Progress in technology over the years has meant that wider applications for the use of ball clay have been found. Coupled with this, manufacturers also have the knowledge to lay down the precise characteristics they require from clays. These factors, together with the increased demand from abroad, have necessitated dramatic changes in both winning and processing the clay. The quarries are totally mechanised, using hydraulic excavators. Different characteristics of clays can be blended together through shredding, drying, and pulverising processes.
Drift mines, which followed the particular stratum of clay to be extracted, replaced the vertical shaft method of mining in the late 1950s. These mines were sunk into the ground following the angle of dip. Clay was brought to the surface in trucks hauled by a winch. In 1999 the last underground mine closed ending a tradition of mining in the village that had lasted some two hundred years.
The clay carts, loaded with "balls" have long disappeared from the village streets. Today clay is transported in nylon woven sacks or moisture resistant paper sacks loaded on pallets for easier handling. The introduction of these modern techniques has allowed production to keep pace with demand and the Preston Manor Works now produces some 500,000 tons. Today ball clay is exported to over 70 countries throughout the world and the Kingsteignton deposits are one of Devon's major sources of foreign exchange.