Henry Ford is credited with inventing the assembly line. In 1913, Ford Motors was using horse-drawn carriages to bring each piece to the factory’s workers. With an average assembly time of twelve and a half hours, Ford was desperate for a solution. A basic rope-and-pulley system trimmed assembly time down to six hours. This first iteration of the assembly line is now a manufacturing staple around the world.
Although the basic concept remains a staple, modern assembly line production is extremely different from its origin. Read on to discover five fundamentals of modern assembly line manufacturing.
Table of Contents
1. Build a Perfect Line
Creating a functional assembly line requires a great amount of thought and trial and error. An end result product must be unpacked piece by piece. The order of the assembly of parts has to match the order of your workers. The tools at each station must also match each task.
It’s easiest to start at the beginning. A mess of parts may seem intimidating, but sorting those parts into the beginning, middle, and end sections will make it much easier to divide the work correctly.
2. Have the Right Tools for Assembly Line Manufacturing
Once you figure out the order of assembly, it’s time to think about tools. As piecemeal work is brought to workers on conveyors, these workers must have the correct tools to complete their tasks. Screwdrivers, scissors, sewing machines — whatever the correct tool, make sure it is available at each station.
3. Hire Skilled Workers
The beauty of assembly line manufacturing is it’s simple to train skilled workers. But like any business, it’s important to hire people with a desire to learn and improve. The right person with the right attitude can always be taught how to do an assembly line job quickly and efficiently.
Attitude and desire will go a long way in promoting the success of your manufacturing.
4. Integrate Technology
The ever-present threat to assembly line jobs is technology. But there is no need to fear this asset. Use technology as a tool to your benefit. Nothing can replace the highly skilled work of a human being. But technology can help with delicate tasks that require accuracy 100 percent of the time.
Technology can also help monitor production and identify problem areas on the assembly line.
5. Rinse and Repeat
Once your assembly line is functioning smoothly and efficiently, repeat that process all over. Having two or three assembly lines doing the same tasks will improve production levels. And once you are able to sort out the problems in one assembly line, it’s much easier to set up a flawless duplicate once or twice more.
Assembly line manufacturing is one of the world’s greatest inventions. With over one hundred years of use in production, the assembly line will continue to morph as technology updates and demands increase. Interested in reading more articles like this?
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