Up until the turn of the century, manufacturing used to be a highly labor-intensive process, but has developed into a sophisticated set of information-technology-intensive processes; what were once vague trends and systems are now converged, more complex trends. Large scale trends are currently growing globally, and are leading a new set of standards when it comes to advanced manufacturing. Some of the current trends are:
Information Technology: consists of programs like digital control systems, computer-aided design (CAD), and sensing programs; this allows for overall productivity raises in communication, speed, and efficiency; connects links of individual components to larger assembly systems.
Dependence on Modeling and Simulation: gives engineers the capacity to design models from an idea all the way to production; with simulations, designs are optimized well before production starts to test the limits and functionality of longevity before merchandise hits the production line.
Supply-Chain Management: being able to manage all aspects of a product from production to transportation security; this includes reducing time to fulfill orders and services for consumers.
Changeability of Manufacturing Based Upon Customer Needs: configurability, flexibility, transformability, and agility are the foundations of a business, from store-level all the way up to the company as a whole; ongoing changes distinguish one company from another and allow particular pros to be leading factors.
Sustainable Manufacturing: sustainability targets every aspect of a business; changes have to be economically beneficial, financially responsible, and environmentally-safe; this includes energy and water intake, consumption of materials, and reprocessing of conventional processes.
These models are the current leaders towards a new age, and with it comes the overthrowing of old concepts which can no longer apply to the mindsets of how companies function.