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Mass Production Examples Advantages and Disadvantages

Mass Production Examples Advantages and Disadvantages

Mass Production: Examples, Advantages, and Disadvantages

David is experienced in financial and legal research and publishing. As a Dotdash fact checker since 2020, he has validated over 1,100 articles on financial and investment topics.

What Is Mass Production?

Mass production is the manufacturing of large quantities of standardized products using assembly lines or automation technology. It facilitates the efficient production of similar products.

Mass production is also known as flow production, repetitive flow production, series production, or serial production.

In mass production, mechanization is used to achieve high volume, organized material flow, quality control, and division of labor. Demand for standardized products in large quantities initially came from military organizations. Precision machining has led to large-scale demand for mass-produced products created cheaply with small workforces.

Key Takeaways

  • Mass production is the manufacturing of large quantities of standardized products using assembly lines or automation technology.
  • Mass production has advantages such as precision, lower costs from automation, higher efficiency, and prompt distribution and marketing of products.
  • Henry Ford developed the assembly line technique of mass production in 1913.

Understanding Mass Production

Henry Ford developed the assembly line technique of mass production. In 1913, he pioneered the moving assembly line for production of the Ford Model T automobile. The reduced manufacturing time allowed the company to apply the same method to chassis assembly and drastically reduce the time it took to build the Model T automobile.

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Ford continued to refine the process, even hiring someone who studied efficient movement. From 1908 to 1927, Ford built more than 15 million Model T cars. Ford’s mass production made cars affordable for the general public. Since then, Ford’s concept of efficient production has been adopted by most industries, lowering the costs of everyday items.

Advantages of Mass Production

Mass production has many advantages. If production is monitored, it can result in precision because machines have preset parameters. It also results in lower costs because the assembly line requires fewer workers. Manufacturers can produce products in batches, reducing setup time and cost.

Mass production creates efficiency because items can be assembled quickly through automation. Rapid assembly aids prompt distribution and marketing, creating a competitive advantage and higher profits. For example, McDonald’s has a competitive advantage in the fast-food industry because of its speed of production.

Disadvantages of Mass Production

Not everything about mass production is beneficial. Establishing an automated assembly line requires a significant up-front investment of time and resources. Errors in production design may require extensive time and money to redesign and rebuild processes.

Revision may be required for reasons other than errors. Responding to regulatory changes can be time-consuming and expensive. Repetitive work on assembly lines can lead to low employee morale and increased turnover.

Manufacturers are experimenting with integrating 3D printers in mass production.

Example of Mass Production

Mass production touches many consumer products, from cars to toothbrushes. For example, in 1953, every marshmallow Peep took 27 hours to make by hand. With the introduction of the assembly line, this time requirement was reduced to six minutes per Peep, and an average of 5.5 million Peeps are made every day as of 2024.

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Ford introduced robots that could unload a die-casting press in 1961. Now robotics play a major part in mass production, with humans as quality assurance.

Does mass production mean lower wages for workers?

In some areas, factory workers are paid less and work in dismal conditions. Workers in the United States tend to make higher wages with better conditions. Elsewhere, mass production jobs may come with poor wages and working conditions.

Is mass production expensive to set up?

Creating a mass production system can be expensive and costly to alter once production has started. Setup costs are generally offset by production efficiency.

Does mass production produce quality items?

It can. However, issues with product elements can be replicated thousands of times before being noticed, leading to frequent product recalls.

The Bottom Line

Mass production, also known as flow production, repetitive flow production, series production, or serial production, is a manufacturing process where goods are produced in large quantities using standardized designs, machinery, and assembly line techniques. The goal is to produce goods at a lower cost, making them more affordable and accessible to consumers. This is achieved by dividing the production process into smaller tasks performed by unskilled or semi-skilled workers using specialized machinery. It should be noted that mass production is capital intensive. Mass production has revolutionized many industries and enabled the production of goods quickly and efficiently.

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