8

Tools and ladders

8.1 Introduction

Manufacturing in Western countries has changed dramatically in the last two decades, as product designers have switched to developing nations, especially in the Far East such as China, Malaysia, Tawain and South Korea. Labour costs are much lower there, and so it is possible to manufacture components and even complete products at much lower cost than in the West. Much of the process equipment is new, so exploits the latest advances in technology, such as computer control of operation and so on. However, experience with some polymers seemed to be poor as new products emerged, and there were a number of failures on imported goods, such as cheap knives and electric plugs. If the handle on a knife fails, there ...

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