The Manufacturing Facility Has Changed

This article appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Much has changed since J.S. Vig Construction was founded as an industrial contractor in southwest Detroit in 1965. Back then, blueprints were hand-drawn and estimates were prepared with an adding machine. Now, technology has changed the world and the rate of change continues to accelerate fast, so buckle up.

To obtain a summary of these changes, we queried Open AI and the Chat GPT 4 language model. Here is what Chat GPT4 had to say:

Over the last 50 years, there have been significant changes in the design of manufacturing facilities driven by advancements in technology, changing consumer demands, and an increased focus on sustainability and efficiency. Here are some of the important changes to the design of manufacturing facilities:

  1. Automation: With the advent of robotics and computer technology, manufacturing facilities have become increasingly automated.
  2. Lean Manufacturing: Lean manufacturing techniques emphasize the elimination of waste, continuous improvement, and a focus on customer value.
  3. Flexible Manufacturing: Manufacturing facilities have become more flexible through the use of modular production systems, computer-controlled equipment, and agile manufacturing processes.
  4. Sustainable Design: Sustainable design in manufacturing facilities includes the use of renewable energy sources, water conservation measures, and the use of recycled materials.
  5. Safety: Safety in the design of manufacturing facilities includes the use of advanced safety systems, the implementation of safety protocols and training programs, and the incorporation of ergonomic design principles to reduce the risk of workplace injuries.

Overall, the design of manufacturing facilities has evolved significantly over the last 50 years, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer demands. The focus has shifted towards automation, lean manufacturing, flexibility, sustainability and safety. These changes have led to more efficient, environmentally friendly, and safer manufacturing facilities.

Thanks, Chat GPT4, we could not have said it better.


From the earliest projects working on machining, casting and stamping, we now find ourselves building a LEED Gold (carbon net zero) biotechnology research, engineering, manufacturing and distribution campus in Ann Arbor, among many other facilities of its kind in southeast Michigan. Clients are building material-handling equipment for the next generation of EV manufacturing and assay kits to fight the next global pandemic.

About the Author

Joseph S. VigJoseph S. Vig, LEED AP, is a 30 year veteran of the real estate and construction industry, and has served as CEO of J.S. Vig Construction for the past 15 years. He can be reached at