Methods of Production
Depending upon the nature of the product and the requirements of the customers a particular type of appropriate, manufacturing system may be selected by a company or individual. The type of process used will normally depend upon the volume of products required.
To create and distribute a manufactured product a variety of things are needed such as resources, materials, finance, staff , customers and correct information etc.
Any manufacturing system whether it be large or small scale will involve an input, process and output. The materials are usually the input, the manufacturing construction process is the process and the output is the finished product which will need to be distributed to the customers.
The following diagram shows the Manufacturing sectors identified by the'Confederation of British Industry' (C.B.I)
Using the pie chart opposite answer the following questions.
1. Of all the manufacturing industries which is the largest?
2. Why does the metal production industry only take up 7.7% of the total manufacturing sectors?
3, Why do you think there has been a decline in the motor industry in Britain over recent years?
4, Why as a country is the industries that extract minerals so small compared to other industries?
5, As a country which products do we export the most of ?
6, What do you imagine the other 1.2% of our industries are?
7, Why has there recently been a reduction in the amount of paper, printing and books needed?
As you can see from this diagram we have a great variety of different forms of manufacturing industries which produces a huge variety of products.
One Off Production/ job or customer production
With this type of manufacturing we are concerned with individual products which will probably not have a number of pre-manufactured components in them. Most of the time no two products will be exactly the same. The units may often be to a customer's requirements. As a result each unit may prove to be expensive.
High unit cost.
A Jewelry storage unit
A Car Scraper and Jig
This form of manufacturing deals with larger production runs. According to the demands of the customers, batches of a product may be increased or decreased. This form of manufacturing may involve some lineproduction andsome standalone job production. For example this car scraper may be produced in batches of 100's over the period of a few hours. Jigs, formers, templates are used to create scrapers of exactly the same shape and size.
There is an economy of scale because of standardisation.
Early Mass Production
The Model T was a prime example of a product sold in high volumes. The car moved along an assembly line with parts being added by different workers. Productivity was increased.
Significant economy of scale is achieved because of standardisation. The cost of each individual unit drops dramatically.
The Henry Ford 1908 Model T Ford
Photographic film is produced in miles of continuous lengths. It is an example of continuous production
Modern Mass Production / Flow or Continuous production
Products that are sold in very high quantities (volume) and are sold in very high numbers every day are continually produced.
It would prove to be uneconomical to switch off the assembly line. Computer controlled robotics systems which are initially very expensive to purchase keep production rates extremely high. This brings the unit costs very low.
The term 24/7 refers to a machinery system being run 24 hours per day for 7 days per week.
The following articles which may be found in the Guardian Archives examines the work of contemporary designers and inventors. Once you have read the articles discuss;
1. Which forms of production are best suited to the individual products ?
2. What type of customer would use each product ?
3. What would be the customers' expectation of each of the products?
The Sabine Durrant interview: James Dyson
Don't call me an inventor
The man who brought us the bagless vacuum cleaner has a thing or two to get off his chest. Kitchen bins, for a start...
Monday February 28, 2000
British car designer who created the classic 1950s Bedford van
Wednesday April 26, 2000
Pull up a car seat and make yourself at home
The current exhibition at the V&A elevates Ron Arad from industrial scavenger to modern guru
Sunday June 18, 2000
His clocks, cutlery and candlesticks helped to define 'contemporary' style
Thursday March 23, 2000