"Through the first century of mass production, companies emphasized maximizing throughput by making a relatively small assortment of standard products. Since the late 1980s, however, mass markets have fragmented, and firms increasingly turn out a greater variety of products that respond to specific customer demands in different market segments. This responsiveness to demand has led manufacturing plants to reverse a tradi- tional linear organization oriented to pushing out product and scheduling output on the basis of sales forecasts and, instead, to organize assembly in response to real-time orders—“pull.” This requires sophisticated integration of production planning and scheduling of plant operations and supply chain management.Trechos retirados de "Making in America From innovation to Market" de Suzanne Berger
But even with these changes of the past decades, manufacturing today still closely resembles its mass production ancestors. We now stand on the edge of radical changes in this system, as a set of new technologies emerging in laboratories and research centers across the United States promises to completely transform the traditional linear manufacturing organization. First, our ability to synthesize new materials has now advanced to a point where human design of these materials will become as critical a step as fabrication and assembly.
Second, the boundary between fabrication and assembly has blurred with the introduction of ultraefficient processes, automation, and even continuous manufacturing in batch sizes of “one.” Third, the product is often not just a physical artifact or widget but an integrated solution that involves bundling of physical products with services and software. Finally, there is a trend toward the systematic return of recycled materials to fabrication or even material synthesis."