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Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labour to make things for use or sale. It is the most commonly applied to industrial production in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. Such finished goods may be used for manufacturing other, more complex products. The manufacturing sector is closely connected with engineering and industrial design.

Manufacturing effects on all types of economic systems. In a free market economy, manufacturing is usually directed toward the mass production of products for sale to consumers at a profit. In a collectivist economy, manufacturing is more frequently directed by the state to supply a centrally planned economy. In free market economies, manufacturing occurs under some degree of government regulation.

According to some economists, manufacturing is a wealth-producing sector of an economy, whereas a service sector tends to be wealth-consuming. Emerging technologies have provided some new growth in advanced manufacturing employment opportunities in the Manufacturing Belt in the United States. Manufacturing provides important material support for national infrastructure and for national defense.

Manufacturing systems

  • English system of manufacturing
  • American system of manufacturing
  • Craft or Guild system
  • Putting-out system
  • Soviet collectivism in manufacturing
  • Mass production
  • Just In Time manufacturing
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Flexible manufacturing
  • Mass customization
  • Rapid manufacturing, etc.

English system of manufacturing
The English system of manufacturing was an early system of industrial production that required skilled machinists who were required to produce parts from a design or model. But however skilled the machinist, parts were never absolutely identical, and each part had to be manufactured separately to fit its counterpart. This was almost always done by one person who produced the completed item from start to finish. The growth of the use of Interchangeable parts and mass production led to the system disappearing from mainstream industry.

American system of manufacturing
The American system of manufacturing involves semi-skilled labor using machine tools and templates (or jigs) to make standardized, identical, interchangeable parts, manufactured to a tolerance. The system is also known as the armory practice because of the history of its development by the United States Department of War in the Springfield and Harpers Ferry armories.

The American system contributed to efficiency gains through division of labour. Division of labuor helped manufacturing transition from small artisanal shops to early factories. Key pieces of evidence supporting efficiency gains include: increase in firm size, evidence of returns to scale, and an increase in non-specialized labor. The need for firms to train uneducated people to perform only one thing in the productivity chain allowed for the use of non-specialized labor. Women and children were employed more frequently within larger firms, especially those producing furniture and clothing.

Manufacturing categories

  • Chemical industry
    • Pharmaceutical
  • Construction
  • Engineering
    • Biotechnology
    • Nanotechnology
    • Emerging technologies
    • Synthetic biology, Bioengineering
  • Electronics
    • Semiconductor
  • Energy industry
  • Metalworking
  • Food and Beverage
    • Agribusiness
    • Brewing industry
    • Food processing
  • Industrial design
    • Interchangeable parts
  • Transportation
    • Automotive industry
    • Bus manufacturing
    • Aerospace manufacturing
    • Tire manufacturing
  • Metalcasting
  • Plastics
  • Telecommunications
  • Metalworking
    • Smith
    • Machinist
    • Cutting tools (metalworking)
    • Machine tools
    • Free machining
    • Tool and die maker
    • Global steel industry trends
    • Steel production

  • Textile manufacturing
    • Clothing industry
    • Sailmaker
    • Tentmaking