The Industrial Era never ended. People simply stopped talking about it. Advanced Manufacturing is a major industry focus of the future … for all first-world and on their way to first-world nations. Part of a nation’s prosperity resides in building physical stuff, selling the physical stuff to other nations, and bringing revenue back to the nation. That means each nation will have a niche, a particular spin on a product category. Every major nation could make Televisions, but each one is going to put their particular spin on it and that will appeal to a given audience. Advanced manufacturing is how that situation goes from companies making adequate products to making really good products.
A leading company in this direction is Apple. They have pledged $1 Billion to Toward Creating Manufacturing Jobs In US. The electronics they make will only get better. The approach they take to ramping up quality, will only get better. Advanced manufacturing is a significant step in making that happen. The CEO of Apple as a good vision for expanding advanced manufacturing in the US and the investment will be much needed. Not everything can be automated down to the last detail. People are needed in many areas once thought destined to be conquered by IT systems. The application of good systems helps the process, but for overall success, people makes it happen.