We take things for granted in 2018, and by things, we mean things. Not long ago, products were made very differently and it’s astounding just how far manufacturing has come in such a short period of time.

The US Expansion of Industrial Revolution Begins (1820)

The rise of factories begun in 1820, which enabled the mass production of products. With the help of steam-powered machines, people were able to make exponentially more products in a fraction of the time, creating jobs and giving rise to a new age in production for future generations.

The First Industrial Research Laboratory Opens (1876)

Located in Menlo Park, New Jersey, was Thomas Edison’s first research laboratory (for industrial purposes). It was also the place where Edison invented the photograph (fun fact).

Some of the findings from Menlo Park were used for some of the United States’ latest manufacturing customs.

Ford Installed The First Moving Assembly Line (1913)

As most of us know, the assembly line was a real game changer for corporate and/or automobile production. The assembly line provided quality jobs to thousands and provided a time and resource-effective method for building cars. Cities like Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo were thriving during the peak of this era.

This helped to decrease the price of production, therefore reducing the price of automobiles making them more accessible to more people across the country. Ford’s invention was a major lift for the United States’ economy (leading to the roaring twenties), giving rise to more roads and infrastructure and changing the lives of millions every day.

The Industrial Assessment Centers Change Small/Medium Manufacturers Forever (1976)

During the mid-1900s, effective manufacturing was left only to large companies with huge bank accounts. The Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) was started by the Department of Commerce, only to be moved to the Department of Energy of a few years later.

This was significant for the manufacturing community because it helped boost energy and productivity to help their bottom line. They offered college students industry experience in exchange for help, making it mutually beneficial for both parties involved.

The Ethernet Cable is Standardized (1983)

The ethernet might be the most underrated advancements to the manufacturing industry. This gave rise to basic internet use and more convenient telephonic communication for years to come. This was a major push forward for all companies, but manufacturing companies saw so many benefits, their industry changed forever.

Wireless M2M Technology Becomes Standard (1997)

Wireless Machine-to-Machine (M2M) allowed phones and computers to intercommunicate. Machine learning (which is vital for automated technology today) was the single most effective advancement for long-term time and productivity.

Robots Become More Common for Manufactures (2000)

M2M technology then gave rise to the start of automation and productivity skyrocketed. From the assembly line to the robot assembly line. This isn’t to be confused with the first factory robot, which was in the 1950s – this was when robots were regularly introduced for the day-to-day.

Amazon Web Services Introduces Cloud Technology to Factories (2002)

Amazon launched the next level of enhanced machine learning in 2002. Amazon Web Services utilized the cloud for enhanced machine learning, which compiles huge amounts of data to predict trends and avoid future mistakes. What sets them apart from competitors is the capacity. Giving subscribers the ability to utilize large-scale computing to build and manufacture faster in a cost-efficient fashion.

As significant as the cloud computing technology is for manufacturing, is also created a major threat. This threat is cybersecurity. This serves as a two-sided monster because as helpful as the gained data is for overall production and profits, the threat of losing the information can be detrimental for a business, whether public or private.

Sensors Drop in Price and Increase Accessibility for Manufacturers (2010)

What gives manufacturing businesses a leg up from machines with cloud computing? Increased accessibility to sensors due to decreased prices. Sensors mean access to precise cutting for everyone form automobiles to thread gauges.