The industry is an economic activity that transforms raw materials into consumer products. To do this, it uses energy, human resources and specific machinery. To obtain all this, capital investment and the presence of a market that allows the consumption of manufactured products is necessary. For example: steel, metallurgy, aeronautics.
The industry belongs to “Secondary sector” from the economy, which differs from the primary sector, which takes raw materials from natural resources (agriculture, livestock, fishing, mining, etc.) and from the tertiary sector that offers services. However, the three sectors are closely related. Currently, some economic activities that belong to the third sector are also considered industries.
In the eighteenth century England developed the “Industrial Revolution”, a series of changes in production that gradually turned a large part of the countries of the world into industrial societies. Industrial society is characterized by urban development: a concentration of the population in cities. They are at the same time production centers (factories are located in or around them) and consumption centers.
Besides of city development and the appearance of factories, in industrial societies we find an organization and division of labor that allows increasing production, the use of machines and different types of technology to replace or complement manual labor and the formation of a social sector that did not exist in societies prior to the Industrial Revolution: wage earners.
Depending on their position in the production system, industries can be basic, equipment or consumer.
- Base Industries. As their name implies, they are the basis for the development of the other industries, since the products they manufacture are used by the two other types of industries.
- Equipment Industries. They are those that manufacture machinery that equip the three types of industry.
- Consumer Industries. They produce goods that can be consumed directly by the population.
Furthermore, industries can be distinguished between heavy and light, depending on the weight of the raw materials they use. These two classifications intersect with each other. The heavy industries are usually base and team, while the light industry (also called transformation) is usually consumer.
- Iron and steel industry
- Shipping company