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John Wiley and Sons. Rabbani, M. The Venetian Arsenal apparently produced nearly one ship every day, in what was effectively the world's first factory which, at its height, employed 16, people. Mass production in the publishing industry has been commonplace since the Gutenberg Bible was published using a printing press in the midth century. In the Industrial Revolution , simple mass production techniques were used at the Portsmouth Block Mills in England to make ships' pulley blocks for the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars.
The Navy was in a state of expansion that required , pulley blocks to be manufactured a year. Bentham had already achieved remarkable efficiency at the docks by introducing power-driven machinery and reorganising the dockyard system. Brunel, a pioneering engineer, and Maudslay, a pioneer of machine tool technology who had developed the first industrially practical screw-cutting lathe in which standardized screw thread sizes for the first time which in turn allowed the application of interchangeable parts , collaborated on plans to manufacture block-making machinery.
By , the dockyard had been fully updated with the revolutionary, purpose-built machinery at a time when products were still built individually with different components. The machines would make markings and indentations on the blocks to ensure alignment throughout the process.
One of the many advantages of this new method was the increase in labour productivity due to the less labour-intensive requirements of managing the machinery. So that ten men, by the aid of this machinery, can accomplish with uniformity, celerity and ease, what formerly required the uncertain labour of one hundred and ten. By , annual production from the 45 machines had reached , blocks and some of the equipment was still in operation as late as the mid-twentieth century.
He also used Whitworth Standard threads throughout. Some of the organizational management concepts needed to create 20th-century mass production, such as scientific management , had been pioneered by other engineers most of whom are not famous, but Frederick Winslow Taylor is one of the well-known ones , whose work would later be synthesized into fields such as industrial engineering , manufacturing engineering , operations research , and management consultancy.
Although after leaving the Henry Ford Company which was rebranded as Cadillac and later was awarded the Dewar Trophy in for creating interchangeable mass-produced precision engine parts, Henry Ford downplayed the role of Taylorism in the development of mass production at his company. However, Ford management performed time studies and experiments to mechanize their factory processes, focusing on minimizing worker movements. The difference is that while Taylor focused mostly on efficiency of the worker, Ford also substituted for labor by using machines, thoughtfully arranged, wherever possible.
In , Eli Terry was hired to produce 4, wooden movement clocks in the Porter Contract. At this time, the annual yield for wooden clocks did not exceed a few dozen on average. Terry developed a Milling machine in , in which he perfected Interchangeable parts. In , Terry developed a spindle cutting machine, which could produce multiple parts at the same time.
The Porter Contract was the first contract which called for mass production of clock movements in history. In , Terry began mass producing the first shelf clock. Chauncey Jerome , an apprentice of Eli Terry mass produced up to 20, brass clocks annually in when he invented the cheap 30 hour OG clock. The United States Department of War sponsored the development of interchangeable parts for guns produced at the arsenals at Springfield, Massachusetts and Harpers Ferry , Virginia now West Virginia in the early decades of the 19th century, finally achieving reliable interchangeability by about Some of the methods employed were a system of gauges for checking dimensions of the various parts and jigs and fixtures for guiding the machine tools and properly holding and aligning the work pieces.
This system came to be known as armory practice or the American system of manufacturing , which spread throughout New England aided by skilled mechanics from the armories who were instrumental in transferring the technology to the sewing machines manufacturers and other industries such as machine tools, harvesting machines and bicycles.
Singer Manufacturing Co. Mass production benefited from the development of materials such as inexpensive steel, high strength steel and plastics. Machining of metals was greatly enhanced with high speed steel and later very hard materials such as tungsten carbide for cutting edges. Plastics such as polyethylene , polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride PVC can be easily formed into shapes by extrusion , blow molding or injection molding , resulting in very low cost manufacture of consumer products, plastic piping, containers and parts.
The article was written based on correspondence with Ford Motor Company and is sometimes credited as the first use of the term. Electrification of factories began very gradually in the s after the introduction of a practical DC motor by Frank J. Electrification of factories was fastest between and , aided by the establishment of electric utilities with central stations and the lowering of electricity prices from to Electric motors were several times more efficient than small steam engines because central station generation were more efficient than small steam engines and because line shafts and belts had high friction losses.
At that time it was still common to handle bulk materials with shovels, wheelbarrows and small narrow gauge rail cars, and for comparison, a canal digger in previous decades typically handled 5 tons per hour day. The biggest impact of early mass production was in manufacturing everyday items, such as at the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company , which electrified its mason jar plant in Muncie, Indiana , U. The new automated process used glass blowing machines to replace craftsman glass blowers and helpers.
A small electric truck was used to handle dozen bottles at a time where previously a hand truck would carry 6 dozen.
Electric mixers replaced men with shovels handling sand and other ingredients that were fed into the glass furnace. An electric overhead crane replaced 36 day laborers for moving heavy loads across the factory. According to Henry Ford : . The provision of a whole new system of electric generation emancipated industry from the leather belt and line shaft , for it eventually became possible to provide each tool with its own electric motor. This may seem only a detail of minor importance.
A Heuristic Program for Assembly Line Balancing | RAND
In fact, modern industry could not be carried out with the belt and line shaft for a number of reasons. The motor enabled machinery to be arranged in the order of the work, and that alone has probably doubled the efficiency of industry, for it has cut out a tremendous amount of useless handling and hauling. The belt and line shaft were also tremendously wasteful — so wasteful indeed that no factory could be really large, for even the longest line shaft was small according to modern requirements.
Also high speed tools were impossible under the old conditions — neither the pulleys nor the belts could stand modern speeds. Without high speed tools and the finer steels which they brought about, there could be nothing of what we call modern industry. Mass production was popularized in the late s and s by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company ,  which introduced electric motors to the then-well-known technique of chain or sequential production. Ford also bought or designed and built special purpose machine tools and fixtures such as multiple spindle drill presses that could drill every hole on one side of an engine block in one operation and a multiple head milling machine that could simultaneously machine 15 engine blocks held on a single fixture.
All of these machine tools were arranged systematically in the production flow and some had special carriages for rolling heavy items into machining position. Production of the Ford Model T used 32, machine tools. Mass production systems for items made of numerous parts are usually organized into assembly lines. The assemblies pass by on a conveyor, or if they are heavy, hung from an overhead crane or monorail.
In a factory for a complex product, rather than one assembly line, there may be many auxiliary assembly lines feeding sub-assemblies i. A diagram of a typical mass-production factory looks more like the skeleton of a fish than a single line. Vertical integration is a business practice that involves gaining complete control over a product's production, from raw materials to final assembly.
In the age of mass production, this caused shipping and trade problems in that shipping systems were unable to transport huge volumes of finished automobiles in Henry Ford's case without causing damage, and also government policies imposed trade barriers on finished units. Ford built the Ford River Rouge Complex with the idea of making the company's own iron and steel in the same large factory site as parts and car assembly took place. River Rouge also generated its own electricity.
Upstream vertical integration, such as to raw materials, is away from leading technology toward mature, low return industries.
Most companies chose to focus on their core business rather than vertical integration. This included buying parts from outside suppliers, who could often produce them as cheaply or cheaper.