Traditional manufacturing has been at the heart of leading nation’s since the Industrial Revolution took hold in the 1820s and beyond. Yet, in recent years many manufacturers have had to close their doors due to a shrinking in the industry.
A fact which has to lead many to ask one very important question: is the manufacturing industry dying a slow death?
If there is one dictator in the modern day then it is digital. The internet has taken over almost everything and fundamentally changed the way that we live our lives. So, it almost goes without saying that this new medium has also had an impact on manufacturing as an industry. Why?
Ideas are the driving force behind the internet. An idea can move from one person to a million more in the blink of an eye. Which can be said for most digital goods as well. Ebooks, music, television and most entertainment elements only need an internet connection in order to access. This instant-access mentality has meant that manufacturing has taken a hit by default.
In a ‘modernisation’ of the economy, the manufacturing industry has shrunk in size, to be replaced with more office workers than ever before in tech, marketing, creative, and even fashion related roles (some of the biggest growing industries alongside the decline of manufacturing). This deindustrialization has had a major impact on local economies as a result.
Okay, so how does better technology spell doom for an industry you may ask? Better technology means better components - from a full forklift battery to individual battery cells - which means that the work is able to be completed much faster. This is all great for the bottom line of manufacturing, but what about the workers?
Faster, smarter and more capable technology has meant a loss of jobs across the board when it comes to manufacturing. It happened in one dramatic swoop after the invention of Ford’s assembly line and in smaller instances ever since. The better we become at manufacturing, the fewer humans are needed to make it happen and so many jobs are being sacrificed as a result.
The more technologically advanced we become, the less we will need an actual human presence on the manufacturing floor. At the end of the day, this could be seen as both a good and a bad thing. It means more room for people to pursue different careers, speeds up the entire manufacturing process and ultimately makes waves for the future.