Industrial output on a global scale has exponentially increased over the last century, and is 57 times greater in 2010 than it was in 1900. Therefore, one can conclude that manufacturing has grown faster than the overall economy. The success of factories and the business of mass production is due to the fact that factories were constantly adapting in ways that salons failed to. As a result, the world was on the cusp of an industrial revolution run by new technologies and advances in electronics, biotechnology and internet. As the prices of goods decreased, the number and variety of goods increased. There are approximately 10 billion different factory produced products, indicating that the number of different mass produced items outnumber the world’s total population.
There is an emerging trend of “mass customization” which is a result of computer aided design and 3-dimensional printing. This new wave of manufacturing permits firms to produce items tailored to each clients individual need, an ironic return to the pre-industrial revolution personalization. The introduction of these new technologies into the industry allows the customer to purchase an item that precisely fits their demands, without paying significantly more than the price of a typically mass produced item.
Manufacturing has gone global, meaning that firms now have the ability to join the global supply chain, regardless of their size. A product may now be designed in one country and produced in another, while the components used in assembly may come from various other parts of the world. This allows producers to source the best suppliers from around the world. Despite the globalization of manufacturing and the intercontinental scale of the supply chain, firms which produce similar products are typically clustered in a fairly concentrated geographical area. This proximity can be accredited to the rapid interchangeability of know-how within the small areas.
PRO/con Elemental Chile
PRO/con Elemental Chile
The idea of mass customization can be clearly connected to Wes Jones’ ideals associated with shipping container construction, and the concept of ‘souping up’. By using these mass-produced, standardized shipping containers, he is able to build efficient, durable, and low-cost building which can then be personalized and customized based on the clients needs.
Marsh, Peter . "Manufacturing: The latest chapter ." The Economist . http://www.economist.com/node/21562886 (accessed December 4, 2012).