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A manufacturing process involves steps which transform raw materials into a final product. The process begins with the making of the materials out of which the design is made. Through manufacturing process, these materials are modified to become the required part. Manufacturing processes are inclusive of treating (i.e. heat treating or coating), reshaping the material or machining. Tests and checks done for quality assurance during or after the manufacturing and the planning of the production process prior to manufacturing are part of the manufacturing process too.

Though the term ‘manufacturing’ refers to a variety of human activity, from handicraft to hi-tech, it usually implies to industrial production, in which finished good are produced on a large scale as a result of the transformation. Such finished goods are sold to other manufacturers for the making of more compound products, such as furniture, sports equipment or automobiles, household appliances, furniture, aircraft or the products are sold to wholesalers, then the wholesalers sell these to the retailers, finally, it is sold to the end users and consumers.

Modern manufacturing is inclusive of all intermediate processes which are necessary for the production and integration of a product’s components. Industries such as the semiconductor and steel manufacturers employ the term fabrication in lieu of manufacturing.

There is a close link between the manufacturing sector, engineering, and the industrial design. Good examples of big manufacturers in Europe are Volkswagen Group, Siemens, and Michelin. Major manufacturers in North America include Procter& Gamble, Boeing, Pfizer, General Motors Corporation, General Dynamics and Precision Castparts. In Asia, Toyota and Samsung are the big manufacturers.

Manufacturing Engineering

It is a discipline of engineering that deals with various manufacturing sciences and practices which includes research, design and development of machines, tools, equipment and processes. The prime focus of the manufacturing engineer is to transfigure raw materials into a new or updated product in the most efficient, economic and effective way possible.

Modern manufacturing engineering uses automation in the various processes of manufacturing such as welding and machining. Utilizing automated manufacturing goods are produced in a factory. Application of automation in the manufacturing process brings with it many advantages in the industry and they are simplifications of production, higher consistency, and quality, reduction of lead times and improved workflow and worker morale.

Robotics is the creation of robots with the application of Mechatronics and automation. These robots are used in manufacturing to perform dangerous, unpleasant or repetitive tasks. Made in different sizes, these robots are preprogrammed and interact with the world physically.  In order to determine the robot’s range of motion Kinematics is used and Mechatronics is used to determine the stresses within the robot. There is an extensive use of robots in manufacturing engineering.

The advantages of the use of robots in businesses include saving money on labor, the performance of activities found to be too precise or dangerous by humans and the assurance of better quality. Most factories can now run by themselves as it is all robotized and companies employ assembly lines of robots.   

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