Everipedia Logo
Everipedia is now IQ.wiki - Join the IQ Brainlist and our Discord for early access to editing on the new platform and to participate in the beta testing.


Manufacturing is the production of products for use or sale using labour and machines, tools, chemical and biological processing, or formulation, and is the essence of secondary industry. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial design, in which raw materials from primary industry are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. Such finished 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 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 engineering and industrial design. Examples of major manufacturers in North America include General Motors Corporation, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, General Dynamics, Boeing, Pfizer, and Precision Castparts. Examples in Europe include Volkswagen Group, Siemens, FCA and Michelin. Examples in Asia include Toyota, Yamaha, Panasonic, LG, Samsung and Tata Motors.

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.

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.[1] 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.

Manufacturing in the Soviet Union was based on collectivism.

Manufacturing systems: methods of manufacturing

  • Agile manufacturing

  • Fabrication

  • Flexible manufacturing

  • Just-in-time manufacturing

  • Lean manufacturing

  • Manufacturing Engineering

  • Mass customization

  • Mass production

  • Numerical control

  • Prefabrication

  • Rapid manufacturing

  • Reconfigurable manufacturing system

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.[2][3]

Manufacturing and investment

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

  • The nature and sources of the considerable variations that occur cross-nationally in levels of manufacturing and wider industrial-economic growth;

  • Competitiveness; and

  • Attractiveness to foreign direct investors.

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.[4][5]

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.[6] 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.[7] A total of 3.2 million – one in six U.S. manufacturing jobs – have disappeared between 2000 and 2007.[8] In the UK, EEF the manufacturers organization 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

List of top 20 manufacturing countries by total value of manufacturing in US dollars for its noted year according to World Bank.[9]

RankCountry/RegionMillions of $USYear
2United States2,173,3192017
5South Korea440,9412018
9United Kingdom251,9852018
20Saudi Arabia100,2322018

Manufacturing processes

  • List of manufacturing processes

  • Manufacturing Process Management


  • Management List of management topics Total quality management

  • Quality control Six Sigma

See also

  • List of largest manufacturing companies by revenue

  • Industrial robot

  • National Occupational Research Agenda Manufacturing Sector Council, USA [21]

  • Manufacturing engineering

  • Manufacturing in the United States

  • Industrial engineering

  • Top Manufacturing Technology Magazine [22]

  • Advanced manufacturing

  • Metal fabrication

  • Microfabrication

  • Optics fabrication

  • Semiconductor device fabrication

  • Biomanufacturing

  • Mesoscale Manufacturing

  • Cyber manufacturing

  • Taylorism/Scientific management

  • Fordism


Citation Linkbooks.google.comWalker, William (1993). "National Innovation Systems: Britain". In Nelson, Richard R. (ed.). National innovation systems: a comparative analysis. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195076176.
Oct 1, 2019, 5:41 AM
Citation Linkwww.cdc.gov"Manufacturing Program | NORA | CDC". www.cdc.gov. 2019-02-11. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
Oct 1, 2019, 5:41 AM
Citation Linkwww.cdc.gov"National Occupational Research Agenda for Manufacturing | NIOSH | CDC". www.cdc.gov. 2019-02-04. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
Oct 1, 2019, 5:41 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgManufacturing & Investment Around The World: An International Survey Of Factors Affecting Growth & Performance, ISR Publications/Google Books, revised second edition, 2002. ISBN 978-0-906321-25-6.
Oct 1, 2019, 5:41 AM
Citation Linkbooks.google.comResearch, Industrial Systems (2002-05-20). Manufacturing and Investment Around the World: An International Survey of Factors Affecting Growth and Performance. ISBN 978-0-906321-25-6.
Oct 1, 2019, 5:41 AM
Citation Linkwww.theguardian.comBailey, David and Soyoung Kim (June 26, 2009).GE's Immelt says U.S. economy needs industrial renewal. UK Guardian. Retrieved on June 28, 2009.
Oct 1, 2019, 5:41 AM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgBrookings Institution, Why Does Manufacturing Matter? Which Manufacturing Matters?, February 2012 Archived 2012-10-08 at the Wayback Machine
Oct 1, 2019, 5:41 AM
Citation Linkwww.usatoday.com"Factory jobs: 3 million lost since 2000". USATODAY.com. April 20, 2007.
Oct 1, 2019, 5:41 AM
Citation Linkdata.worldbank.org"Manufacturing, value added (current US$) | Data". data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
Oct 1, 2019, 5:41 AM
Citation Linkwww.cdc.govNational Occupational Research Agenda Manufacturing Sector Council, USA
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linkwww.manufacturingtechnologyinsights.comTop Manufacturing Technology Magazine
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linkmanufacturing.stanford.eduHow Everyday Things Are Made
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linkarquivo.ptGrant Thornton IBR 2008 Manufacturing industry focus
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linkwww.manufacturingtechnologyinsights.com"Manufacturing Technology Insights by CXO" (A review on Global Manufacturing Technology Industry.)
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linkwww.eef.org.ukEEF, the manufacturers' organisation – industry group representing uk manufacturers
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linkwww.flysquaresolution.comManufacturing Consulting Firms Empowering aspirants to get a professional foothold
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linkwww.industrytoday.comIndustry Today – Industrial and Manufacturing Methodologies
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linkwww.nist.govEnabling the Digital Thread for Smart Manufacturing
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linkwww.cdc.govManufacturing Sector
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM
Citation Linken.wikisource.org"Manufactures"
Oct 1, 2019, 5:42 AM