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This is a specific reference to the process of Manufacturing. For the wider business elements of Manufacturing see the definitions in the manufacturing overview.

Manufacturing is the transformation, by means of a tool and/or processing medium, of raw materials into finished goods for sale, or intermediate processes involving the production or finishing of semi-manufactures. It is a large branch of industry and of secondary production. Some industries, like semiconductor and steel manufacturers use the term fabrication.

Although handicraft production has been with us for many millennia, modern-style manufacturing is generally regarded as beginning around 1780 with the British Industrial Revolution, spreading thereafter to Continental Europe and North America, and subsequently around the world. Originally, the term applied to commodities or artifacts which were "made by hand".

While it remains a huge part of the modern world economy—perhaps a quarter of aggregate world production of goods and services—many of the world's wealthier nations devote an ever smaller proportion of their workforce to manufacturing activity owing to relocation of enterprises to lower-wage countries and the rising proportion of economic activity devoted to service activity.


Manufacturing topics

Taxonomy of manufacturing processes

Taxonomy of manufacturing processes (separate page)

Manufacturing systems



Manufacturing engineering

Assembly systems



Lists of related topics

External links

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