Industrial activity is very important in the international economy, and thus should clearly explain what their characteristics

It is undeniable that at present the industry carries enormous weight in the economy internationally, and therefore it is necessary to explain what is industry and what activities can be included in it.

Concept of industry

Despite the many connotations which have been able to give the concept of industry , in a strict sense includes only local processing of natural resources and production of various goods. We must also distinguish the industrial activity of the craft carried out in small workshops in the preliminary phases of industrialization. In front of the craft, the industry becomes larger quantities of raw materials, and also requires high and varied energy resources.

To all this must be added the fact that employs a large number of specialized workers and a considerable division of labor. It also requires heavy capital investment. However, although this definition excludes the mining industry this and have always been closely related. The industry has made throughout history a clear tendency to increase and rationalize production in order to reduce costs and achieve higher market shares. These strategies require the existence of an organization called industrial company, which is not the same establishment or factory.


# The industrial company is the legal and economic unit of production in establishing the combination of labor and capital for the production of industrial goods. Each company can have only one establishment or more.
# The factory or establishment is the technical unit of production. It is the basic element of industrial activity and also integrates into two distinct concepts that are of industry and the industrial system: the industry is all set of industries engaged in the same or similar production. For its part, the industrial system is a geographical concept, integrating all the factories that are on a territory and maintaining links between them.

Classification of industrial activities

Industrial activity has been the subject of several classifications that aim to achieve a greater understanding of the phenomenon. Among the criteria used can differ depending on the classification of the company that owns the company, depending on the purpose of industrial production, depending on the size and complexity of the process or depending on the technology involved in production.

Classification according to the proprietor of the industry

The company is the legal expression of industrial activity, and depending on the type of company that holds the industry, the industry include:

Public: Those that depend on the state.
Private: If they are managed by one or more individual entrepreneurs.
Mixed: If you combine both forms of management.

Classification according to the purpose of production

Depending on the purpose of industrial production can differentiate between:

# Capital goods industries: Those industries that produce the essential elements for the implementation of other industrial production (intermediate products or industrial machinery).
# Consumer goods industries: those that manufacture products directly for consumption as food or textiles.

Classification based on the size of the facility and complexity of the processes

A third classification refers to the dimension of the facilities and the complexity of the production process, and in this case the difference between:

Heavy industries: heavy industries or base are those that handle large amounts of raw materials to manufacture semi-finished products used in industry such as steel industries.
Light industries: Light industry or processing are less bulky that transform resources for, mostly, to develop products for direct consumption by the population, such as textiles and electronics industries.

Classification according to the technology

According to its technology and its influence on economic growth can talk talk about:

Mature industries: mature industries are already obsolete and are undergoing restructuring.
Leading industries: These industries subject to high rates of growth and expansion, as today’s microelectronics.


The complexity of the industry and its importance in today’s economy requires an enormous effort to summarize their characteristics and explain their importance.