Manufacturing has played a leading role in the rise of large industries at the helm of the world market. Manufacturing currently accounts for 30% of Slovenia’s gross domestic product, a very relevant sector in its economy.
The more than 3,000 manufacturing companies generate revenues of over 7 billion euros per year–more than half of these profits come from exports. Trading partners include France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and Italy.
During the last few years, the manufacturing industry in Slovenia has had to face several challenges to keep up with modern processes, as they are extremely behind other countries. They have had to modify traditional methods and move toward automation, new materials, and new intelligent processes. The Slovenian government has encouraged innovation in manufacturing, with the help of several companies, and with the creation of educational institutions. These institutes create knowledge to improve productivity and competitiveness, especially in the metals industry. The 2015 census indicated that the number of student careers closely related to these processes such as metallurgy and mechanical engineering was around 10,000. Such changes in processes and techniques are considered necessary as part of the future of manufacturing, sometimes referred to as Manufacturing 4.0.
The manufacturing industry in Slovenia, however, still has sectors where the human hand is strictly necessary and is vital for the development of products. Here, we refer specifically to fashion design, lingerie and the textile industry where automated processes cannot yet supply demand nor craftsmanship for the traditional artistry. Perhaps this is for best. The worldwide decline in human manufacturing processes is a result of the use of robots and automated machines. However, the impact in Slovenia could negatively impact the Slovenian economy, which has a very low unemployment rate and good per capita income.
Despite being years behind in manufacturing automation, the Slovenian way of life is thriving. They value their workers and pay them well for their craftsmanship. Looking toward the future, the Slovenian government is improving manufacturing education, the fuel of future economies.
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