7 junio, 2024

Fixed technology: concept, characteristics, advantages, examples

We explain what fixed technology is, its characteristics, types, advantages and disadvantages, and we give several examples.

What is fixed technology?

The fixed technology it is one designed exclusively for a single purpose; that is, it is used only to fulfill a function and cannot be used for other purposes. Another meaning of this term indicates that fixed technology is one that changes very slowly.

That is, its infrastructure or procedures cannot be changed suddenly, given the size of the associated systems. Fixed technology can refer to material objects or intangible goods; in the latter case it refers to the techniques, procedures or methods used in a certain way in the manufacture of products or services.

This type of technology does not admit modifications or reinventions in its final application, thus its use is restricted to primary demand.

In view of this, fixed technology cannot be used to satisfy other needs or requirements of the consumer, with which it has a limited use in the domestic or industrial spheres, as the case may be.

Fixed technology characteristics

Fixed technology is distinguished by its invariable nature and the low probability of change that concerns the products or processes outlined under this technology. Below are the main characteristics of the fixed technology:

– This type of technology does not change continuously, or failing that, assumes changes extremely slowly, given the robustness of the associated infrastructure.

– Utensils or facilities with fixed technology are only useful for the original purposes of their creation; that is, they cannot be used for other applications.

– It is difficult to adapt or modify its base structure to meet other types of needs, such as the realization of a complementary good or service.

– Fixed technology can refer not only to an object, but also to technical notions about a specific process (know-how), as well as the materials used in the production of goods or services.

Types of fixed technology

Fixed technology can be:

About a specific product

It refers to goods whose use is exclusively referred to a single function, and whose probabilities of technological change in their design are nil.

About an abstract product

Basically it is associated with specific manufacturing processes, technical advice or specialized knowledge on a particular subject.


Design through fixed technology is propitious in cases where it is necessary to refine a product or process, to the point where its use or operation is precise, exact and irreplaceable.

This brings with it a series of competitive advantages that, depending on the item of interest, keep fixed technology still in vogue. Here are the main advantages of this type of technology:

Unique and exclusive use for a task

This characteristic guarantees superior performance in its final use, since the fixed technology product is only used to fully fulfill a function.

The instrument or process is specialized

A scheme prepared by an expert will allow the use of the product or the output of the process to provide the best possible result, thanks to its design 100% oriented to the fulfillment of a specific function.

Tailored to user requirements

Sometimes, fixed technology products provide a wide range of options that provide the user with diversity to choose the best possible alternative; that is, the option that best suits the requirement of the client or final consumer.


The exclusive design and use of fixed technology for a particular purpose considerably delimits the variety and breadth in the implementation of alternative uses. Based on this, there are the following disadvantages of fixed technology:

Overrides the option to implement technological improvements over the current design

Due to the little or no possibility of making changes in its current design, whether it is a product or a process, the use of fixed technology prevents online improvements on the object of interest.

Cannot be quickly replaced

In the case of large installations with fixed technology, its inflexible property means that the processes cannot be replaced in the short term.

This means that the implementation of any technological update must be handled well in advance and with a detailed action plan, which includes a transition period according to the corresponding infrastructure.

High costs for mobilization, updating or replacement of equipment

In the same order of ideas as the previous point, any move, technological update or substitution of equipment and/or machinery will entail a large investment, given the magnitude of the infrastructure.

Technology with risks of rapid obsolescence

Due to today’s rapid technological advances, there is a high probability that some facilities and equipment may become obsolete relatively quickly, whereupon the initial investment may quickly lose its value.

Examples of fixed technology

As mentioned throughout this article, fixed technology can be present in novel objects, procedures, methodologies, or even in inventions that have been around for a long time in history.

That is, fixed technology not only refers to modern inventions, it can also refer to ancient creations of mankind.

Here are some examples of fixed technology:

Musical instruments

Classical instruments, such as the violin or the guitar, were created with the sole purpose of creating music through their mechanical drive.

However, these elements cannot be used for other purposes and, consequently, they are an ideal example of fixed technology.

oil refineries

The oil refining process has a series of structured steps arranged with some rigor to obtain petroleum products, such as: gasoline, diesel, kerosene, etc.

The infrastructure associated with these processes is of standard use worldwide, and involves robust and large equipment dedicated exclusively for such purposes.

Clothes iron

The irons used for domestic purposes are hardly used in other types of applications, since they were designed exclusively to remove wrinkles from clothes and cannot be used for anything else.

Other examples

An electronic thermometer.
One TV.
A body temperature meter.
A depth gauge.
A speed or distance meter.

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