In a factory for a complex product, rather than one assembly line, there may be many auxiliary assembly lines feeding sub-assemblies (i.e. car engines or seats) to a backbone “main” assembly line. A diagram of a typical mass-production factory looks more like the skeleton of a fish than a single line. Mass production was popularized in the late 1910s and 1920s by Henry Ford’s Ford Motor Company, which introduced electric motors to the then-well-known technique of chain or sequential production.
The concept is identified with the rise in modern capitalism that succeeded in the Industrial Revolution. Mass production commonly uses mechanization to achieve labor division, high volume, monitoring and quality control, and material flow. One could argue that life before the Industrial Revolution and mass production was better for humankind and the environment.
The perfect balance between human labor and machinery is attempted. Typically, production tasks are divided amongst the labor using division of labor. Continued repetitive tasks help in standardization and specialization, which is optimize productivity.
Henry Maudslay, who has been called the father of the machine tool industry. Maudslay recognized the importance of precision tools that could produce identical parts; he and his student, Joseph Whitworth, also manufactured interchangeable, standardized metal bolts and nuts. Medium and small batch production is also used in the automotive industry. An example is the production of car seats and their components, such as headrests and car armrests. Batch production will not be as efficient as continuous production, ie assembly-line work.
The starter cost for the machinery can be expensive so the producer must be sure it sells or the producers will lose a lot of money. The biggest impact of early mass production was in manufacturing everyday items, such as at the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company, which electrified its mason jar plant in Muncie, Indiana, U.S., around 1900. The new automated process used glass-blowing machines to replace 210 craftsman glass blowers and helpers.
The goal of high volume production is to produce a large number of products of one type, at uniform intervals and in a stabilized manner. This approach is used primarily in the aerospace, confectionery, apparel, automotive and home appliance industries. Cars, motorcycles, refrigerators, washing machines and clothes, among others, are produced this way. Manufacturers of everything from cakes to computer chips have many ways of organizing production to increase efficiency. One of these methods is called batch production, or batch processing.
In this approach, instead of manufacturing items individually or continuously, manufacturing moves in groups or batches. Each of the steps in the production process is applied at the same time to an entire batch of items, and that batch does not move onto the next stage of the production process until the whole batch is done. First, mass production requires automated assembly lines, which is capital-intensive and requires large sums of investments to set up and maintain. Only companies with a large capital outlay can implement mass production in their manufacturing process. Additionally, mass production can lead to higher efficiency levels since automation assembles mass-produced items faster.
Wind turbines and solar panels are being used in respectively wind farms and solar farms. Management consultants Frank and Lillian Gilbreth used motion studies to analyze workers’ movements. Managers sought to increase efficiency, but workers feared being treated like machines. Henry Ford’s vision of capitalism was high wages, high production, low-cost goods, and high consumption.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mass Production
Mass production is a method of producing goods in large quantities at a low cost per unit. The machine tool industry gave rise to the idea of mass production. Innovators in Britain and the United States began producing interchangeable parts. Mass production, also known as flow production or continuous production, is the production of substantial amounts of standardized products in a constant flow, including and especially on assembly lines. Together with job production and batch production, it is one of the three main production methods.
Machining of metals was greatly enhanced with high-speed steel and later very hard materials such as tungsten carbide for cutting edges. Fabrication using steel components was aided by the development of electric welding and stamped steel parts, both which appeared in industry in about 1890. Jean-Baptiste de Gribeauval, a French artillery engineer, introduced the standardization of cannon design in the mid-18th century. He developed a 6-inch field howitzer whose gun barrel, carriage assembly and ammunition specifications were made uniform for all French cannons. The standardized interchangeable parts of these cannons down to the nuts, bolts and screws made their mass production and repair easier than before. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages to a manufacturer is the fast production rate of mass production.
The development of these new materials made previously cost-prohibitive appliances affordable for middle-class consumers. Radios fell from around $90 to just $10 in the 1930s as plastic replaced wood and steel components. Plastic has since become so ubiquitous that one can hardly go a day without using something at least partially made from the material, whether that’s a coffee maker, a television, or a subway car.
Those factories service the global supply chains of major international companies such as Apple, BMW, Nike, and Samsung. Free trade alone, however, did not enable the rise of global supply chains. Technological innovations like the 1956 invention of the container ship allowed more cargo to be shipped across the world at cheaper prices. Additionally, policies like the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act allowed the U.S. airline industry to set its own fares and routes, which further brought down the cost of transporting goods. But around this time, manufacturers began creating synthetic alternatives to many natural resources, which drove down prices and manufacturing time. During World War II, the U.S. military used synthetic rubber substitutes like plastic to create everything from pocket combs to aircraft windows.
At another position the motor is mounted on the chassis by a large machine guided by an operator. In other places body panels and doors are assembled to the chassis, and dashboard instruments and wiring are added by hand with simple tools. Each operator learns his task in detail and uses tools specialized for that task. The total operation is paced by the speed of movement of the conveyor that carries the partially assembled automobiles. Specialize in producing the formed metal parts that constitute the body of the automobile.
Many factories adopted mass production—large volume, installation of specialized machinery to reduce human labor, and the use of low-skilled workers. However, there are industries that require the use of high levels of labor. For example, the iPhone requires hundreds of workers to assemble it together. As each worker has a very specific task, they are assigned to repeat it over and over again. Whilst this can increase efficiency in the short-term, it can lead to de-motivated employees in the long-term.
Pioneers of mass production methods
Manufacturing is the process of turning raw materials or parts into finished goods using tools, human labor, machinery, and chemical processing. Mass production—manufacturing many identical goods at once—was a product of the Industrial Revolution. Henry Ford’s Model-T automobile is a good example of early mass production. Each car turned out by Ford’s factory was identical, right down to its color.
Colonel Lee clearly defined specific responsibilities for workers and created a division of labor. The techniques that Colonel Lee used were later applied to industry. In mass production, mechanization is used to achieve high volume, detailed organization of material flow, careful control of quality standards, and division of labor. An early example of the demand for standardized products in large quantities came from military organizations and their need for uniforms and other supplies. Precision machining equipment has led to large-scale demand for mass-produced products created cheaply with small workforces.
Furniture companies, for example, often offer customers the opportunity to choose from different fabrics or components. They have the resources to mass produce furniture while still creating personalized items. Consider how America was before Henry Ford started using https://1investing.in/ assembly lines. Before cars were commonplace, people rode in horse-drawn carriages. Carriages were never mass produced, and they were only built if someone placed an order. Usually, only the wealthy ordered carriages because no one else could afford such a luxury.
- It had already been checked that the finished part would be to specifications to fit all the other finished parts—and it would be made more quickly, with no time spent on finishing the parts to fit one another.
- However, newer technologies for injection molding have made continuous production possible.
- This is achieved by continued insistence on standardization of critical elements such as the methods by which parts are held together internally.
- Mass production benefited from the development of materials such as inexpensive steel, high strength steel and plastics.
For example, canned soup requires one machine to make the soup, another to fill the can up, and another to close it. Yet some industries still require human labor – such as motor vehicle manufacturing. The process of mass production was originally used for the production of weapons. It was not until the early part of the 19th century that the concept was adopted by industry. America’s industrial revolution gave a rise to mass production, which benefited both employees by giving them higher wages and leaders by lowering the production costs per unit. As a common method today, mass production helps people to place their inventions internationally.
High Start-up Costs
Production processes are at risk if any one part of the line breaks. The entire production process will have to stop, examples of mass production pending repair which causes expensive delays. But it’s important to remember that every benefit comes with costs.
Machinery is very expensive to buy, so production lines are very expensive to set up. If a community lacked those resources, it would need to import them—sometimes from faraway places, which could be costly and time consuming. In the late 1930s, for example, the United States imported nearly 97 percent of its rubber from plantations in Southeast Asia. Would you like instant online access to Mass Production and hundreds of other essential business management techniques completely free? The top 50 of hundreds of business management techniques, concepts and ideas in KnowledgeBrief. For the bill’s authors, the key question was not whether, but which kind of for-profit companies—large corporations or small businesses—could mass-produce low-income housing.
The repetitive process ensures that each item is built exactly the same as all other parts with no variation. Mass production is also known as flow production, series production, or serial production. Mass production refers to a system of manufacturing that uses a series of standardized processes to create a large number of an item in a relatively short time.
Unlike most other mass-produced products, this is done largely by hand – due to the delicate nature of the assembly. However, this is done in a similar fashion as the Ford assembly line. Each individual has a specific task and the half-assembled product is passed along for everyone to play their part. Since Ford’s revolutionary invention, motor vehicles are now mass produced all across the world. One may put on the door, whilst another assembles the steering wheel, and another the tires.