Industry - Term Overview

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Industry is the set of human activities capable of transforming raw material into manufactured or semi-finished products, through the performance of work using tools or machinery, human resources, and energy consumption.

The industry forms a fundamental link for contemporary society, as well as one of the main environmental and ecological risk factors. Its sustained impact since the times of the Industrial Revolution begins to be undeniable at the beginning of the 21st century.

Industries are considered, practically, all production tasks from raw material, even those associated with handicrafts. However, in the modern idea of ‚Äč‚Äčindustry automation and mass production (the so-called Fordism) are usually fundamental elements.

The ability to produce more and faster is the guiding spirit of contemporary industry, which goes hand in hand with technology and engineering, even when it means replacing human workers with machines.

Industries in society usually occupy the Secondary Sector, which receives the raw material and transforms it into marketable products. However, they can also belong to the Primary Sector, as is the case of the extractive industries.

Industry history

Industry, in some way, has always been present in the desire of human beings to adapt the world to their needs, to be able to live longer, better and with less effort. However, between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Industrial Revolution took place, that is, the highest level in history in human capacities to transform raw material.

This explosion of industry had begun to build after the fall of medieval feudalism, when the population migrated from rural areas to the cities, to integrate a new workforce that was beginning to become necessary: the working class. Also with the Industrial Revolution capitalism developed as a mode of production.

During the 19th century and the middle of the 20th, the industrial exploitation of the labor force was the greatest contribution to the GDP of European nations, also allowing the emergence of specialization and new technologies, hand in hand with new advances. scientists of the century.

The new industrial society divided the countries of the world into industrialized or developed, those that made the leap towards productive and independent economies, and underdeveloped or non-industrialized countries, which are those dependent on foreign economies and dedicated to the sale of raw materials.

Industry types

There are different types of industry, depending on the specific sector to which its production is dedicated. Some of the best known types are:

  • Heavy industries: Using large amounts of raw materials and energy, they are generally dedicated to the steel industry and other activities that generate semi-processed materials, inputs in turn for basic industries.
  • Steel or metallurgical industries: They are dedicated to the transformation and alloy of metals, to achieve useful shapes for other industries or for the direct consumer.
  • Chemical industries: Dedicated to obtaining chemical elements and compounds, to be used by other industries or directly by consumers.
  • Petrochemical industry: As its name indicates, it's dedicated to the chemical transformation of oil, that is, to its refinement to obtain various derivatives, such as gasoline, kerosene or plastic.
  • Automovile industry: Dedicated to the construction of automobiles.
  • Food industry: The one whose main market is that of food of diverse nature, be it food, drink or ingredients for the kitchen.
  • Textile industry: Dedicated to the production of fabrics and fabrics for the manufacture of clothes and other products.
  • Pharmaceutical industry: It's dedicated to the combination of compounds organic and inorganic for various types of medicines and health supplies.
  • Arms industry: That which is dedicated to the production of military or police weapons.
  • Computer industry: Dedicated to the production of computer parts, whole computers, accessories, peripherals, etc.
  • Mechanical industry: Those whose products are machines, spare parts for machines or tools for repair.
  • Fur industry: It's dedicated to the work of animal skins to produce footwear, clothing and other products of animal origin.
  • Energetic industry: Its main and only task is to obtain energy to feed the population and other industries, through mechanical, atomic or chemical processes.

Industry importance

The industry introduced great changes in the model of human life, to the point that our vital paradigms changed forever. The consumer society we live in today is mainly held in the exploitation of natural resources of the Earth.

In addition, our planet is transformed by the industrial sector, or to obtain energy, in an effort to satisfy an ever-increasing and more constant energy demand. The fate of the industry, seen in this way, is intimately linked to the ecological fate of the planet and the fate of our own species.

Industry examples

Some simple industry examples are:

  • Telephone industry: Dedicated to the commercialization of telephone terminals and supplies necessary for their operation, not to the commercialization of the telephone service. Samsung, Nokia, are examples of companies in this area.
  • Automotive industry: Dedicated to the production of automobiles and in some cases motorcycles and similar vehicles with internal combustion engines. Honda, Ford, Mercedes Benz, are examples of companies in the field.
  • Oil industry: Dedicated to the extraction of oil and its commercialization, hand in hand or not with the petrochemical industry to refine it. PDVSA, British Petrol, Shell, Texaco, are examples of companies in the field.

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