I, as most of planet earth, am fascinated by Elon Musk. When I read that he was being interviewed at MIT, I had to watch.
He is asked a question on manufacturing and I thought he gave a fascinating answer.
Here is the link to the interview and if you just want to hear the question and Elon's answer on manufacturing, you can go 45 minutes and 11 seconds into the interview to hear both.
The questioner mentions the large push that President Obama has done with manufacturing in the United States and asks what other companies can do to keep manufacturing in the United States.
The most interesting comment I felt that Elon Musk made was when he said (note I listened to this and wrote this and this is not a transcript), "Very often people think of manufacturing as a kind of some rote process of making copies which actually it is not, but it is building the machine that makes the machine. If you think the machine is important, well building the machine that makes the machine is also extremely important. And, more often than not, what I have found is that the manufacturing is harder than the original product. For example At Tesla we can make one of a car very easily, but to making 1,000 cars with quality and reliability and where the cost is affordable is very hard. It is maybe ten times harder than making one prototype, maybe more." He then goes on to say, "I really think a lot more smart people should get into manufacturing. It is kind of fun. It sort of got a bad name for awhile, but it is really interesting."
With the importance of manufacturing, I bet the importance of using MTConnect would also be critical!