Engineering has gone from a very highly specialized, regional profession where everything from chips to the soldering guns themselves were made in one country and used together to assemble circuitry to be exported to another.
Times Are Changing For Manufacturers
Long gone are the days when products are made almost entirely in one single factory by one or two set of hands. Factories are closing in the west and heading east. Human labor is being replaced by internet-enabled automation.
A massive change in how products and goods are engineered is under way, and it's going to rock the manufacturing industry to the core.
Increasing Pace of Globalized Engineering
In the 21st century however every single tiny component that goes into anything electrically engineered is sourced from overseas, from placed like China and Korea to more and more cheaper manufacturing locations like Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos.
The electronics industry is just one example of the hard reality is that the globalization of not just the tools engineers use on a daily basis but now more than ever the actual labor itself.
As more countries like China graduate more and more engineering degree holding professionals their economy continues to grow by leaps and bounds. As a result, shipping from China to the U.K is at an all time high.
Given current trends it would seem that trade between the west and China is only continue to grow. According the British Office of National Statistics trade hit record levels recently and are projected to continue to break new levels in the future as well.
Engineering a Connected Web
When we think of globalization and the spread of engineering we often think of education and the internet in particular in its ability to connect engineering minds from around the world and unite them in common goals.
Where manufacturing and information is shared today, it can only logically be assumed that in another five to ten years time the actual construction of products will be so decentralized to the point where stating a "country of origin" will be nearly impossible.
Imagine a team of engineers spread over India and China who create schematics for a product, sent to a industrial engineer in South Korea for refinement before being sent digitally to a digital 3D printer conglomerate in Mexico with financing coming from New York City. Where would the country of origin for a product made over fiver different countries be?
These questions and more will have to be answered as engineering continues to push boundaries that stretch beyond the geographical and also include economic and political intermixing.
Here at Diazonengg are not in the position to critique this evolution as either positive or negative, we consider ourselves simply humble observers of this industrial progression.
Once thing is for certain, the future for engineers and manufacturing in particular is a bright one, albeit very different from the landscape many of our forefathers were familiar with.
If you work for a multinational company, in a contract or freelance capacity, or have had you industry disrupted by automation and outsourcing of the engineering and production side of your business we would love to hear from you.
Next month we would like to do a special where we interview a couple engineers to get their take on the rapid internationalization of design and how where they see things going in their corner of the world.
As always, thank you for following, stay tuned for updates and subscribe to our newsletter if you have not already for all things international and engineering!