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Seriously, Rolls? Lead-Acid Batteries Made in China

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  • Seriously, Rolls? Lead-Acid Batteries Made in China

    When it's cheaper for a North American company to get a thousand pounds of battery made in China and shipped halfway around the world, we have a problem.

    IMG_2544.JPG

  • #2
    Amen brother, amen.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't understand. Are you saying the USA should be mining more lead?

      lead.JPG
      CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by sensij View Post
        I don't understand. Are you saying the USA should be mining more lead?
        I think the point is more grim- US production got outsourced even for top brands. I recently bought MidnightSolar AC disconnect for my system and paid good price for it- somewhere around $220. For this money I got metal stamped box with fancy handle and two 2- pole 20A AC breakers. It was advertised as 'made in USA'. I bought it for the handle, not for the origin but still was unpleasantly surprised to discover circuit breakers are made in Lesotho. Really? At $220/piece US cannot produce 2 circuit breakers + box and remain profitable?

        Fully assembled Arduino board costs about $4 with shipping (!) on ebay from China suppliers. US does not stand a chance and it is sad its companies take short term profit over long term goals. Human nature I guess.

        Comment


        • #5
          My 2 cents: The USA has a litigation problem that most of the world does not have: Liability insurance, labor costs, environmental regulations, corporate tax rates, NIMBY, etc., all contribute to the decline of manufacturing in the USA. I'll just leave it at that, as this a whole topic in itself.

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          • #6
            Eh, ok. Manufacturing has its problems, but lead acid batteries doesn't feel like a great example, since most of the weight (lead) is going to be shipped halfway around the world in any case.
            CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sensij View Post
              Eh, ok. Manufacturing has its problems, but lead acid batteries doesn't feel like a great example, since most of the weight (lead) is going to be shipped halfway around the world in any case.
              I have a feeling shipping is just a fraction of the batteries costs so US could just as well import lead and make batteries here. That would unfortunately involve manufacturing and drive costs through the roof and profits below zero and that is the problem.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by max2k View Post

                I have a feeling shipping is just a fraction of the batteries costs so US could just as well import lead and make batteries here. That would unfortunately involve manufacturing and drive costs through the roof and profits below zero and that is the problem.
                Would it kill us to pay a little more for something made here? (And I'm including Canada, since Rolls is a Canadian company.) I paid about $4000 for these batteries. How much more would it cost for them to have been made in North America?

                Somebody mentioned environmental regulations. Well, yes, we don't like our kids getting brain damage from ingesting lead or cancer from various chemicals. I wonder how much this little "Made in China" sticker represents offshoring of pollution we don't want in our own air and water.

                Regarding the issue of lead mining: I thought lead-acid batteries were among the most effectively recycled products on earth. I recall a stat citing something like a 98% recycle rate. So why isn't the lead from all those car batteries going to making more batteries right here? I bought my son a new battery for his beater car the other day, cheap to match the value of the car, and it was from Saudi Arabia.

                Two things really bother me about all this: (1) we don't make jack s*** in this country anymore, and (2) solar, especially solar that goes beyond just a simple grid-tie somewhere with abundant sunshine and a grid that can effectively use midday power, is anything but "green" energy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BackwoodsEE View Post

                  Would it kill us to pay a little more for something made here? (And I'm including Canada, since Rolls is a Canadian company.) I paid about $4000 for these batteries. How much more would it cost for them to have been made in North America?

                  Somebody mentioned environmental regulations. Well, yes, we don't like our kids getting brain damage from ingesting lead or cancer from various chemicals. I wonder how much this little "Made in China" sticker represents offshoring of pollution we don't want in our own air and water.

                  Regarding the issue of lead mining: I thought lead-acid batteries were among the most effectively recycled products on earth. I recall a stat citing something like a 98% recycle rate. So why isn't the lead from all those car batteries going to making more batteries right here? I bought my son a new battery for his beater car the other day, cheap to match the value of the car, and it was from Saudi Arabia.

                  Two things really bother me about all this: (1) we don't make jack s*** in this country anymore, and (2) solar, especially solar that goes beyond just a simple grid-tie somewhere with abundant sunshine and a grid that can effectively use midday power, is anything but "green" energy.
                  Cheap labor is like a drug - once company tastes it there's no way back. North America used lead water pipes for decades and probably still using it in some old neighborhoods so I doubt well recycled lead batteries would change anything brain damage wise. Besides, Lithium is a new kid on the block and China is making those just as well. 10-20 years of this process and US will fall behind like many before it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BackwoodsEE View Post

                    (1) we don't make jack s*** in this country anymore,
                    That is flat out untrue.

                    The quickest link I could find, so probably not high quality, but I've spent my career in manufacturing (all over the country) and have experienced first hand how healthy the sector has been.

                    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-...des-2016-03-28

                    CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sensij View Post

                      That is flat out untrue.

                      The quickest link I could find, so probably not high quality, but I've spent my career in manufacturing (all over the country) and have experienced first hand how healthy the sector has been.

                      http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-...des-2016-03-28
                      U.S. mfg. might be bigger now in terms of total $$ over the past, maybe even if inflation adjusted, but I'd be surprised if mfg. was as large a portion on the economy as it was, say, 30 - 40 years ago. Ask the folks in the rust belt - even the ones who are not hooked on opioids and also those willing to get retrained - what happened to their jobs.

                      Somewhat ironically perhaps, I designed the type of equipment pictured in the link you provided, and spent the last 7 or so yrs. of my working career as a director of engineering, spending more time than I had available trying to solve an ever growing shortage of engineering talent. From what I've seen since retirement, things haven't seemed to improve much.

                      U.S. mfg. of that type of equipment hit the skids to a pretty large degree a number of years ago. One of the biggest reason, IMO, was the lack of U.S. engineering drive or talent to engineer/design/build the stuff. Much more/Most such equipment is now of foreign origin.

                      I cite the failed boilers, redesigned and made in Japan for San Onofre, partly due to U.S mfg. costs, but partly due to lack of (or lost) U.S. engineering capability. I rest my case as to the quality of the current products.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        US has LOST a lot of skills. The Navy has complained that there are no active welders able to do deep deep welds in armor, yet in WWII, we had hundreds. Sure, industry doesn't need armor, but it's a style of welding, and lots of "style" has walked out the door, or is RIP. I gave up oreo cookies, they are now made south of the border, and I hate jobs are going overseas, like chicken slaughter and packing, birds are shipped to china and come back as ice cubes. Jobs gone. Between OHSA & EPA, lots of stuff has left for cheaper venue,
                        Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                        || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                        || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                        solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                        gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                          U.S. mfg. might be bigger now in terms of total $$ over the past, maybe even if inflation adjusted, but I'd be surprised if mfg. was as large a portion on the economy as it was, say, 30 - 40 years ago. Ask the folks in the rust belt - even the ones who are not hooked on opioids and also those willing to get retrained - what happened to their jobs.

                          Somewhat ironically perhaps, I designed the type of equipment pictured in the link you provided, and spent the last 7 or so yrs. of my working career as a director of engineering, spending more time than I had available trying to solve an ever growing shortage of engineering talent. From what I've seen since retirement, things haven't seemed to improve much.

                          U.S. mfg. of that type of equipment hit the skids to a pretty large degree a number of years ago. One of the biggest reason, IMO, was the lack of U.S. engineering drive or talent to engineer/design/build the stuff. Much more/Most such equipment is now of foreign origin.

                          I cite the failed boilers, redesigned and made in Japan for San Onofre, partly due to U.S mfg. costs, but partly due to lack of (or lost) U.S. engineering capability. I rest my case as to the quality of the current products.
                          Yeah, I have no objection to the idea that the talented individuals who once applied themselves to engineering in manufacturing have found other sectors of the economy to work in that are more financially rewarding. Americans do still make stuff though, some of it very impressive.
                          CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sensij View Post

                            Yeah, I have no objection to the idea that the talented individuals who once applied themselves to engineering in manufacturing have found other sectors of the economy to work in that are more financially rewarding. Americans do still make stuff though, some of it very impressive.
                            Maybe some potential talent has gone elsewhere, but looking around and seeing how dumb and confused life and priorities have become, I can't easily see where it went.

                            I don't paint everyone or every situation with the same brush, but I simply do not see anywhere near the quantity nor the quality of critical thinking skills I saw in the past, so I don't share your optimism. Somewhat to the contrary, I look around these days and I get the same feeling as when I've watched loved ones die of Alzheimer's disease. The country is losing its mind. I suppose America is still capable of some quality and innovation, it just looks to me that the bar is a whole lot lower than I remember from back in the day. What now passes for exceptional was once considered mundane. IMO only, we're becoming, and in some respects have already become, a 3d world cesspool, morally, culturally and financially, and believe me, I've seen more than my share of such places.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
                              I look around these days and I get the same feeling as when I've watched loved ones die of Alzheimer's disease. The country is losing its mind.
                              An excellent analogy.

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