5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Manufacturing

5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About ManufacturingA lot of what we’re doing here at Manufacturing Nebraska involves making people better informed about what’s going on in the manufacturing world these days. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and many folks still believe that old images they associate with manufacturing still hold true.

Luckily, those old images of manufacturing that many people have in their heads just aren’t true anymore. So without further ado, here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about manufacturing:

  1. Gone are the days of dirty factories and heavy lifting. Most factories these days aren’t full of dirty machinery and heavy lifting. Sure, there’s still some hard work to be done, but many factories today favor efficiency and technology over brute strength. Jobs in manufacturing require much more skill than they used to, and technical skills are usually required for new positions opening up in the industry.
  2. Outsourcing isn’t as popular as it used to be. Organizations like the Reshoring Initiative are great examples of the growing realization that outsourcing isn’t as inexpensive or practical as it used to be. Companies like Motorola, Apple, and Lenovo are all starting to bring their products back to the U.S. Add that to companies already producing things here in America, and you can start to see that it doesn’t make as much sense as it used to–even just five years ago–to send manufacturing abroad.
  3. If the U.S. manufacturing sector were an economy, it would be the tenth-largest in the world. In 2011, U.S. manufacturers generated $1.84 trillion worth of value-added. That means that American manufacturing is behind only nine countries in the world as measured by GDP.
  4. American manufacturers perform two-thirds of all R&D in the nation. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, American manufacturers perform two-thirds of all the R&D in the nation, driving more innovation than any other industry. This means great new technology coming to the industry, and innovation all over, from automobile manufacturing to food processing.
  5. Scientists and manufacturers are working on printable organsNow this is just plain cool. We mentioned cool new manufacturing technology in point 4, and here’s a great example: scientists and manufacturers are working on a specific type of 3D printer called a bioprinter that could eventually print organs. The technology is a long ways from being totally viable, but it’s certainly on its way.

Facts like these show very clearly that there’s a lot more to manufacturing than many people think. What’s more, you may also be surprised at how many different types of products are made right here in the United States.

Getting educated in STEM is a great way to prepare yourself (or your kids) for a future in this great industry. And there are a lot more great facts out there about the world of manufacturing, so don’t be afraid to look around!

Do you have any questions about manufacturing that you’d like to see answered? Let us know right here in the comments or on Twitter!

photo credit: Wonderlane via photopin cc