SCDigest Editorial Staff
In a move that in some ways may be illustrative of a potential trend, TCP Inc., a manufacturer of a variety of advanced light bulbs that currently manufactures exclusively in China, is now planning to build bulbs in the US and develop a branded product line.
TCP is currently the largest producer of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in the US, until now exclusively as a supplier for other brands such as GE, Osram Sylvania and Philips (though it has branded product in China already). It makes other advanced light bulbs as well, such as LEDs.
The products were also exclusively made in China, but the company now says it is planning a factory near Cleveland.
The move, in a sense, is a double shot at industry leader GE Lighting. Not only does it appear that TCP will soon compete at the retail level with GE, its current customer, but GE also recently closed most of its existing lighting manufacturing capacity in the region near its own Cleveland headquarters. The company shut down a number of traditional incandescent lighting factories in the northern Ohio area, saying demand for those products was falling versus more energy efficient bulbs. However, it nixed the idea of revamping those factories to make CFLs, saying the upgrade costs were too expensive, and that all its CFLs would be manufactured in China.
Now, TCP has announced plans for a new CFL factory near Cleveland that will employ 50-60 to start. Likely, Cleveland was picked to tap into a labor pull with lighting experience from GE.
(Manufacturing Article - Continued Below)