As with any country, manufacturing is one of the primary economic indicators in Slovenia. In the last 50 years, the industry has gone through a series of changes, adapting new technology and procedures. The adoption of technology has changed the playing field for many countries. Manufacturers that adopt early, rise to become big corporations. Unfortunately, falling a few years behind in technology is like falling a few decades behind. Catching back up can be quite difficult.
Right now, manufacturing accounts for about 30% of Slovenia gross domestic product. 3,000 Slovenian manufacturers create a revenue of 7 billion Euros annually with exports to France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the UK, and the US.
Despite having a strong foothold in European manufacturing, Slovenia is working to catch up regarding technology within the sector.
Slovenia is known for its’ workers unparalleled craftsmanship. Particularly in the textiles industry, human hands are still both necessary and valued for creating designer fashion wear and high-quality lingerie. The status of artisan work is for the better in a country with low unemployment rates and a good income per capita. Luckily, there is still a significant demand for traditional artistry, however, the hand-made production sector is fighting to keep up with the outside influences of robotics and automated machines
In the last few years, Slovenian manufacturing has recognized the need to adapt more modern production processes. They began to modify their traditional methods to keep up with other countries and are moving toward more streamlined processes, innovative materials, and automation. The Slovenian Government, with the help of other enterprises, has encouraged the innovation of manufacturing by creating educational institutions. These institutes work to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Slovenian manufacturing through research.
The primary focus for renovating manufacturing is to increase production while reducing costs, maintenance, and risks. In some cases, these numbers represent up to 30% higher margins. Slovenia is making these changes in favor of a new term in manufacturing, “Manufacturing 4.0,” which refers to a series of upgrades in an attempt to modernize the sector. 4.0 implies adapting and implementing mass production, mass marketing, and automation methods. The inclusion of computers in the manufacturing of products results in more accuracy than the use of human hands only. This is ideal for increasing profits but may mean rising unemployment rates since the only human jobs necessary are supervision, revision, and equipment repair.
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