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Topics I've Started
08 November 2007 - 12:33 AMI am very impressed to see that Smart Parts came out with a "bolt out back" body for their Ion. That, for me, was the only thing that the Ion needed to truly be a kick-butt marker.
My primary marker is an FEP Quest, which I believe to be the worlds greatest and smartest paintball marker. It is my first bolt out back marker and I will never go back to any other system. Having you bolt hidden inside your marker is completely impractical in my opinion, especially when at the field! The Quest allows me to lube and clean my marker in seconds, at home or at the field, and I'll never have to sit out a round of paintball again while tinkering with my marker. Smart Parts has followed suit and now offers this same convenience with the XE... FINALLY! I have owned two Ions and an SP8, and disliked having to disassemble the entire marker just to lube the thing or clean the eyes. What a drag that was. The Ion-XE solves that problem finally. If the XE is just as good as the Ion with the added improvement of a BOB body then is certainly the worlds best marker in that price range, hands down.
For more info on the Ion-XE check out http://www.smartpart.../#/ion-xe/home/
Also watch the YouTube vid at http://www.youtube.c...h?v=HxWCj8Z9deQ
The thing I was wondering was... is the BlackCell body still compatible with the Ion XE? It seems like it should be. The BlackCell body and stock adapter are both removable with a single screw, allowing access to the rear of the Ion body, so in theory you should be able to access everything fine. Perhaps this is not the case?
One thing is for certain. If the BlackCell body is indeed compatible with this new and improved Ion then nothing would hold me back from getting a BlackCell-XE for my own. I think I will be first first in christening the BlackCell XE the "BlackXell" Knowing that I will not have to remove my entire BlackXell in order to maintain it makes owning and operating that marker twice as nice.
03 October 2007 - 01:42 AMI see a lot of people here on the boards making comments on overseas manufacturing that seem quite biased. It is very rare I see anyone post something positive on this aspect... and yet there are plenty of positives. In fact, there are very few negatives I can see. This thread can provide a place for us to discuss this hot topic.
First off, lets look at some companies that already manufacture overseas. Well... it is actually a lot faster to name all the companies that DON'T manufacture overseas, since almost every major paintball company does! Dye, Hybrid, Tippmann and Smart Parts to name a few. Even if a company domestically manufacture a product they almost always use a component or components that have been made overseas. Camouflage printed fabrics, nylon webbing, Cordura, and aluminum blocks for c and c milling are all things made overseas.
America itself is the worlds largest outsourcing nation. Over 60 percent of America's oil is imported, and oil makes plastic. That alone means most plastic in America comes from overseas. Lumber, fruit and vegetables, cotton, minerals and even water gets shipped into America everyday.... more so than any other country in the world.
The grand irony with American manufacturing is that even when a mass produced and inexpensive item is manufactured in America it is usually a new immigrant that is providing the labor. American food production, construction, and textile manufacturing is largely compromised of new immigrants who are willing to do the work for cheap. "Made in America" is actually in a lot of cases "Made by an immigrant in America". I am NOT saying there is anything wrong with immigration into North America. Myself, and all Americans are immigrants at some point... it is just ironic that there is really no way to get away from foreign manufacturing as long as the almighty "bottom line" is running the show.
The benefits are simple, and they are all encapsulated in on phrase: "the bottom line" If a manufactured product costs less then the margin for profit increases. Side benefits include the ability to lower the cost of the item to make it competitive in the marketplace, and also quality of manufacturing. QUALITY you say?! It is true.
Lets take China for example. China is a huge country, and has been manufacturing products for the western world for decades... and has become very good at it. Their low dollar value makes buying things from China inexpensive, and the Chinese workforce has absolutely mastered every aspect of manufacturing. Now, not all products that come out of China are great, but China certainly has the worlds greatest potential for making the best quality mass produced items at a low low price.
Dye manufactures their entire catalog in China... and the quality speaks for itself. The is absolutely no way Dye could manufacture in America and still maintain that level of quality at the prices they charge. If that level of quality was attained in with American manufacturing the prices would be ridiculous. Triple stitched belts that never break. Pants that are the absolute best quality and design in the world of paintball. All made in China. I defy anyone to find me a better pair of gloves and a better pair of pants or jersey in the entire world of paintball. The amount of technology, material and construction that Dye has reached with their soft goods are all made possible with overseas manufacturing.
Dye is a good example of high quality manufacturing from overseas... but there are plenty of examples of crap coming from overseas as well. I am NOT saying that everything from overseas is great quality. Their is a vast range of companies to choose from while seeking out manufacturing in China for example. It is a very big country after all. One thing is for certain tho... it is inexpensive to manufacture your products overseas whether it is crap or amazing quality.
This is my real debate with overseas manufacturing.
1: The quality of manufacturing you can attain from a manufacturing nation can be among the best in the world as we have all seen.... but are the products you buy being made with that level of quality? Are companies just saving a truckload of cash while offering average to below average items?
2: While a company is utilizing inexpensive overseas manufacturing are they passing the savings onto the consumer, or simply pocketing the money for themselves? Are you really getting what you pay for?
I know that people are going to say that domestic manufacturing has superior quality and boosts the economy... but we all know this is not necessarily the case. I own a pair of Dye pants and they kick butt over any other pant I have ever owned for paintball. If they made them in camouflage prints then I would probably weep in joy. Those pants are proof positive that Chinese manufacturing is on par... or better than domestic manufacturing.... while remaining very inexpensive in terms of manufacturing cost. Also, we all know that the American economy is NOT a domestically driven economy.
Some people have a firm belief that an American made product is superior in quality... but America and every other country is just lines on the map. Anyone, anywhere in the world stands just as great a chance to make a product with superior quality. The only difference is that in some parts of the world is is cheaper to do so.
Let us please reserve this thread to intelligent comments. Please post your thoughts here. I think this is an interesting topic that goes on in the background and does not receive enough attention. Thanks.
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