We at Power Products feel very strongly about the theme of Made in the USA, and all that it stands for, which is why we like to spotlight various manufacturers we deal with that have the right to stamp their products “Made in America.” For this newsletter, we have the privilege of spotlighting ATS Diesel out of Arvada, Colorado, which seems fitting as we were recently there for the Diesel Power Challenge, and we had the privilege of sitting down with Ryan Gelinas, ATS’ Extramural Purchasing Agent, and simply a good friend of ours. So we posed the question to him, “what steps is ATS taking to maintain made in America products and why is it so important to ATS?” In regards to what steps they are taking, that was really a simple answer, they just buy ALL of their materials and components from American manufacturers. However, the response as to the reasoning was definitely more involved, as its multifaceted. A large part of the reasoning is the obvious, to employ an American workforce in order to keep American money within our own borders.
However, a very large part of their reasoning really comes from simple quality control, something that all too many manufacturers tend to overlook as their top priority. The obvious end of quality control is what the end product looks like and how it functions. Simply put, many overseas manufacturing companies do not have the capacity to create the extremely tight tolerances that ATS demands from their products. But beyond that, what about the actual raw materials that go into the end products? Two great examples of this that Ryan gave us are with raw billet and castings. ATS uses a great deal of billet that goes into a multitude of their products, from turbos to torque converters, and they buy LARGE quantities at a time (10,000 lbs. to be specific) and its all purchased from within the U.S. The problem with many billet suppliers, especially overseas, is that their billet is not “pure” even if they claim that it is, and which is why ATS deals with metallurgists that have the ability of actually testing the material for its purity. The ability to perform these tests can only be accomplished prior to purchase, which leads to part of the reasoning of purchasing on their own turf.
ATS also requires a constant influx of various castings for turbos, manifolds, differential covers, etc. that many other manufacturers import from overseas to reduce costs. Unfortunately, many overseas casting companies will “inject” filler materials into their castings, which leads to less than satisfactory castings. ATS deals with a foundry that is literally down the street from them that has proven to ONLY use high silicon moly, which is the most desirable product for castings in the industry. Overall, this results in each and every product to be evenly concentrated, with consistent density, meaning no fractured turbo housings or differential covers.
Overall, ATS has done an impeccable job of keeping Americans employed and doing their due diligence in ensuring that all ATS products gain the seal of approval from all end users, as well as marking their products as “Made in the USA.”