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canadug

MADE IN CHINA! BD Cams

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I used to be down on developing nations that sacrificed their environment and human rights to build an industrial complex. But then I listened to a African woman describe what it was like to have no hope before the factories came. It sucks that China is so repressive and kills people for the wrong reasons. It also sucks that the environment is suffering and we will all pay.

But they want what we take for granted.

When I was little in the 60's Japan was making crap. If it said "Made in Japan" it cost pennies, was simple to manufacture and fell apart soon. Now they are an industrial and economic powerhouse with a strong middle class and much more reasonable human rights. Mexico is on that path, Brazil, China, India, and so forth.

As long as we continue to think that we have the right to pass judgement on these people for doing the same things we did to native Americans and minorities (railraod labor was 90% from China in the 1800's), we are just being stuffy assholes.

They will progress past these hard times. I am not saying we shouldn't say anything or not lash out for specific violations, but blanket statements about other people/countries who are just trying to build a better life for their citizenry are patently wrong.

 

Yes, lets Americanize everything. Good thought.

 

Uncle Sam can lead all the developing nations down the path of environmental destruction and war for oil so that they too, one day, can live the capitalist dream...I mean nightmare....I mean American dream...oh hell you know what I'm talking about.

 

Stuffy assholes no. Being an intelligent race of people (after electing Bush I don't know if we qualify for that one) we'll hopefully learn from our mistakes, not perpetuate and gain from promoting them in other developing countries.

 

China is a superpower. Developing maybe, but I'd be interested in the distribution of wealth.

 

To be honest, while we are worrying about the middle class in Japan, Brazil and elsewhere, I'd be worried about the ubiquitous American middle class.

 

Funny. This just happened to be in the Seattle Times today.

 

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003941241_chinadreams11.html

Edited by TimL

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Whoa trigger!

I'm not "FOR" Americanizing everything or anything.

I'm just saying we shouldn't be dissing them for wanting our riches. Here we are fighting over the quality of cams that we are going to buy with our spare money so that we can use them in our spare time while they are still trying to get food on the table.

 

 

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Whoa trigger!

I'm not "FOR" Americanizing everything or anything.

I'm just saying we shouldn't be dissing them for wanting our riches. Here we are fighting over the quality of cams that we are going to buy with our spare money so that we can use them in our spare time while they are still trying to get food on the table.

 

He, he , he....just for the sake of discussion. Yeah I agree about food on the table versus little climbing gidgets. Double edged sword we are talking about here. Article has some interesting points.

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Whoa trigger!

I'm not "FOR" Americanizing everything or anything.

I'm just saying we shouldn't be dissing them for wanting our riches. Here we are fighting over the quality of cams that we are going to buy with our spare money so that we can use them in our spare time while they are still trying to get food on the table.

 

He, he , he....just for the sake of discussion. Yeah I agree about food on the table versus little climbing gidgets. Double edged sword we are talking about here. Article has some interesting points.

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Greetings,

It is BD policy NOT to jump into forum discussions. However, we do feel a need to set the record straight so people can draw their conclusions from the facts. Our CEO and Co-Founder, Peter Metcalf, wrote the following a short while back in response to a forum posting on Mountain Project. As it is relevant to your discussion I thought it important enough to re-post with some minor additions, etc.

 

Best to you all,

Jeff Maudlin

THE EMPLOYEE OWNERS OF BLACK DIAMOND EQUIPMENT

 

 

It is important to note that BD is 100% committed to building the finest climbing gear on the planet. We go to great lengths to evaluate our processes in house and gain third party certification to the extent that we lead the industry in this regard. As a growing global brand, when we evaluate our production we must be unbiased as to the best overall course of action in terms of quality, cost and location. Our aim is to

constantly improve our systems and compromise nothing.

 

First off, it is important to understand that our manufacturing of goods, specifically pro, is being done in OUR factory in China. This is not an outsourced vendor operation. This is a Black Diamond built, owned, and managed facility that is operated and staffed by Black Diamond employees.

 

The BD team that got the operation going and is managing it has and/or does include the former head of engineering and manufacturing of BD SLC, the second in command of our QA department, our senior special project guy, one of our lead process engineers and a host of other BD employees (including myself) who have shuttled back and forth between BD Asia and BD North America. For that matter, we have had BD Europe employees there helping out as well. Conversely, we have had a steady flow of BD Asia employees coming here to SLC to train.

 

Secondly, please understand that the testing equipment, testing

standards, and training have all come from BD USA and are managed by BD SLC people at this time. For that matter, our BD facility just passed its ISO-9001 audit that was performed by the same French Senior Auditor from APAV-ASCERT that has been certifying our SLC operation for the past half dozen years. He had nothing but compliments and we are THE first company in our industry to have certification via a European certified body. With our systems passing the ISO Audit, and managed by the same ex-pats who managed it here, it is no longer necessary to re-test in SLC on a regular basis.

 

Thirdly, understand that the supply chain of components and parts is the same as it has been. The cams going onto the Camalots are made from USA-produced 7000 series aluminum, that are machined on our CNCs overseen by our engineers; the anodizing is done by Easton Alumuinum here in SLC and then they are shipped to our Asian facility. Cable, springs, and other parts still come from here or from the same suppliers that we were using when we were assembling them here. The supply chain

is not changed.

 

The Asian employees at BD's operation are well trained, dedicated, adult professionals who work in a new, very modern facility that is the envy of people in SLC. All of them who have worked for us get out climbing on company trips and we have built a very large, climbing wall at the facility that allows

employees to climb at lunch and after work. Our training and their dedication is nothing less than inspiring.

 

As you know, when you order an iPod or a PowerBook directly from Apple it comes directly from their facility in China. If you are living in Asia and purchase an Audi A4 or A6 it is being made in China and some of the Euro luxury manufacturers are preparing to export their first Chinese-made cars. Having climbed and worked in China, I can assure you that the Chinese are a joy to climb with; take great pride in their work; and are capable of great things. The question simply comes down to management and ownership and the vision and commitment of those in charge.

 

BD Asia shares BD's ethos, commitment to high quality, and they share our passion for the life-defining activity of climbing. It is truly the world's universal Esperanto a language we all not only speak but feel. BD is a very global brand just like climbing and skiing are global endeavors. For that matter, some of our fastest sales growth has been in China and Asia as a middle class emerges and has time to explore the beauty and challenge of Asia's crags and mountains. The marketplace feels much like the U.S. felt like in the very late 60s and early 70s. BD is committed to being global and to being an intimate and contributing member of each climbing/ski community that we are a

part of. That is true in Europe as well.

 

This is not about shutting down BD SLC as a manufacturing facility, to the contrary we have expanded our SLC facility this past year by 50 employees and we are fully maxed out, even with two full shifts. It's about the right products in the right places with the right skill sets and expertise, all by BD employees. We view this expansion very much as an extension of what we are already doing. The processes, materials, quality assurance are all the same. It's still Black Diamond.

 

Over the past year we have been assembling a large percentage of our ice tools at BD China. Technical tools are done at both facilities currently though they may shift fully to BD Asia. In addition, we are assembling ATCs there and plan to slowly shift C3s there over time as well as some other products. Many products will remain here while some will be done at both facilities in future years. It is a work-in-process. It's

"generally" labor intensive assembly that is done at BD China. Quality assurance is performed both in Salt Lake City and Asia by BD employees. Regardless, it's still BD, and still being made by BD.

 

Finally you should be aware that the majority of our competitors are having climbing hardware products made for them at OEM facilities in Taiwan and China but they neither control nor manage these and most seem to avoid country of origin labels by bringing the goods in via Europe or claiming them as "sub-assemblies" (i.e. two carabiners that are clipped to a draw are a

sub-assembly and hence don't say they are made in China, Taiwan or wherever and you are left thinking they are made in Europe).

 

As stated BD is proud to have created our own ISO-certified, owned, staffed, managed and trained operation in Asia. Our customers are the big beneficiaries here.

 

Thanks for the opportunity to state the facts,

 

THE EMPLOYEE OWNERS OF BLACK DIAMOND EQUIPMENT

 

 

 

Peter Metcalf

 

CEO/Co-Founder

 

 

 

 

 

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we have chinese trained and educated engineers here at our company and they rock!

 

I think its more a function of the company and its policies than place of manufacture...case in point THE PINTO...corners were cut on the corporate level and the result was a shitty product...wouldn't have mattered if it were made here (it was), mexico, brazil or asia...

 

If a company is forcing its QC policies in its own plants, i don't see a problem.

 

Tim, your comment about us dollars staying here is, ahem, bullshit.

 

Why, there was a time you could buy BD shit in EUROPE and send it here in the mail for 30-40% cheaper than buying it here. Its global now...

 

That being said, i'm going to buy some Metolius shiznet now...

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Greetings,

It is BD policy NOT to jump into forum discussions. However, we do feel a need to set the record straight so people can draw their conclusions from the facts. Our CEO and Co-Founder, Peter Metcalf, wrote the following a short while back in response to a forum posting on Mountain Project. As it is relevant to your discussion I thought it important enough to re-post with some minor additions, etc.

 

Best to you all,

Jeff Maudlin

THE EMPLOYEE OWNERS OF BLACK DIAMOND EQUIPMENT

 

 

It is important to note that BD is 100% committed to building the finest climbing gear on the planet. We go to great lengths to evaluate our processes in house and gain third party certification to the extent that we lead the industry in this regard. As a growing global brand, when we evaluate our production we must be unbiased as to the best overall course of action in terms of quality, cost and location. Our aim is to

constantly improve our systems and compromise nothing.

 

First off, it is important to understand that our manufacturing of goods, specifically pro, is being done in OUR factory in China. This is not an outsourced vendor operation. This is a Black Diamond built, owned, and managed facility that is operated and staffed by Black Diamond employees.

 

The BD team that got the operation going and is managing it has and/or does include the former head of engineering and manufacturing of BD SLC, the second in command of our QA department, our senior special project guy, one of our lead process engineers and a host of other BD employees (including myself) who have shuttled back and forth between BD Asia and BD North America. For that matter, we have had BD Europe employees there helping out as well. Conversely, we have had a steady flow of BD Asia employees coming here to SLC to train.

 

Secondly, please understand that the testing equipment, testing

standards, and training have all come from BD USA and are managed by BD SLC people at this time. For that matter, our BD facility just passed its ISO-9001 audit that was performed by the same French Senior Auditor from APAV-ASCERT that has been certifying our SLC operation for the past half dozen years. He had nothing but compliments and we are THE first company in our industry to have certification via a European certified body. With our systems passing the ISO Audit, and managed by the same ex-pats who managed it here, it is no longer necessary to re-test in SLC on a regular basis.

 

Thirdly, understand that the supply chain of components and parts is the same as it has been. The cams going onto the Camalots are made from USA-produced 7000 series aluminum, that are machined on our CNCs overseen by our engineers; the anodizing is done by Easton Alumuinum here in SLC and then they are shipped to our Asian facility. Cable, springs, and other parts still come from here or from the same suppliers that we were using when we were assembling them here. The supply chain

is not changed.

 

The Asian employees at BD's operation are well trained, dedicated, adult professionals who work in a new, very modern facility that is the envy of people in SLC. All of them who have worked for us get out climbing on company trips and we have built a very large, climbing wall at the facility that allows

employees to climb at lunch and after work. Our training and their dedication is nothing less than inspiring.

 

As you know, when you order an iPod or a PowerBook directly from Apple it comes directly from their facility in China. If you are living in Asia and purchase an Audi A4 or A6 it is being made in China and some of the Euro luxury manufacturers are preparing to export their first Chinese-made cars. Having climbed and worked in China, I can assure you that the Chinese are a joy to climb with; take great pride in their work; and are capable of great things. The question simply comes down to management and ownership and the vision and commitment of those in charge.

 

BD Asia shares BD's ethos, commitment to high quality, and they share our passion for the life-defining activity of climbing. It is truly the world's universal Esperanto a language we all not only speak but feel. BD is a very global brand just like climbing and skiing are global endeavors. For that matter, some of our fastest sales growth has been in China and Asia as a middle class emerges and has time to explore the beauty and challenge of Asia's crags and mountains. The marketplace feels much like the U.S. felt like in the very late 60s and early 70s. BD is committed to being global and to being an intimate and contributing member of each climbing/ski community that we are a

part of. That is true in Europe as well.

 

This is not about shutting down BD SLC as a manufacturing facility, to the contrary we have expanded our SLC facility this past year by 50 employees and we are fully maxed out, even with two full shifts. It's about the right products in the right places with the right skill sets and expertise, all by BD employees. We view this expansion very much as an extension of what we are already doing. The processes, materials, quality assurance are all the same. It's still Black Diamond.

 

Over the past year we have been assembling a large percentage of our ice tools at BD China. Technical tools are done at both facilities currently though they may shift fully to BD Asia. In addition, we are assembling ATCs there and plan to slowly shift C3s there over time as well as some other products. Many products will remain here while some will be done at both facilities in future years. It is a work-in-process. It's

"generally" labor intensive assembly that is done at BD China. Quality assurance is performed both in Salt Lake City and Asia by BD employees. Regardless, it's still BD, and still being made by BD.

 

Finally you should be aware that the majority of our competitors are having climbing hardware products made for them at OEM facilities in Taiwan and China but they neither control nor manage these and most seem to avoid country of origin labels by bringing the goods in via Europe or claiming them as "sub-assemblies" (i.e. two carabiners that are clipped to a draw are a

sub-assembly and hence don't say they are made in China, Taiwan or wherever and you are left thinking they are made in Europe).

 

As stated BD is proud to have created our own ISO-certified, owned, staffed, managed and trained operation in Asia. Our customers are the big beneficiaries here.

 

Thanks for the opportunity to state the facts,

 

THE EMPLOYEE OWNERS OF BLACK DIAMOND EQUIPMENT

 

 

 

Peter Metcalf

 

CEO/Co-Founder

 

 

 

 

 

Wow, my colon hasn't seen that much sunshine since Mark came to visit. So your supply chain is currently unchanged. Forgive me for wondering how long you'll bother with the inefficencies of shipping low level, low cost components across the ocean. twice. That is, unless you need some supply ineffeciencies to rationalize for why your cams still sell for $70 a pop retail.

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So you move someplace totally environmentally unfriendly? Who's brutal repression of the Tibetans is legendary? The ruins are still everywhere over there. Hell, Galen Rowell was permanently tossed out of that country for just HANDING OUT PICTURES OF THE DALI LAMA

 

Is this even the same company which threatened to pull the trade show out of Utah because of a much smaller wilderness issue. I find it very confusing and hypocritical.

 

-Here-

 

"Peter Metcalf owns Black Diamond, a hiking and mountain climbing equipment manufacturer in Salt Lake City. He led the National Outdoor Retailers Association to threaten to move its two yearly major trade shows out of Utah to someplace more wilderness friendly. That would cost the state about $24 million.

 

Peter MetcalfPETER METCALF: Right now the most recent actions on behalf of the governor, specifically the backroom deal that he and Secretary Norton cut, has taken away wilderness study protection for many millions of acres in Utah, many of which hold some of the most pristine and beautiful canyon area climbing, backpacking areas in the state. And they're now open for potential mineral exploitation, mining, additional grazing, new roads, that sort of thing, that just despoil the environments that many of our customers go to use. "

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If the components are made the same way by the same vendors, and are assembled in a facility owned and operated by B.D., managed by B.D. employees, and are subject to the same QC measures as the cams assembled in SLC - what reason is there to doubt the quality of the final product vis-a-vis cams assembled in SLC, unless one assumes that the Chinese employees are less vigilant or capable than their peers in the US?

 

I'm no engineer, but as someone who's actually been on the line doing the assembling, I can't think of any reason why the average Chinese guy would do that particular job, or the testing, or anything else at a lower level than their counterparts in the US.

 

If you have other emotional or political reasons to object, fine, but unless someone can point out specific reasons why I should conclude otherwise, I don't buy the idea that the cams that BD makes in China are less reliable or have a lower quality than those that were made in the US.

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... Forgive me for wondering how long you'll bother with the inefficencies of shipping low level, low cost components across the ocean. twice.....

 

CJ...something tells me they ran the numbers here and they worked out.....just a guess.

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Bill yur a tree hugger arntcha?

 

Who owns Utah? GOD! Just ask any Mormon.

And they vote accordingly.

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It actually wouldn't bother me if every single aspect of cam production took place in China, so long as the right QA/QC standards were in place.

 

IMO the big value-add is in the design, developing the manufacturing process, the brand-recognition, having a roster of folks who know what they're doing in the mountains evaluating the products and translating their inputs into tangible improvements in quality and function, etc, and it would make perfect sense to ship out the low-value add stuff if you could hold quality constant while lowering costs.

 

It's always struck me as odd that those who advocate simply giving the less fortunate people in the world money or its equivalent are granted the secular equivalent of sainthood, while those who advocate giving them something much more valuable that they can actually use to lift themselves out of poverty permanently - our business - are vilified.

 

If you do something so routine and repetitive that it can be outsourced to China, it's also routine and repetitive enough to be automated - so even in the absence of outsourcing, the end result would be the same.

 

 

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Along those lines....I'd guess that some portion (perhaps substantial) of the money BD saves by outsourcing is poured back into R&D, enabling them to get better products to market faster. Seems like this is only goodness for the end consumer (aka US)

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JayB: You obviously lack the racism required to understand that no Chinaman could ever build anything as good or better than a red-blooded American. Look at their "Wall", for example. The thing's falling to pieces. Their fake soldiers are so crappy they had to bury them. They're even going to get sloppy seconds on the Moon within five years.

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CJ...something tells me they ran the numbers here and they worked out.....just a guess.

 

Just a guess they are doing the standard overseas rampup of move assembly then migrate supply chain. There's nothing that special about springs or finishing that necessitates those processes being done in the US. But thats.... just a guess.

 

JayB-

If quality standards are held, sure. The problem with overseas manufacturing is maintaining those standards. It's alot harder to manage someone half a world away then in the next building....which has tripped up at least one cam company and more than one ski company. If they can make that change, kudos, it's tripped up more than one multinational.

 

Realistically the money saved just gets spit out to owners and investors. I could give 2 shits about R&D in the outdoor sports industry it's mostly fashion driven. As such a much more succinct statement would be "China is the manufacturing nation of the future for disposable consumer goods. Climbing gear is a disposable consumer good. Deal with it" Maybe I should just drink some more marketing KoolAid

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.....I could give 2 shits about R&D in the outdoor sports industry it's mostly fashion driven....

 

Ummm...yaaahh....I carry around those double axle cams for their good looks....same thing with that highly breathable single wall tent....

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I remember the days before friends.

Bring on that R&D.

 

Oh sorry Bill. That is what brought on the desecration of a couple thousand pristine cracks in Indian Canyon.

I should be more respectful.

 

Im just playing with ideas.

Don't punch me at Ropeup.

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.....I could give 2 shits about R&D in the outdoor sports industry it's mostly fashion driven....

 

Ummm...yaaahh....I carry around those double axle cams for their good looks....same thing with that highly breathable single wall tent....

 

well, you epitomize the suburbanite fashion climber :)...

 

Never conceived of an excess of functionality being a fashion statement? Check out the Hummers at Bellevue Square some time.

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JayB: You obviously lack the racism required to understand that no Chinaman could ever build anything as good or better than a red-blooded American. Look at their "Wall", for example. The thing's falling to pieces. Their fake soldiers are so crappy they had to bury them. They're even going to get sloppy seconds on the Moon within five years.

i think they likely smoke more dope in SLC than in china... :lmao: maybe i'll opt for the chinese versions!

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JayB: You obviously lack the racism required to understand that no Chinaman could ever build anything as good or better than a red-blooded American. Look at their "Wall", for example. The thing's falling to pieces. Their fake soldiers are so crappy they had to bury them. They're even going to get sloppy seconds on the Moon within five years.

i think they likely smoke more dope in SLC than in china... :lmao: maybe i'll opt for the chinese versions!

 

They certainly have more kids

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.....I could give 2 shits about R&D in the outdoor sports industry it's mostly fashion driven....

 

Ummm...yaaahh....I carry around those double axle cams for their good looks....same thing with that highly breathable single wall tent....

 

well, you epitomize the suburbanite fashion climber :)...

 

Never conceived of an excess of functionality being a fashion statement? Check out the Hummers at Bellevue Square some time.

 

Oft overhead just after sinking a placement while quavering at the crux "God-DAMN that extra expansion range!!!!!!...."

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... Forgive me for wondering how long you'll bother with the inefficencies of shipping low level, low cost components across the ocean. twice.....

 

CJ...something tells me they ran the numbers here and they worked out.....just a guess.

 

and what about the impact on the environment? it may be cheaper in the short term, but how does all that extra CO2 footprint help the planet?

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