This of course applies to all the development, that aims at making any production more handy, more streamlined etc. I myself design formworks for certain industry and I always try to make them as easy to use as possible, requiring as little man hours in the factory, as ever possible. If I wouldn’t, I’d soon be replaced by someone else. And frankly, I enjoy thinking about design from the UX point of view.
The problem is in the system that doesn’t really appreciate much other values that money. If the goal was to produce things in the most ecological way for example, it would in many cases mean using human muscles instead of some other source of energy. Like in farming it would be much more energy efficient to plow the fields with bare human muscle powers instead of using tractors that weigh several tonnes and uses only small part of their energy consumption to the actual plowing. (More is used to carry around the machine that carries around the plow.) Of course using human muscles for plowing is not more time efficient or (in current economical system) not even more cost efficient. But it is difficult to beat the ratio of calories burnt / area plowed, when we compare human work against any other methods, even horses, oxes etc.
As long as our economy runs on the calories found in the ground in a form of cheap fossil fuel, there is certain delusion of efficiency going on. Especially when the CO2 and other pollution has very cheap price tag, if any at all.