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U.S. manufacturing is rapidly changing, and the apparel industry is no exception. Technological innovations and an evolving marketplace are key factors that contribute to the industries largest shifts. However, the most significant factor that changed the face of manufacturing is foreign outsourcing. This change drastically reduced the number of goods bearing the “Made-in-the-USA” label.
 
In this article, we examine the current state of the American apparel industry, as well as its roots and predictions for the future of manufacturing.
Technological advancements and automation are drastically transforming the way in which goods are produced. Once dramatized in science fiction novels and films, the concept of machines performing functions and tasks once assigned to humans is now a reality in factories and companies throughout the country. 

In the US, Automotive businesses specializing in interior repair or design of aftermarket products are on the rise. The industry employs about 337,629 people, rakes in roughly $42 billion annually, and grew more than 2.0 percent per year between 2012 and 2017.

Yet, even with this increased demand, the economics of building and sustaining these businesses can be extremely challenging. Transitioning to digital solutions has proven to be an easy-to-implement and cost-effective way to address this challenge.

In a world where next-day shipping is a consumer expectation, it’s safe to say that consumers aren’t interested in waiting for weeks or months for products. This new consumer climate is challenging brands, retailers and manufacturers to find innovative ways to produce their products.

The use of composite materials has become common, if not required in aircraft design.   When Boeing rolled out its new 787 Dreamliner in 2012, it boasted that the aircraft was 50 percent composite material. New aircraft rolling off the line today almost all incorporate some type of composite material into their designs.

The strength to weight advantages as well as the opportunity to consolidate components, to precisely control part loading and to innovate shapes to address capacity, and other performance concerns are primary incentives for their use.

Conversely, cost of materials and manufacturing methods post the key drawback to employing these composites more broadly.  Digital patterning and production automation technologies provide a simple way for aircraft manufacturers to address these challenges.

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