Manufacturing

Liu Duo Jiang uses a mallet to remove the rounded “hooks” created by noodles hanging on the drying racks at the Tsue Chong Company in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District.

China-born Wong Tsu, pictured in the foreground, was the first aeronautical engineer Bill Boeing hired at his fledgling airplane company.

For sheer economic impact, few comestibles can top the humblest of vegetables and possibly the most popular mass-market product made from it: the potato and the french fry. Accordingly, Lamb Weston, part of packaged-foods giant ConAgra Foods, is adding a second french-fry production line to its existing plant in Richland.

As the development surge continues apace in and around Seattle, aerial booms and scissor lifts crowd every construction site — and a local company quietly thrives.

The manufacturing industry has always been an important part of the U.S. economy. To gain some perspective, check out these 15 facts about U.S. manufacturing that can't be ignored.

When it’s time to make doughnuts — or loaves of bread, or sheets of rolls — it could well be a Belshaw Adamatic piece of equipment that’s turning out the baked goods. From a 120,000-square-foot plant in Auburn, Belshaw Adamatic produces the ovens, fryers, conveyors and specialty equipment like jelly injectors used by wholesale and retail bakeries.

At least one brand of fitness equipment for the commercial and home markets carries a “made in Washington” label. Precor’s keeping manufacturing local has helped grow employment from 544 to 573, but neither happened without a commitment to lean principles and efficient production.

The middle of a recession wouldn’t at first glance seem to be a good time to start a new pleasure-boat company. But Fluid Motion, parent of Ranger Tugs, founded in 1958 and still owned and operated by the Livingston family, decided to launch Cutwater Boats, a line of fuel-efficient, trailerable, feature-packed vessels — think bow and stern thrusters — in 2011.

Research doesn’t work without the right tools, and in the case of biomedical research, critical tools are the preservation media used to store stem cells, bone marrow, cellular therapies and tissue samples.