Assembly Line Definition


An Assembly Line is a production process that breaks th […]

An Assembly Line is a production process that breaks the manufacture of a good into steps that are completed in a pre-defined sequence. Assembly lines are the most commonly used method in the mass production of products. They reduce labor costs because unskilled workers are trained to perform specific tasks. Rather than hire a skilled craftsperson to put together an entire piece of furniture or vehicle engine, companies hire workers only to add a leg to a stool or a bolt to a machine.

An assembly line is where semi-finished products move from workstation to workstation. Parts are added in sequence until the final assembly is produced. Today, automated assembly lines are by machines with minimal human supervision.

The introduction of the assembly line drastically changed the way goods were manufactured. Credit Henry Ford, who set up an assembly line in 1908 to manufacture his Model T cars. Before, workers would assemble a product (or a large part of it) in place , often with one worker completing all tasks associated with the product's creation.

Assembly lines, on the other hand, have workers (or machines) complete a specific task on the product as it continues along the production line rather than complete a series of tasks. This increases efficiency by maximizing the amount a worker could produce relative to the cost of labor.

Companies use a design for assembly (DFA) approach to analyze a product and its design in order to determine assembly order and identify issues that can affect each task. Each task is then categorized as either manual, robotic, or automatic, and is then assigned to individual stations along the manufacturing plant floor.

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