What is High-Tech Manufacturing?

The manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy is comprised of 18 industries. Each industry is
responsible for manufacturing the goods used in households and businesses daily. One industry
that has attracted recent scrutiny is the high-tech manufacturing industry. Despite the news of new
developments and rivals amongst manufacturers in this industry, many people still remain unsure of
what high-tech manufacturing actually is. Fortunately, the explanation is quite simply once you look at
the products, processes and other aspects of the industry.

Products Manufactured
High-tech manufacturing focuses on technology. It includes the manufacturing of personal and
commercial computer products. The companies that work in the sector also manufactures the elements
that make the computers run, including fiber optics cables, electron tubes, circuit boards, capacitors
and more. Part of the industry is geared toward creating the equipment used to manufacture the high-
tech goods as well. The machinery used to fabricate and build the computers, circuit boards, etc. are
manufactured by high-tech manufacturers in the same industry.

Processes Used

Companies in the high-tech manufacturing industry use much of the same processes that other do.
They rely on the forming, casting, molding and machining that other industries use to make products.
Extensive laser engineering is utilized, along with manual work on some of the more delicate details.
Part of the high-tech manufacturing industry creates the circuits, chips and tools to be used in other
goods manufactured in other sectors. Such goods forgo the extensive assembly processes.

Special Considerations

A great deal of the parts used in high-tech manufacturing is imported from companies in other
countries who can create the parts needed at a much lower price. For these reasons, some of the
companies that manufacture personal electronics, for example, have assembly as their primary process,
using the imported parts. There are still some parts of the industry that uses raw materials to make parts
here in the U.S. That is where the casting processes are utilized.

High-tech manufacturing is charged with creating the technology that the world has come to depend
on. It is rapidly growing and changing, as innovation and new technology drives this industry more
than others in the manufacturing sector. It is also the industry that is probably most dependent on global
relationships in order to keep the cost of goods low enough for customers to manage. Understanding
this industry is important for the consumers of the high-tech goods and and their parts.

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