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Manufacturing is the production of goods via the use of manpower, equipment, tools, and chemical or biological processing and formulation, among other techniques. In the economic world, it is referred to as the "secondary sector." A wide variety of human activities, from handcraft to high-tech, may be classified as industrial design. However, the word is most often associated with the process of turning raw materials from the primary sector into completed products on a big scale. Such goods may be sold to other manufacturers for use in the production of other, more complex products (such as aircraft, household appliances, furniture, sports equipment, or automobiles), or they may be distributed to end users and consumers through the tertiary sector of the manufacturing industry (usually through wholesalers, who in turn sell to retailers, who then sell them to individual customers).

Manufacturing engineering, often known as the manufacturing process, refers to the processes that raw materials go through in order to be converted into a finished product. The manufacturing process starts with the creation of the product design and the specification of the materials from which the product will be produced. These materials are subsequently transformed into the necessary component via the use of manufacturing techniques.

Modern manufacturing encompasses all of the intermediate processes that are needed in the manufacture and integration of a product's component parts and assemblies. Some sectors, such as semiconductor and steel makers, prefer to refer to the process as fabrication rather than fabrication.