Originally posted on Hack Alley.
Manufacturing has long been a big part of the American economy and way of life. When you think of our history as a country, images of industry abound. Cotton and textiles production was very important early on in our history. Mining influenced the nation’s westward expansion. Steel production shaped the United States’ economy leading up to and after the turn of the century. Henry Ford revolutionized industry with the introduction of the assembly line, forever changing the way manufacturing processes would be developed. Yes, it’s hard to imagine our country being what it is today without the huge part industry has played in our development.
With industry and manufacturing playing such a big part in the United States’ past, it is interesting to consider the future of manufacturing in our country. Companies like Cambelt are continually offering products to support new methods of manufacturing and materials handling, so industrial innovation is definitely still a big part of the American way—just checkout www.cambelt.com. Political people are promoting a vision of the United States taking the lead as the world’s number-one manufacturer, but what are the current trends?
Over the last decade, United States jobs in manufacturing have dropped by a third. While this may seem like a scary indication that the United States isn’t manufacturing as much, you have to take into account the fact that technology and automated processes have substantially reduced a lot of the need for human interaction in manufacturing processes. What people are no longer doing, machines now are. While America is still doing alright with all our traditional manufacturing and is still in the top three for overall manufacturing, Asia is by far dominating the technology product manufacturing market.
While manufacturing trends are shifting, there is no indication that the United States will not continue to be a major player in worldwide manufacturing.