When you hear the word manufacturing, the first thing that might come to your mind is the picture of people doing one thing and then passing their products to other teams that are also doing one thing. Your output will be handled by more teams until it became the usable final product which is what your company sells. This impression shows just the tip of the iceberg known as manufacturing. Manufacturing is an essential part of the economy and there’s a lot of reasons why it is important.
Almost everything we own is a product of manufacturing. One great example is the clothes that we wear. A lot of generic clothes, such as tees and jeans, are mass produced in the factories. Fabricated metal products, such as hand tools and other metal products, are created from what they call fab shops. Even some of the food that we eat are packaged in factories. Tech products, even those sold by the luxury brand companies, are assembled and tested in manufacturing companies. These factories are where a lot of our usual stuff comes from.
Manufacturing is one of the busiest parts of the economy, mainly because there’s a lot of demand for supplies being created in factories. When you want new clothes you’ll buy them in shopping malls, but not before the factories make them. You want a new phone or laptop because of your old one finally bites the dust? Chances are you’re just going to order a new one online. But no phone will be delivered to you if no phone is made in the factories. If any part of the manufacturing sects is stopped, there will be a domino effect that will touch a lot of industries. If no phone is produced, no one would need airtime, which will affect the sales of telecommunications and so on.
The thing is, manufacturing jobs have been decreasing in the past three decades. In the 1970s, the part of manufacturing in the country’s GDP was 24.3. Last year, its part in the country’s GDP is just half of what it used to be during the 1970s. This decline is attributed to three things: 1) we’re all leaning to the service-side of things, 2) manufacturing works are done by other countries, and 3) technological advantages.
A lot of things are now service-oriented, which directs people’s focus to service-oriented jobs such as call centers, financial services, fast food service, and even the creation of digital goods. The second reason is that the majority of the biggest corporations in the US are transferring their manufacturing needs to other countries that have enough manpower but will have smaller cost in operations. And last, but not least, is technological advancement. Automation is replacing labor in a lot of jobs because it is cheaper than employing more people to do the repetitive jobs.
Automation is not the only upgrade that the machinery underwent in the last decades. Changes in operation, like the usage of a chromium carbide wear plate, led to more innovations in automation. Using a chromium carbide wear plate is a cost-effective solution to prevent machinery from abrasion, particle erosion, fretting, and high-temperature damages.
With the renewed effort from Trump’s administration, things might get a turn around for manufacturing jobs in the future. Because of his plans to reduce taxes and regulations for many manufacturing regulations, the National Association of Manufacturers is applauding him. In addition, the regulations include the improvement in a lot of areas, such as the upgrade of the quality of infrastructure. NAM or National Association of Manufacturers is also up for improvement in the Science and Technology labor force.
The manufacturing topic is being revived in the US right now as the trade war between the US and China is becoming more heated as time passes. Some businesses, who are dependent on the manufacturing power of China, are now trying to find ways to solve their manufacturing problems. Jobs for manufacturing might increase in the next few years, but as long as the price for oil and other petroleum products (which affects the costs of manufacturing) stays high, the high cost of manufacturing in the US will remain as one of the biggest problems of the manufacturing industry in the future.