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PLANNING FOR MASS PRODUCTION

V. Ryan © 2001-2010

 

Henry Ford - the father of modern mass production

An early Ford vehicle

PDF FILE - CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PRODUCTION FLOWCHARTS 

Planning the production of your possible design, is an important aspect of the design process. Planning, will show the examiner that you have considered how your solution will be made on a mass production line, with a labour force. A mass production line is a method of manufacturing thousands of your final solution/product, in a factory. The labour force is the people/workers who will assemble it. At the beginning of the century, the first mass production line was set up in the USA. The Ford Motor Company set up a ‘line’ of workers who put together each 'Model T' car. The production line was composed of hundreds of people, each doing only one job. When you plan your production line, you need to keep each stage of manufacture very simple. This is planning for ‘mass production’.

     
A Simple Production Line for the Assembly of a Clock Face and Mechanism
 

FLOW CHART OF PRODUCTION/ASSEMBLY LINE

     

 

1. The plastic face is cut to shape on a band saw or jig saw. Waste plastic placed in recycle bin - one person required, time - four minutes.
 
2. The edges of the face are smoothed first on a sanding disc and then on a polishing machine - two people required, overall time - ten minutes.
 
3. The shape if checked for quality/accuracy  -  by a quality inspector. If the product fails at this point it is sent back for more accurate shaping and smoothing.
 
4. The centre of the plastic is drilled so that the spindle of the clock mechanism fits  -  one person  - five minutes.
 
5. The numbers are set up accurately on the face using a jig to align numbers precisely - one person required, time - 8 minutes.
 
6. The quality inspector again checks the product of accuracy. If it fails it is placed in the recycle bin.
 
7. The mechanism is set up and hands are attached and fixed in position - one person, time - 2 minutes.
 
8. Battery placed in position and tested - same person as for stage 5, time - 1 minute.
 
9. Time set - one person - same as for previous two stages, time 1 minute.
 
10. Quality control check. Each clock checked rigorously for quality of finish and working order - one person, time - 3 minutes.
 
11. The product is ready to be sold.
 
Total - 7 people.
Time - 33 minutes.
 
 
 
A Word About Quality Control:
     

When a product is manufactured, whether in a school workshop or on a production line in a factory, quality control is very important. At almost every stage of production, the quality of the work should be checked and any defects corrected. The flow chart above shows that the product is check three times. Each quality control point shown in the flow chart is called a critical control point.

The overall quality of a product is checked by comparing it against quality control indicators. Some examples are shown below:


Weight - is the product greater than the minimum weight and less than the maximum weight allowed?
Size - is the product greater than the minimum size and less than the maximum size?.
Functionality - does it do what is outlined in the specification?
Appearance - What makes the product acceptable?
Other areas to be covered could be: sound,  colour, touch, and finish. Taste and smell are quality indicators (for food products).

     

Imagine you are to make a small coffee table. What could be the quality indicators for this product?

     
PRESENTING A FLOWCHART - YOUR PROJECT
 

A more detailed type of flow chart can be drawn, one that includes quality control at each stage of manufacture. Click here to see the basic layout.

     

     
EXAMPLE FLOW CHART WITH QUALITY CONTROL
 
 
     

A flow chart can be presented in any way you think is appropriate. The boxes can be a shape that fits the product you are designing, in this case they could have been circles representing a clock face. Use your imagination !

     

Frequency of analysis:

If the number of products to be manufacture is very small then every product is inspected. However, if large volumes are to be manufactured it is not economic to inspect every item - in this case sampling takes place. For example, one out of every hundred products may be quality checked with each sample checked against quality indicators. If a sample does not pass the quality check then the whole batch of one hundred would have to be individually checked.

     

THREE MAIN TYPES OF MANUFACTURING

     

The following three case studies explain the three main types of manufacturing. Click on each to read the case study:

Single Item

Batch Production

Continuous Production

 
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS ON SCHOOL BASED PRODUCTION LINES
 
School Mass Production Line - Questions and Possible Answers
Choice of Materials and Manufacture - School Production Line
Organisation of  School Mass Production Line
Flow Charts Representing the School Mass Production Line
 
 
 
     
     
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