The Leader Magazine

MAR 2017

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24 MARCH 2017 F E A T U R E A R T I C L E Beyond site, what's driving location decisions for manufacturing today? by Jay Biggins and Michelle Comerford M anufacturing operations have always required more from a location than simply an available piece of land. Today, due to advances in technology and information-sharing, manufacturing is not "your grandfather's" factory. In 2011, at Hanover Messe, the world's largest industrial show held annually in Germany, the fourth industrial revolution was introduced as "Industry 4.0" and referenced "production technologies and smart production processes" as paving the way "to a new technological age which will radically transform industry and production value chains and business models." Simply put, technology is impacting not only the way products are made inside a plant, but also the entire manufacturing ecosystem. A plant's location is a key link in the value chain of production. Thus, the term "advanced manufacturing" aptly describes modern-day manufacturing, which incorporates all these concepts.

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