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Product's lifecycle Product's lifecycle-es.svg
Product's lifecycle

Manufacturing is the production of goods through the use of labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector of the economy. [1] The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high-tech, but it is most commonly applied to industrial design, in which raw materials from the primary sector are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. Such goods may be sold to other manufacturers for the production of other more complex products (such as aircraft, household appliances, furniture, sports equipment or automobiles), or distributed via the tertiary industry to end users and consumers (usually through wholesalers, who in turn sell to retailers, who then sell them to individual customers).


Manufacturing engineering, or the manufacturing process, are the steps through which raw materials are transformed into a final product. The manufacturing process begins with the product design, and materials specification from which the product is made. These materials are then modified through manufacturing processes to become the required part.

Modern manufacturing includes all intermediate processes required in the production and integration of a product's components. Some industries, such as semiconductor and steel manufacturers, use the term fabrication instead.

The manufacturing sector is closely connected with the engineering and industrial design. Examples of major manufacturers in North America include General Motors Corporation, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, General Dynamics, Boeing, Pfizer, Precision Castparts, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Examples in Europe include Volkswagen Group, Siemens, BASF and Michelin. Examples in Asia include Toyota, Yamaha, Panasonic, LG, Samsung and Tata Motors.

History and development

Finished regenerative thermal oxidizer at manufacturing plant Regenerative thermal oxidizer manufacturing.jpg
Finished regenerative thermal oxidizer at manufacturing plant
Assembly of Section 41 of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner Boeing 787 Section 41 final assembly.jpg
Assembly of Section 41 of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner
An industrial worker amidst heavy steel semi-products (KINEX BEARINGS, Bytca, Slovakia, c. 1995-2000) Worker 9.JPG
An industrial worker amidst heavy steel semi-products (KINEX BEARINGS, Bytča, Slovakia, c. 1995–2000)
A modern automobile assembly line Hyundai car assembly line.jpg
A modern automobile assembly line

Manufacturing began in the 19th century. [2] It was usually carried out by single skilled artisans with assistants. Training was by apprenticeship. In much of the pre-industrial world, the guild system protected the privileges and trade secrets of urban artisans.

In the pre-industrial world, most manufacturing occurred in rural areas, where household-based manufacturing served as a supplemental subsistence strategy to agriculture (and continues to do so in places). Entrepreneurs organized a number of manufacturing households into a single enterprise through the putting-out system.

The factory system was first adopted in Britain at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century and later spread around the world. [3] The main characteristic of the factory system is the use of machinery, originally powered by water or steam and later by electricity. Increased use of economies of scale, the centralization of factories, and standardization of interchangeable parts were adopted in the American system of manufacturing in the nineteenth century.

The mechanized assembly line was introduced to assemble parts in a repeatable fashion, with individual workers performing specific steps during the process. This led to significant increases in efficiency, lowering the cost of the end process. Later, automation was introduced to incrementally replace human operators, a trend that has accelerated with the development of the computer and the robot.

Manufacturing in the Soviet Union was based on collectivism.

Manufacturing systems: methods of manufacturing

Industrial policy

Economics of manufacturing

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.

On the other hand, most manufacturing may involve significant social and environmental costs. The clean-up costs of hazardous waste, for example, may outweigh the benefits of a product that creates it. Hazardous materials may expose workers to health risks. These costs are now well known and there is effort to address them by improving efficiency, reducing waste, using industrial symbiosis, and eliminating harmful chemicals.

The negative costs of manufacturing can also be addressed legally. Developed countries regulate manufacturing activity with labor laws and environmental laws. Across the globe, manufacturers can be subject to regulations and pollution taxes to offset the environmental costs of manufacturing activities. Labor unions and craft guilds have played a historic role in the negotiation of worker rights and wages. Environment laws and labor protections that are available in developed nations may not be available in the third world. Tort law and product liability impose additional costs on manufacturing. These are significant dynamics in the ongoing process, occurring over the last few decades, of manufacture-based industries relocating operations to "developing-world" economies where the costs of production are significantly lower than in "developed-world" economies.


Manufacturing has unique health and safety challenges and has been recognized by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a priority industry sector in the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) to identify and provide intervention strategies regarding occupational health and safety issues. [4] [5]

Manufacturing and investment

Capacity utilization in manufacturing in the FRG and in the USA KapaAuslUSABRDEngl.png
Capacity utilization in manufacturing in the FRG and in the USA

Surveys and analyses of trends and issues in manufacturing and investment around the world focus on such things as:

In addition to general overviews, researchers have examined the features and factors affecting particular key aspects of manufacturing development. They have compared production and investment in a range of Western and non-Western countries and presented case studies of growth and performance in important individual industries and market-economic sectors. [6] [7]

On June 26, 2009, Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, called for the United States to increase its manufacturing base employment to 20% of the workforce, commenting that the U.S. has outsourced too much in some areas and can no longer rely on the financial sector and consumer spending to drive demand. [8] Further, while U.S. manufacturing performs well compared to the rest of the U.S. economy, research shows that it performs poorly compared to manufacturing in other high-wage countries. [9] A total of 3.2 million – one in six U.S. manufacturing jobs – have disappeared between 2000 and 2007. [10] In the UK, EEF the manufacturers organisation has led calls for the UK economy to be rebalanced to rely less on financial services and has actively promoted the manufacturing agenda.

List of countries by manufacturing output

These are the top 50 countries by total value of manufacturing output in US dollars for its noted year according to World Bank. [11]

RankCountry/RegionMillions of $USYear
  World 13,809,1222019
1Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 3,896,3452019
2Flag of the United States.svg  United States 2,173,3192017
3Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1,027,9672018
4Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 747,7312019
5Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 416,9032019
6Flag of India.svg  India 394,5312019
7Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 298,4422019
8Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 287,7642019
9Flag of France.svg  France 266,6342019
10Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 243,1142019
11Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 222,5442019
12Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 220,5032019
13Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 217,8522019
14Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 154,8332019
15Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 151,7242016
16Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 143,0172019
17Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 137,5442019
18Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 131,7182019
19Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 119,8682019
20Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 100,0112019
21Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 99,6482019
22Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 99,4382019
23Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 78,6572019
24Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 78,2792019
25Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 74,7102019
26Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore 73,6772019
27Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines 69,5682019
28Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 69,2622019
29Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 63,5692019
30Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 58,2362014
31Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 57,7262019
32Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh 57,2842019
33Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 55,2702019
34Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 53,4172017
35Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 51,6342019
36Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt 48,2412019
37Flag of Puerto Rico.svg  Puerto Rico 47,8342018
38Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 45,5072019
39Flag of Israel.svg  Israel 44,3142018
40Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam 43,1722019
41Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 42,4532019
42Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 41,4002019
43Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria 41,2782019
44Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 38,6702019
45Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 36,7272019
46Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 35,4392019
47Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan 34,6582019
48Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 30,2832018
49Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 29,3492019
50Flag of Peru.svg  Peru 28,7332018

Manufacturing processes


See also

Related Research Articles

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Manufacturing engineering

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Manufacturing in Ethiopia was, before 1957, dominated by cottage and handicraft industries which met most of the population's needs for manufactured goods such as clothes, ceramics, machine tools, and leather goods. Various factors – including the lack of basic infrastructure, the dearth of private and public investment, and the lack of any consistent public policy aimed at promoting industrial development – contributed to the insignificance of manufacturing.

Advanced manufacturing

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Industry of Croatia

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  11. "Manufacturing, value added (current US$) | Data". Retrieved 2018-11-11.