Industry is a multi-faceted activity in EVE, consisting of some of the most complex operations you can find in the game. It involves the fabrication of goods in the EVE universe, and is a vital component of the eve economy. Almost everything in game has or can be made by players, from ships to stations.
Industry can be divided into three broad categories: Mining, Research and Manufacturing. Each category represents a part of the life-cycle of an item in EVE.
Anyone who steps outside their station will at some point encounter the workhorses of industry. A trip to your nearest asteroid belt will likely reward you to one of the most captivating displays EVE has to offer: Mining Operations.
These huge fleets scour the belts for minerals, melting the rocks into nothingness with powerful lasers and sucking in the resulting plasma with massive magnetic beam arrays. Then Orcas, huge industrial command ships with unimaginably large specialized cargo holds store the ore for transfer to the nearest refinery, where the raw ore is processed into its mineral constituents.
However these fleets pale in comparison to those found in more dangerous, lucrative space. Tens of dozens of exhumers can be found working in tandem, transporting their ore to their assigned Orca. The orcas then make their way to rendezvous with the king of industrial ships, the behmoth Rorqual. These massize industrial capitals are large enough to house ore compressing facilities, that crushes the ore into a fraction of its original volume and packs it into pellets, ready for the next freighter to transport it to the closest corporation station for refining.
Each and every item in game requires minerals at some stage in the process in order to be created. Mining has and always will be the primary source of these minerals, however they can also be obtained by reprocessing unwanted goods or drone alloys (artificially crafted compounds created by the rogue sentient drone race which can usually be found on any of their ships).
Reprocessing is a skill on its own and requires a significant amount of time to master the proccess, the end result being zero waste.
The primary research activity involves improving the stats of blueprint originals. These blueprints are the master copies of T1 or “tech 1” ships and modules commissioned by the four empires. By performing research at the appropriate facility one can improve on the manufacturing time and material efficiency of the production process of an item, or create blueprint copies; lesser versions of the master blueprint which retain the improvements made on the original, but do not provide sufficient information to be improved upon themselves.
The other aspect of research is “invention”. This highly technical occupation is responsible for all the advanced machinery that can be found in elite vessels. Among the capsuleer community these are commonly known as T2 or “tech 2” items. These components represent the bleeding edge in commercial technology, and thus require an enormous amount of knowledge and skill to produce successfully.
The invention process is responsible for the creation of the blueprints for these items for use in manufacturing. With the help of agents and the right equipment and materials, capsuleers can try their luck at researching standard “tech 1” blueprints. The research process is essentially a trial-and-error approach to increasing the power and efficiency of the modules, and as such most research endeavours fail, with a significant loss in material. On the off-chance a research project is successful, the output is a “tech 2″ blueprint copy”. This can then be used to manufacture the newly improved item, or sold for a profit.
This process is responsible for creating the end-result of an industrial endeavour: a brand new ship or module. The process essentially involves combining the materials gained through mining as per the instructions given through researched blueprints. This is done at an appropriate facility, which could be publicly available manufacturing lines at your local factory station, or specialized equipment set up in starbases, such as when creating new capital ships. Following this is a very long wait, then finally the new item is deposited in place of the raw materials, ready to be assembled or sold.