Financial Times journalist Peter Marsh has created an intriguing map of how manufacturing developed over time, where it is today and how a new industrial revolution will transform it in the future. Marsh uses various examples to illustrate his observations. He has created a richly textured book, though the weight of data is at times overwhelming. getAbstract recommends it to anyone interested in the future of commerce.
“The Growth Machine”
Manufacturing’s growth galvanized the global economy in the last 200 years. Manufacturing has undergone four industrial revolutions, or periods of accelerated change, and is nearing the fifth:
- The Industrial Revolution began in the 1780s, as manufacturers, mostly in developed countries, established factory processes using standardized designs.
- The transport revolution, which blossomed in the mid-1800s with railways, canals and steel ships, led to expansions in manufacturing, mining, services and agriculture.
- The scientific revolution started approximately around the year 1869 with the advent of electricity. Industrialists used technological advances to produce aluminum, reduce steel prices and develop a range of chemical processes.
- The computer revolution began in 1950, enabling businesses to manage more effectively. The personal computer cut data processing costs and spurred manufacturers to use computerized machinery extensively.
- A new industrial revolution is now unfolding, the result of an interplay among changes in technology, the emergence of new manufacturing nations, the operation of industrial clusters...