Manufacturing Isn't Dead, It's Evolving!

In the business world, every week a blog post or article comes out displaying some kind of dramatic headline that "the manufacturing industry is dead/dying." Of course, there's no denying that the manufacturing industry has certainly undergone a lot of changes over the last couple of decades that many people might never have been able to predict but that's hardly the same thing as dying. The truth is that the manufacturing industry is alive and well, it's just been forced to change and evolve in the exact same way that pretty much every single part of life has had to in the modern age.  Here are just a few ways that the manufacturing industry is evolving and changing while remaining very much alive and thriving.


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There was a time when, if you wanted to find products then there was a pretty good chance that they were going to need to be manufactured wherever you were. However, over the last few decades, the world has become more connected than ever before. This means that places like America are no longer the total centre of the world when it comes to things like manufacturing. Instead, plenty of other markets have sprung up, meaning that manufacturing is now an entirely global industry. One of the most obvious places that has become an incredibly significant force in the world of manufacturing in, of course, China. Companies like Moons' Industries are heavily involved in manufacturing parts that are used in everything from 3D printers to stage lighting and security equipment. One of the main reasons that China has become such a force in the world of manufacturing is the way that it has been completely willing to embrace innovation in ways that other cultures might not. China is willing to look at the direction that manufacturing is moving and adjust the way that they do things so that they don't end up getting left behind in any way. And there's one change that is possibly having more of an impact than anything else.


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Automation is something that many people might not think about in their day to day lives, but if you're in any way involved in the manufacturing industry, then you need to be as aware of it as possible because it could well have a serious impact on your life and career. Simply put, automation is the act of using machines to do the work that human beings might have been tasked to do. This has a whole host of consequences for the manufacturing industry. The first clear consequence is one of productivity and efficiency. The reality is that machines can produce and manufacture things far more quickly than human beings can and they never get tired. The other positive aspect is that the accuracy of an automated process is so much more reliable than a human being. Of course, that doesn't mean that there isn't a significant cost to this. The most obvious one is the loss of jobs. If a manufacturing company can use automation to get things done, then there's no real reason for them to employ people to do those things. This means that a lot of manual labourers and factory workers have become unemployed over time. The upside to this is that the need for those who can work on the automated machines and processes, helping them to function properly and keep them maintained, has grown significantly. There is also the balance of the initial investment in automation versus the long term investment of employees. Automation might be cheaper, but if a manufacturer doesn't have the capital for it, then they will have to use employees who may often be slower and less accurate, as well as more expensive in the long term. The issue of automation is certainly not one that's cut and dry, in fact, it has a great deal of complexity and nuance, but there's no denying that it may have brought about the biggest and most significant change in the manufacturing industry since the dawn of the industrial revolution.


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Despite the increased globalisation of the manufacturing industry, there is a grown trend of more and more manufacturers doing things on a domestic level. For a very long time, it was considered the much better value to outsourcing your manufacturing needs to other, cheaper, countries. However, we have been starting to see the reverse of this over the last few years. The most significant of these was the fact that, while the initial costs certainly were lower, a lot of businesses began to find that there were actually a lot of costs that they didn't foresee. Things like shipping delays, loss in quality, damaged goods, and a lack of communication started to cause more and more problems. Eventually, it reached the point where outsourcing to other countries was simply more hassle than it was worth, so companies began reshoring their manufacturing needs. The other thing that had a significant impact on this is the fact that a lot of people, especially in America, really resented the loss of manufacturing jobs to overseas workers. A lot of those people have been putting a great deal of pressure on companies, and there are even smaller manufacturers who have sprung up with a dedication to keeping the industry alive on a local and provincial level. All of these things combined mean that manufacturing is returning to the west in an incredibly significant and surprising way. Of course, it won't look the same as it did before, but evolution, change, and innovation are so intrinsically linked that there was never any chance that things could stay the same, no matter what.

Of course, there will always be people who are practically allergic to change and innovation who will decry this as the death of the manufacturing industry, but the truth is that if you're not capable of moving with the times, you're just going to end up getting left behind. In the exact same way that many businesses end up failing because they can't embrace things like social media and online technology if you can't embrace the changes in the manufacturing industry then you're going to find yourself in some pretty serious trouble.

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