Many people, including President Obama—who committed to building numerous high-tech manufacturing hubs in the United States as part of his plan for the future of American manufacturing—believe that the U.S. is either headed for, or in the midst of, a “manufacturing renaissance.”

There’s a lot of data to back this up. For the past 50 years, manufacturing in the U.S. has grown at least as fast as the economy as a whole, and often faster. Manufacturing supports over 17 million jobs in the United States, and contributes more than $2 trillion to the national economy. If it were its own country, American manufacturing would still be the 8th largest economy in the world.

While manufacturing remained strong as an economic factor in the United States, there was a time when many manufacturing jobs were lost to overseas factories. New movements like the President’s proposed tech hubs aim to change that, and it looks like they may already be working, as a recent survey of companies found that America was the #1 choice for low cost manufacturing, beating out the usual suspects like China and Mexico.

One of the biggest reasons that supporters cite for America’s “manufacturing renaissance” are new advances in manufacturing technology, many of them localized right here in the USA. One of the big fields of change is robotics technology. Robotics technology has played a key role in manufacturing for years, but with Google’s recent move into robotic manufacturing technology—acquiring 8 robotics companies and partnering with electronics giant Foxconn to produce robotics operating systems—many believe that a major shift in robotics technology is at hand.

Robotics isn’t the only key point where technological advances are impacting manufacturing processes, though. Everything from information technology to nanotech and biotechnology have had an impact on manufacturing. One major technological field that’s poised to dramatically change manufacturing is 3D printing. As part of the President’s manufacturing initiatives, the Obama administration has already aided in the construction of a lab and training center focused on 3D printing in Ohio, and experts believe that the adoption of 3D printing technology into manufacturing applications is only just beginning, and poised to have a major impact on the manufacturing landscape.

As more and more manufacturers come to rely heavily on advanced technology, it will require the availability of skilled workers to operate the machinery, and the presence of an infrastructure designed to support said technology. Many companies—including General Electric—have already moved operations to Silicon Valley in order to take advantage of the proximity of information technology centers.

With so many changes happening across the manufacturing landscape, it can be hard for companies to stay on the cutting edge. That’s where Mutschler Edge Technologies (MET) comes in. As the makers of high-quality edge preparation machinery, we understand the importance of staying sharp. That’s why our edge preparation solutions are custom-tailored to the needs of our clients, so that your tools will always be on the cutting edge.