Manufacturing The term manufacturing originates from the Latin word manufactus, which means made by hand. Manufacturing has seen several advances during the past three centuries: mechanization, automation and, most recently, computerization. Processes that used to be predominantly done by hand and hand tools have evolved into sophisticated processes making use of cutting-edge technology and machinery. A steady improvement in quality has resulted, with today’s specifications even on simple toys exceeding those achievable just a few years ago. Mass production, a concept developed by Henry Ford, has advanced so much that it is now a complex, highly agile, and highly automated manufacturing enterprise.