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Where there's manufacturing, there's a way

Where there's manufacturing, there's a way

How important is manufacturing to a country's ongoing success? There's a theory that the demise of a country's manufacturing dooms the state and the population, both intellectually and creatively.


Have you ever wondered what books millionaires read? The technology experts at European Automation freely admit to dreaming of being millionaires one day, and have done a bit of research on what volumes to purchase for when the time comes. Bill Gates, for example, has expressed an obvious preference for the works of Vaclav Smil, a relatively unknown professor emeritus of environment and geography at the University of Manitoba. So what does this author know that makes the chairman of Microsoft look forward to his books?

For one thing, Smil is incredibly productive. He's written over 30 data-heavy books, which focus on some of the world's biggest challenges, including the future of energy, food production and manufacturing. Manufacturing, you say? We know a thing or two about that.

European Automation deals with an impressive number of UK manufacturers from across most industry sectors. This means that if manufacturing is doing well, European Automation's business also has more opportunities to grow. And this is part of the reason the company is particularly interested in what Smil has to say on the topic. The man is a strong supporter of mass manufacturing and he often argues that the demise of a country's manufacturing dooms the state and population, not just intellectually, but also creatively. According to Smil, this is because innovation is linked to the process of making things. In his opinion, innovation usually comes not from research institutes, but from companies that want to improve product quality, lower costs and offer new solutions to their customers.

European Automation mostly agrees with this view. National laboratories and research centres play an essential role in innovation, yet industry also constantly offers cutting-edge technology - even if sometimes it's more creative than practical, as in the case of the smart wig. But despite sometimes getting side-tracked, the private sector and manufacturers in particular have always made efforts to offer cutting-edge solutions and products. Take, for example, the beloved LCD screens that are such a huge part of our lives. The majority of progress in this sector comes from industrial players in Korea - you know very well who they are. Similarly, Intel and IBM were the first to integrate circuit technology and have constantly been developing the capacities of personal computers. And don't forget Canon, who invented the inkjet printer, a constant cause of annoyance in offices around the world.

Manufacturing is often perceived to be the least glamorous of sectors of an economy, and its importance is often disregarded by governments and the general public in favour of more seductive sectors, like IT or energy. Despite all this, manufacturing is still a very productive and innovative branch of most country's economy. So we should all be particularly happy when we read news about manufacturing being on the rise.
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