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Manufacturing facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Geely assembly line in Beilun, Ningbo
Car manufacturing in China.

Manufacturing is the production of merchandise for use or sale using labour and machines, tools, chemical and biological processing, or formulation. 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 sold to other manufacturers for the production of other, more complex products, such as aircraft, household appliances, furniture, sports equipment or automobiles, or sold to wholesalers, who in turn sell them to retailers, who then sell them to end users and consumers.

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, Mitsubishi, LG, Samsung and Tata Motors.

History and development

Regenerative thermal oxidizer manufacturing
Finished regenerative thermal oxidizer at manufacturing plant
Boeing 787 Section 41 final assembly
Assembly of Section 41 of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Worker 9
An industrial worker amidst heavy steel semi-products (KINEX BEARINGS, Bytča, Slovakia, c. 1995–2000)
  • 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.
  • Toll manufacturing is an arrangement whereby a first firm with specialized equipment processes raw materials or semi-finished goods for a second firm.

Manufacturing systems: changes in methods of manufacturing

  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Agile manufacturing
  • American system of manufacturing
  • British factory system of manufacturing
  • Craft or guild system
  • Fabrication
  • Flexible manufacturing
  • Just-in-time manufacturing
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Mass customization (2000s) – 3D printing, design-your-own web sites for sneakers, fast fashion
  • Mass production
  • Ownership
  • Packaging and labeling
  • Prefabrication
  • Putting-out system
  • Rapid manufacturing
  • Reconfigurable manufacturing system
  • Soviet collectivism in manufacturing
  • History of numerical control

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Manufacturing Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.