Chopin's piano maker, Pleyel, is closing up shop due to competition from China, but other makers are fighting the good fight - read about it here.
In essence, the free market seems to be working. The the global "supply and demand" with many different items out there is beginning to take a toll on one of the most unique industries in the world.
China is the growing market, with manufacturers and and a culture that is growing and is now the new center for piano making.
While it may be considered a sad state, I simply find it nostalgic and special. There will always be pianos, and there will always be someone who can and does tickle the ivories, just not as many as there used to be.
Another procedure that requires work by hand - watching this will give you a better idea of what voicing a piano is about, whether it's a Bechstein, Steinway, Yamaha or any other piano.
Here's the most intricate process of piano technology - the regulation of the action. Note the weights used to "measure" how much pressure is used to depress the key, the adjustments made to reduce or increase resistance of the key, the flame used to bend the hammer shank so the hammer hits the strings properly. This is a very good "overview" of a job that can take up to two to six days to complete!
They don't leave out any details here - while this is more promotional than informational, it's short, and interesting to note that the piano is upside down when the pedals are installed.
Notes From the Piano Bench
Questions and Answers and updated factoids concerning pianos in the 21st Century.