The future of manufacturing is more about science than production; built around specialist research and technical innovation, decentralized across the world, balancing focus and efficiency to manufacture on demand and to order.
Manufacturing has been through a turbulent decade – choked by economic crisis, challenged by global shifts in supply and demand, transformed through automation, redesigned through virtual ecosystems. Whilst the car-making heartland of Detroit lies in ruins, and the industrial heartlands of Europe are green again, manufacturing is on the rise. But in new places and with new models. It remains a driving force of both advanced and developing economies, a pathway from subsistence farming to material wealth.
Whilst the huge industrial complexes surrounding cities like Jakarta and Mumbai, Nairobi and Sao Paulo, signify productive nations, manufacturing has also reinvented itself in small and quiet ways. The factories of Seoul hum with the sound of high tech engineering, whilst 500 3D Hubs scattered across Amsterdam signify a maker city. Gone are the huge factories and workforces, smoking chimneys and hard hats. Manufacturing today is much more about science and technology, design and innovation.
Far from the stereotypes of long production lines, today's ...