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Different methods of production


When manufacturing things there are three basic types of production: One-off production is used generally when only one specialist item is required and it would be built by a craftsman or if a prototype is needed to help test a product. An example of this type of manufacturing could be an individually made piece of jewelry where there would only be one in the world. This type of production is very labor intensive and therefore very expensive. If its a prototype though it can ensure the product is right before thousands are made.

Batch Production is cheaper than one-off production and would be used if about 1000-5000 items are needed to be made. The batch that is being made would use ordinary machines which were set up to complete a particular task and then when the required number were made the machines would be set up to perform a different task. One example of this might be a small batch bakery. The bakery might work out that it could sell 500 loaves of bread a week and 1000 donuts of a certain kind. It may also have worked out that it could sell 2,000 cookies to their wholesale customers. At the beginning of the week it would set the machinery to make the bread (this might take a whole day to set the machines up to do this task).

Then once the machines are ready the factory would produce the loaves of bread which might take a couple of days to make. Once the bread is made then the bakery might spend another day setting up the machines to make donuts. Once set they would produce the donuts they need. Once made the machines would be set up to produce cookies.

Because food production is perishable companies that use this method when producing food can have very little down time while factories that manufacture non-food items in batches may have longer down time. In addition if the manufacturer knows they are going to sell all these items (market research would tell them that they are as well as keeping records of past sales) then they have some time left to make specialist items if the scheduling of the batches is time efficient.

Mass production manufacturing is used for just that mass production. Making cars is a good example of mass production manufacturing.Mass production is when a lot of items are going to be made over a long period of time and the machines being used usually need to be specially made. Obviously machines that are being made for specialist tasks are very expensive so it is vital that the amount of objects being made is considerable so that the initial cost of the machines will be recovered in profits from selling the cars oraluminum cans or whatever is being manufactured.

It is important that the products being made is so designed that it lends itself to more than one off production. This may mean that design taken from an original "one off" is changed so that it is easier, cheaper and faster to make in batches. A good example of this is an original painting. Keep in mind that while the original is expensive, copies are far less expensive. All it needs is a good photograph that can be copied on a printing machine to produce a similar effect. If the original frame of the expensive painting was carved wood it would be quite possible to make a plastic mold of the frame and produce cheap plastic copies by injection molding. The end result is cheaper similar looking copies.

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