longstanding member of the Automotive Institute we are required
to be audited by ETL (Intertek Testing Laboratories) an independent,
third-party global organization to determine that all of our production
facilities continually and systematically produce products that
comply with specific standards. Our overseas factories undergo periodic
evaluation and are required to maintain all quality and standards
requirements of a documented quality program. The program is audited
quarterly, regardless of the facility location, to ensure continued
compliance with all applicable standards.
about all the product recalls coming out of China?
The news of bad products coming from China is causing an overreaction
from people lacking a basic knowledge of mathematics
toy making industry, scrutinized by the Consumer Product Safety
Commission for increased recalls, imported $7.5 billion worth of
toys from China last year. That accounts for roughly 90 percent
of the toys imported into the U.S. Compare that to just $5.2 billion
five years ago (a 45% increase) and you quickly understand why the
increased number of recalls and why China is the target.
infant car seat and baby-stroller industry, also scrutinized heavily
by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, imported $4.3 billion
worth of products from China last year, roughly 83 percent of the
infant car seats and baby-strollers being imported into the U.S.
that obviously shouldn't detract from the very real safety issues
concerning products, it is important for providing some perspective:
it's not always China's fault. Millions of China products are safe,
and make our lives easier and cheaper to an incredible degree. It's
important to tackle the problems of product-safety regulation in
China, but it's equally important that we don't throw the proverbial
baby out with the bathwater. A great percentage of the recalls were
actually the fault of U.S. engineers who designed the products -
products that would have been a hazard even had they been manufactured
in the U.S.
reported "defects" from China are not isolated Chinese
faults. The companies who placed the orders for these products had
to deliberately ignore or intentionally request these inferior designs
or materials used and received. They did not perform thorough inspection
of their China supplier’s capacity or perhaps they simply
said "skip the QC, and deliver the product in time to meet
my marketing deadline" or they simply didn't care enough to
pay attention to details. At BendPak®, we make the decisions as to
what, when, and how we receive our finished products, and that they
are exactly what we ordered.
irresponsible U.S. manufacturers, not the China supply chain for
increased recalls being reported. At BendPak®, our offshore factories
deliver EXACTLY the quality WE approve. We get what WE want.
did BendPak® “sell-out” and build offshore factories?
BendPak® has not “sold-out” - we are a global manufacturer
and a global supplier competing for the worlds business.
is not the only company with overseas factories. Every other domestic
and European auto lift supplier in the United States has moved offshore
in some degree.
must be a good approach as other world-class leaders outside our
industry are doing the same. Chrysler, Mercedes, Toyota and General
Motors share chassis and other component factories in Asia.
BendPak® doing this just to make a lot more money?
No, BendPak® operates foreign factories because we are forced to.
BendPak® must explore offshore manufacturing as a means to compete,
just as the rest of the world has done. American consumers have
grown dependant on foreign-made products – dependence as a
result of our over-priced domestic labor pool. Perhaps decades ago
when countries and international economies could remain independent
of each other, overpriced labor bubbles could exist - but in today’s
global environment, borders are down and communication is easier.
Dollars, rupees, yen and pounds are exchanged easier than a drive-thru
BendPak® trust the quality of foreign-made steel?
In recent years there has been a significant turnaround in the global
steel industry, especially relating to China. Steel now supplied
from Asian steel mills will in many ways exceed domestic quality
when comparing similar grades.
BendPak® we have over 40-years of learning about applied force, bending
moment, concentrated load, deformation, ductility, strain and stress,
and so on. We know steel very well and are experts at structural
design. At our headquarters in Santa Paula CA, we constantly perform
Normal, Superficial and Micro-hardness testing as well as Brinell
testing. Additional metallurgy testing is performed outside utilizing
the services of Metals Technology, an A2LA certified laboratory
specializing in aerospace metallurgy and material analysis. Our
fully equipped metallurgy laboratory and trained technicians enables
us to determine carbon content of steels and perform complete inspection
of microstructures, accurate analysis of case depths and surface
hardness to assure conformance to our strict requirements and specifications.
events that have lead up to the re-industrialization of the steel
industry are a simple fact in economics. A large percentage of U.S.
based steel companies are currently in Chapter 11 status –
not just small mini-mills, but the nations largest. Without funds
to modernize old equipment, many U.S. steel mills have lagged in
technology and have fallen behind. With other burdens such as high
labor costs and legacy costs, most of these companies cannot compete
in the growing international market. The wages of U.S. steelworkers
are high as most of the workers are unionized; add the discouraging
fact that benefits for retirees and their dependents are more than
these companies can afford. Roughly one hundred fifty thousand steelworkers
have to take care of seven hundred fifty thousand people. The math
simply does not work, especially in a global environment.
is now the number one steel producing country in the world with
an output of 500-million tons in 2007 versus 128-million tons in
2000. U.S. production for 2007 was estimated at 95-million tons.
In just the last seven years, China has increased steel production
almost 300%. It would be literally impossible to increase output
that significantly without modernizing plant capabilities, systems,
technology and testing, not to mention by producing an inferior
steel companies on earth except those in China complain about the
difficulties in raising capital. Chinese steel companies have raised
billions of capital from the Chinese stock market explosion, a dramatic
increase in sales and government backed subsidies. In the last seven
years Chinese steel companies have modernized plants, purchased
new equipment and have made several overseas acquisitions. Chinese
steel companies are taking over foreign steel companies at an accelerated
pace - companies which were lacking the proper financing to upgrade
At BendPak® we understand and respect consumers trying to remain
patriotic to the American labor force, but we caution you to not
make the assumption that American Made means Better Made.
Click here for photos that were taken at one of our factories
after-hours last month during a weekend visit.
If any of you on this board were blindfolded and dropped in the
middle of OUR factories – after removing the blindfold, the
first thing you would hear after the sound of your jaw hitting the
floor would be the sound of automation. Our factories are truly
remarkable in every way. No sweatshops, no dirt floors and surely
no lack of technology. Our factory processes are literally what
ISO uses as a benchmark.
No we don’t use “contract” factories. We maintain
control by having majority ownership. Walk around any of our 300,000+
sq. ft. factories and you’d see nothing but BendPak® parts
and BendPak® processes.
Our auto lifts are the most copied auto lifts on the planet. Amusing
is the fact that not only do they copy our designs; they use our
photos, copy our manuals, and copy our decals. We have lawyers working
year long on intellectual property matters and have been successful
in shutting some factories and distributors down both in the US
and abroad - but the proliferation continues. Any lift that looks
like BendPak® on Global Source or AliBaba does not come from our
factories. We do not private brand our lifts for others. We did
not simply go overseas and find a factory that could supply us with
lifts. We designed and built the lifts here then went overseas and
built the factories. Any non-BendPak® lift that Harbor Freight sells
does not come from our factories and I would strongly caution buyers
to investigate further. Caveat Emptor.
I would probably bore you with discussion that echo’s through
our offices about applied force, axial force, bending moment, body
force, center of gravity, centroid, concentrated force, concentrated
load, deflection, deformation, distributed load, ductility, elastic
limit, moment, moment of inertia, normal strain and stress, plastic,
potential energy, shear stress and sheer strain, shear modulus,
strength, stress resultant, yield stress, yield strain and so, and
Asian brands look OK but judging a car lift solely on cosmetic appearance
can be perilous. Mechanical properties of steel vary considerably
and although a lift component may “look like steel”,
what kind of steel is it? GB/T 699 15Mn steel - 59,000 lbs. tensile
/ GB/T 700 Q235A steel - 54,000 lbs. tensile / IS 10748 Grade 1
steel - 24,650 lbs. tensile / A512 Grade 1018 steel - 68,005 lbs.
tensile / A311 Grade 1035 steel - 85,550 lbs. tensile. Standards
for steel vary country to country and choosing the wrong one for
the application is risky. Are these other manufacturers simply copying
lifts and choosing available “steel” that best suits
their supply needs or choosing the correct steel for the load path
it may seems like we could simply “copy” designs it
is not that easy. All of our auto lift designs are computer modeled
then we perform design analysis and simulation of applied forces,
axial force, bending moment, etc. using engineering calcs and FEA
like Solid Works Cosmos and others.
can tell you exactly what stress or strain each part sees when loaded
to 100%, 150% and 300% proof loads. After we feel comfortable that
the design is sound, we perform actual destructive (physical) testing.