Over the last three centuries, virtually all major technological changes had their genesis in the industrial sector. Think of the dramatic economic transformations since Adam Smith’s provocative explanation in 1776 of how free enterprise creates wealth. The introduction of the steam engine in the 18th century revolutionized our economy through mechanization and led to the building of steamships and railroads. Electricity in the latter half of the 19th century helped launch the mass-production economy, leading to a world of internal combustion engines and light bulbs and telephones. The advent of computers and automation in the second half of the 20th century led to a digitalized world. Manufacturing was the central player in each of these economic revolutions. Read more at IndustryWeek.