Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is 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, such as aircraft, household appliances or automobiles, or sold to wholesalers, who in turn sell them to retailers, who then sell them to end users – the "consumers".
Manufacturing takes turns under 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.
Modern manufacturing includes all intermediate processes required for 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 engineering and industrial design. Examples of major manufacturers in the North America include General Motors Corporation, General Electric, and Pfizer. Examples in Europe include Volkswagen Group, Siemens, and Michelin. Examples in Asia include Toyota, Samsung, and Bridgestone.
History and development
In its earliest form, manufacturing was usually carried out by a single skilled artisan 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.
Before the Industrial Revolution, 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.
Toil manufacturing is an arrangement whereby a first firm with specialized equipment processes raw materials or semi-finished goods for a second firm.
Economics of manufacturing
According to some economists, manufacturing is a wealth-producing sector of an economy, whereas a service sector tends to be wealth-consuming.HYPERLINK \l "cite_note-1" 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. Developed countries regulate manufacturing activity with labor laws and environmental laws. In the U.S, manufacturers are subject to regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In Europe, pollution taxes to offset environmental costs are another form of regulation on manufacturing activity. Labor Unions and craft guilds have played a historic role 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.
Manufacturing requires huge amounts of fossil fuels. The construction of a single car in the United States requires, on average, at least 20 barrels of oil.