enabling resource

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flyingcat2008

Senior Member
china,chino
Modern manufacturing operations can be viewed as having six principal components: materials being processed, process equipment, manufacturing methods, equipment calibration, skilled workers and technicians, and enabling resources.

Hi, everyone!

I wonder what the meaning of "enabling resource" in this sentence?

Thank you!
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I imagine it means such things as materials necessary to make the machines work, oil to keep them lubricated, electricity to operate the factory, etc. These are different from the materials actually being processed. I suppose management might also come under this heading; I can't see how it falls into any of the others.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It seems to me that they need the resources that will enable them to manufacture whatever it is that they are making.

    A present participle usually describes what something is doing. However, in this case the construction is somewhat odd. I think it's because there is no object for "enabling", which we expect. We expect something like "and resources enabling them to carry out the process", or something similar. They probably avoided that because they wanted a shorter phrase.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm surprised you say this, Cagey.

    Here's an American website using enabling in a very similar way to that in the OP.

    Welcome to the Enabling Devices website! Enabling Devices is a company dedicated to developing affordable learning and assistive devices to help people of all ages with disabling conditions.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    That is a particular use is familiar to me. An enabling device is one that makes a disabled person able to do something ~ it enables the person.

    This is not the same as referring to the wide variety of resources that make manufacturing possible as "enabling resources." Enabling has to stand for a lot more here. On the other hand, this is not the sort of thing I customarily read, and perhaps it is common in this sort of literature.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There's plenty of evidence on the web that the expression enabling resources is a common way of talking of the things which people and plant need to operate properly. Here's an example:

    The infrastructure of the working environment is even more challenging further down the system. To some extent, the skilled personnel are available (at least at the central level) but they are hampered by lack of enabling resources, materials, support, funds and consequently lack motivation. The staff are also not benefiting from further training or practical experience.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Enabling resources may include sources of energy as well as—perish the thought—capital.
    Unless the manufacturing operations in question are among the very rare ones that already have lots of capital available, access to credit and to capital markets is certainly an enabling resource.
     
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