Manufacturing Marvels: 12 Examples That Define the Industry

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Manufacturer Examples: 12 Amazing Industry Definers in 2024

Manufacturing Marvels: The Cornerstone of Industry

Curious about manufacturer examples that have shaped industries? Let’s dive right in!

Key Manufacturer Examples:
1. Airstream: Iconic travel trailers
2. Burt’s Bees: Natural personal care products
3. California House: Custom furniture
4. Gorilla Glue: Strong adhesives
5. Heritage Bicycles: Handcrafted bikes
6. L.L.Bean: Famous for duck boots
7. Lodge Manufacturing Company: Cast iron cookware
8. Polarmax: Base layer clothing
9. Vermont Teddy Bear: Lifetime-warranty toys
10. Vitamix: High-performance blenders
11. Zippo: Windproof lighters
12. Corkcicle: Innovative cooling products

Manufacturing, the process of turning raw materials into finished products using tools, machines, and labor, is fundamental to our economy. It’s an industry rich in history, dating back to the Industrial Revolution, where innovation transformed handcrafted goods into mass-produced items. This shift didn’t just speed things up; it changed how we live, making everyday products more affordable and available.

In the United States, manufacturing is a powerhouse, accounting for over 11% of the economic output and employing millions. Around the world, it drives both productivity and economic growth, reducing poverty and enhancing lifestyles on a global scale.

My name is Derrick Askew, and for over thirteen years, I have led Savvy Gents, Inc., in crafting effective web solutions tailored for diverse businesses. From extensive experience with manufacturer examples, I will guide you through some industry-defining success stories. Let’s explore how these companies have become marvels of the manufacturing world.

examples of manufacturers - manufacturer examples infographic brainstorm-6-items

What is Manufacturing?

Manufacturing is the process of creating finished goods from raw materials. This involves using tools, human labor, machinery, and sometimes chemical processing to transform basic components into products people can buy.

The Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process is like a recipe, but for making products instead of food. It starts with raw materials, which are the basic ingredients. These materials can be anything from steel and plastic to corn and oil. For example, steel is used in cars, while wood is used in furniture.

Raw Materials

Raw materials are the building blocks of manufacturing. They are the substances that companies use to make their products. These can be direct raw materials, like the wood for a chair, or indirect raw materials, like the oil used to keep machines running smoothly.

Here are some examples:

  • Steel for cars
  • Lumber for furniture
  • Plastic for toys
  • Corn for food products


Machinery is the backbone of modern manufacturing. Machines help to speed up production and reduce the need for human labor. They can be as simple as a saw or as complex as a 3D printer. For instance, Toyota uses advanced machinery to produce cars efficiently. Their lean manufacturing system focuses on reducing waste and improving quality.


Production is the final step where everything comes together. This is where raw materials are transformed into finished goods. The process can vary depending on the product. For example, in car manufacturing, steel is cut, shaped, and assembled into a vehicle. In food production, raw ingredients are mixed, cooked, and packaged.

Manufacturing is crucial for the economy. It not only provides products but also creates jobs and drives economic growth. Efficient manufacturing techniques help companies produce more units at a lower cost, making goods more affordable for consumers.

Manufacturing Process - manufacturer examples

In the next section, we’ll explore the different types of manufacturing systems and how they impact the production process.

Types of Manufacturing

Manufacturing isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Different products and industries require different approaches. Let’s explore the primary types of manufacturing: make to stock (MTS), make to order (MTO), make to assemble (MTA), discrete manufacturing, and process manufacturing.

Make to Stock (MTS)

Make to Stock (MTS) is like baking cookies before guests arrive. Companies produce goods based on demand forecasts and store them as inventory. This method is common for items like clothing and electronics.

– Immediate product availability for customers.
– Economies of scale reduce production costs.

– Risk of overproduction leading to surplus inventory.
– Requires accurate demand forecasting to avoid stockouts.

Make to Order (MTO)

Make to Order (MTO) is like a custom cake order. Products are only made after a customer places an order. This method is ideal for customized or high-value items like commercial aircraft or custom furniture.

– Minimizes inventory costs.
– Allows for product customization.

– Longer lead times for customers.
– Requires flexible manufacturing systems to handle varying orders.

Make to Assemble (MTA)

Make to Assemble (MTA), also known as assemble to order (ATO), combines MTS and MTO. Companies make components in advance and assemble them when an order is placed. Think of it as preparing ingredients for a dish and cooking it when ordered.

– Faster delivery times compared to MTO.
– Flexibility to offer customization without holding finished goods inventory.

– Risk of holding too many or too few components.
– Balancing inventory of components and final products.

Discrete Manufacturing

Discrete Manufacturing produces distinct items that can be counted, like cars or computers. Each product is made individually and often involves assembly lines.

Key Features:
– Uses a bill of materials (BOM) to track components.
– Products can be disassembled into their parts.

Automobiles: Companies like Ford use assembly lines to produce cars.
Electronics: Computers and smartphones are assembled from various discrete components.

Process Manufacturing

Process Manufacturing is like making a batch of soup. It involves mixing, heating, and blending ingredients to create products that can’t be broken down into their original components.

Key Features:
– Produces goods in bulk quantities.
– Involves changes in physical properties like volume and mass.

Food and Beverages: Companies use batch processes to create sauces or beverages.
Chemicals: Continuous processes are used in the oil and gas industry for refining.

Mixed Mode Manufacturing

Some companies use a combination of discrete and process manufacturing, known as Mixed Mode Manufacturing. For instance, a company might produce bulk chemicals (process manufacturing) and then package them into individual containers (discrete manufacturing).

By understanding these manufacturing types, companies can choose the best approach to meet their production goals and customer needs. Next, we’ll dive into different manufacturing systems and how they streamline production.

Manufacturing Systems

Custom Manufacturing

Custom manufacturing is all about creating unique products tailored to individual customer specifications. Think of it like a bespoke suit, made just for you. This system focuses on quality over quantity.

Example: A high-end furniture maker crafting a custom dining table for a client.

– High-quality, unique products
– Meets specific customer needs

– Higher per-unit costs
– Longer production times

Intermittent Manufacturing

In intermittent manufacturing, a single production line can make different products in batches. It’s like a bakery that switches from making bread to cookies based on customer orders.

Example: A factory producing different styles of shoes in small batches.

– Flexibility to produce various products
– Can quickly respond to market demand

– Frequent reconfiguration of the production line
– Lower production volumes

Continuous Manufacturing

Continuous manufacturing is designed for mass production of a single product. Imagine an assembly line where cars are built non-stop. This system is perfect for high-volume, low-cost production.

Example: A car manufacturer producing thousands of identical vehicles.

– High efficiency and low unit cost
– Consistent product quality

– High initial setup costs
– Limited flexibility to change products

Flexible Manufacturing

Flexible manufacturing combines the high volume of continuous manufacturing with the adaptability of intermittent manufacturing. It’s like having a team of robots that can be reprogrammed to make different products.

Example: A tech company using robots to assemble both smartphones and tablets on the same line.

– High production volumes with flexibility
– Can quickly adapt to new products

– Requires advanced technology and investment
– Complex to manage and maintain

By understanding these manufacturing systems, businesses can choose the best method to optimize production, reduce costs, and meet customer demands. Up next, we’ll explore 12 examples of manufacturers that define the industry.

12 Examples That Define the Industry


Airstream has been making iconic travel trailers and recreational vehicles in Jackson Center, Ohio, since 1952. Their emphasis on quality is evident, with 70% of their trailers still on the road today. This longevity speaks volumes about their craftsmanship and commitment to durability.

Burt’s Bees

Based in Durham, North Carolina, Burt’s Bees is best known for its lip balm, but they also produce makeup, face cream, body lotion, and toothpaste. All products are made in a converted tobacco warehouse, showcasing their dedication to American manufacturing.

California House

California House specializes in custom-made, high-end furniture like pool tables and shuffleboard tables. Operating out of Sacramento since 1953, they ensure each piece is crafted to order, providing unique and personalized items for their customers.

Gorilla Glue

Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, Gorilla Glue offers a range of adhesives, tapes, and sealants. Known for their toughness, these products have become household staples, reflecting the company’s expansion and innovation since 1999.

Heritage Bicycles

Heritage Bicycles in Chicago combines bike manufacturing with a coffee shop experience. They take pride in being the only completely Chicago-made bike since Schwinn left the city in the ’70s, blending tradition with modern retail.


L.L.Bean has been producing their famous duck boots in Freeport, Maine, since 1912. While not all their products are made in the U.S., over 500 items on their website are clearly marked as Made in the USA, including shoes, tote bags, pillows, rugs, and furniture.

Lodge Manufacturing Company

Lodge Manufacturing Company has been a staple in cast iron cookware since 1896. Based in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, they continue to produce high-quality skillets and other cookware, maintaining a legacy of excellence.


Polarmax manufactures high-performance base layer clothing in Candor, North Carolina. Since 1985, they have catered to skiers, climbers, hikers, and campers, ensuring their products keep outdoor enthusiasts warm and dry.

Vermont Teddy Bear

Vermont Teddy Bear has been handcrafting teddy bears since 1981. Their commitment to quality includes a lifetime warranty and the use of 100% recycled stuffing, making them a unique player in the toy industry.


Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Vitamix produces high-performance blenders known for their durability and efficiency. Their loyal customer base often recommends Vitamix to others, a testament to the brand’s quality and performance.


Zippo is synonymous with windproof lighters, having retained their basic design since the 1930s. Based in Pennsylvania, Zippo has expanded its product line to include candles, hand warmers, and various accessories, all proudly made in the USA.


Corkcicle specializes in cooling products like lunchboxes and sports canteens. Known for their custom manufacturing, they have carved out a niche by combining functionality with innovative design.

These examples highlight the diverse and innovative landscape of American manufacturing, illustrating how companies can thrive by emphasizing quality, tradition, and adaptability.

Frequently Asked Questions about Manufacturer Examples

What is an example of a manufacturer?

A manufacturer is a company that creates products from raw materials or components. For example, Toyota is a well-known manufacturer that uses a lean manufacturing system to produce vehicles efficiently. They focus on two core concepts: Jidoka (stopping equipment immediately when an issue arises) and Just-in-Time (producing only what is needed for the current process). This approach helps them eliminate waste and meet customer demands more effectively.

What are examples of manufacturing industries?

Manufacturing industries cover a wide range of sectors, each specializing in different types of products. Here are a few examples:

  • Food Products: Companies that process raw food materials into consumable products. Examples include bakeries and food processors.
  • Beverages: This industry includes the production of drinks like soda, juice, and alcoholic beverages.
  • Tobacco Products: Companies that manufacture cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco-related items.
  • Textiles: Involves the production of fabrics and yarns, often used in clothing and upholstery.
  • Wearing Apparel: This sector focuses on making clothes, from everyday wear to specialized items like uniforms.
  • Leather Products: Includes the manufacturing of shoes, bags, and other items made from leather.

What are the different types of manufacturing?

Manufacturing can be categorized into several types based on how products are made and delivered:

  • Make to Stock (MTS): Products are manufactured based on demand forecasts and stored as inventory until purchased. This method benefits from economies of scale but risks overproduction if demand is overestimated.

  • Make to Order (MTO): Products are only manufactured once a customer places an order. This approach minimizes inventory costs but may lead to longer delivery times. It’s common in industries requiring customized products, like aerospace and construction.

  • Make to Assemble (MTA): Companies manufacture components ahead of time but only assemble them into final products once orders are received. This method balances the speed of MTS with the customization of MTO.

Each type has its own advantages and challenges, making it crucial for companies to choose the right method based on their specific needs and market demands.


At Savvy Gents, Inc., we understand that a well-designed website is essential for modern manufacturing companies. Your website often serves as the first impression potential customers have of your business. It should not only look great but also function seamlessly to meet your specific needs.

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Stay ahead, stay digital, and let’s thrive together.

By leveraging our expertise, you can ensure your manufacturing business stands out in a competitive market. From custom web solutions to seamless user experiences, Savvy Gents, Inc. is your partner in digital success.

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Chris Davis Partner
Chris Davis leads Savvy Gents, Inc., a web development firm based in the Fayetteville Arkansas.His team excels in digital signage, e-commerce, hosting, SEO, and crafting unique brands and websites using WordPress and Joomla. With offices in Northwest Arkansas they serve various industries.



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