Industry is the production of goods or related services within an economy. The major source of revenue of a group or company is the indicator of its relevant industry. When a large group has multiple sources of revenue generation, it is considered to be working in different industries. Manufacturing industry became a key sector of production and labour in European and North American countries during the Industrial Revolution, upsetting previous mercantile and feudal economies. This came through many successive rapid advances in technology, such as the production of steel and coal.
Following the Industrial Revolution, possibly a third of the world's economic output are derived that is from manufacturing industries. Many developed countries and many developing/semi-developed countries (China, India etc.) depend significantly on manufacturing industry. Industries, the countries they reside in, and the economies of those countries are interlinked in a complex web of interdependence.
Industry is older than modern humans. Over time, the methods used by industrialists have varied considerably.
Slavery, the practice of utilizing forced labor to produce goods[not in citation given] and services, has occurred since antiquity throughout the world as a means of low-cost production. It typically produces goods for which profit depends on economies of scale, especially those for which labor was simple and easy to supervise. International law has declared slavery illegal.
Guilds, associations of artisans and merchants, oversee the production and distribution of a particular good. Guilds have their roots in the Roman Empire as collegia (singular: collegium) Membership in these early guilds was voluntary. The Roman collegia did not survive the fall of Rome. In the early middle ages, guilds once again began to emerge in Europe, reaching a degree of maturity by the beginning of the 14th century.[need quotation to verify] While few guilds remaining today[update], some modern labor structures resemble those of traditional guilds. Other guilds, such as the SAG-AFTRA act as trade unions rather than as classical guilds. Some[quantify] modern economists[which?] claim that guilds negatively affected quality, skills, and innovation.
The industrial revolution (from the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century) saw the development and popularization of mechanized means of production as a replacement for hand production. The industrial revolution played a role in the abolition of slavery in Europe and in North America.
The Industrial Revolution led to the development of factories for large-scale production with consequent changes in society. Originally the factories were steam-powered, but later transitioned to electricity once an electrical grid was developed. The mechanized assembly line was introduced to assemble parts in a repeatable fashion, with individual workers performing specific steps during the process. This led to significant increases in efficiency, lowering the cost of the end process. Later automation was increasingly used to replace human operators. This process has accelerated with the development of the computer and the robot.