Manufacturing is the transformation of raw materials into finished goods for sale, or intermediate processes involving the production or finishing of semi-manufactures. It is a large branch of industry and of secondary production . Some industries, like semiconductor and steel manufactureres use the term fabrication.
Although handicraft production has been with us for many millennia, modern-style manufacturing is generally regarded as beginning around 1780 with the British Industrial Revolution, spreading thereafter to Continental Europe and North America, and subsequently around the world.
While it remains a huge part of the modern world economy—perhaps a quarter of aggregate world production of goods and services—many of the world's wealthier nations devote an ever smaller proportion of their workforce to manufacturing activity owing to relocation of enterprises to lower-wage countries and the rising proportion of economic activity devoted to service activity.
Taxonomy of manufacturing processes
Taxonomy of manufacturing processes (separate page)
Lists of related topics