A contract manufacturer ("CM") is a firm that manufactures components or products for another "hiring" firm. It is a form of outsourcing.
Many industries utilize this process, especially the aerospace, defense, computer, semiconductor, energy, medical, food manufacturing, personal care, and automotive fields. Some types of contract manufacturing include CNC machining, complex assembly, aluminum die casting, grinding, broaching, gears, and forging. The pharmaceutical industry utilizes this process with CMs called Contract manufacturing organizations.