Choosing the best mass production methods
In the world of manufacturing, mass production is a word you hear every day.Mass production (also called flow production, repetitive flow production, series production, or serial production) is the production of large amounts of standardized products.Mass production can be applied to several different kinds of products such as food, fuel, and chemicals, as well as automobiles and household appliances.
Although Ford brought mass production to new heights it is not considered to be the creator of mass production.Ships were mass produced using pre-manufactured parts and assembly lines in Venice hundreds of years earlier.
During the Industrial Revolution simple mass production techniques were used at the Portsmouth Block Mills to manufacture ships' pulley blocks for the Royal Navy.
During the American Civil War the Springfield Armory began to mass produce guns using interchangeable parts on a large scale.This interchangeable part in manufacturing was strongly advocated by Eli Whitney, thus the term Armory practice is occasionally referred to as mass production.
Methods of mass production
There are several different methods of mass production in the manufacturing world.Assembly lines are generally the most heard of.Mass production systems are usually organized into assembly lines which pass by on conveyor if they are heavy, or hung from an overhead monorail.There may be several different assembly lines in one manufacturing plant feeding sub-assemblies.
Advantages and disadvantages to assembly line production
- The biggest advantage of using assembly line production is that it makes things much faster.In craft production, the craftsman will hurry around the shop, getting different parts and then assembling them.He has to find them and use several different tools to finish the task in a timely manner.In mass production however the worker simply repeats one or possible a few related tasks that use the same tool to perform almost identical operations in a stream of products.The tools and parts are also on hand because they come down directly from the assembly line.There is little or no time wasted retrieving and preparing materials or finding tools.
- Another advantage to assembly line production is that the probability of human error and variation is greatly reduced.Tasks are carried out predominantly by machinery.
- A disadvantage is that mass production is inflexible because it's difficult to alter a design or production process after a production line is implemented.
- Another disadvantage is that all the productions produced on an assembly line will be identical, or at least very similar so introducing variety is not easy.There are ways you can achieve variety however by applying different finishes and decorations to your products.
Assembly line production is just one of the ways you can mass produce manufacturing products.It may not be the best method for your company.Choosing the best mass production methods takes time and consideration.Make sure in your search that you look for the methods that best suit your manufacturing plant.Try out some different methods along with assembly line production and see which you prefer.Good luck.