Posted in Operations and Supply Chain Terms, Total Reads: 274

Definition: Assembly

An assembly is the place where man, machines and equipment process the work to form a single product. An assembly line is used in mass production where different parts of a product are added at different places on the line to make a finished product.

First use of assembly line was done by Eli Whitney in 1797 to manufacture muskets that had interchangeable parts, for USA government. They made 10000 musket rifles using the assembly line. The main reason to introduce assembly line was to improve the efficiency and productivity of a factory.

Advantages of Assembly Line

• Low per unit cost

• Specialized high volume equipment

• Bulk production at ease

• Lower labor required

• Minimum in-process inventory

• Ease of Managerial control



• Variety of output not possible to obtain

• Difficult to change rate of output

• Minor design changes may require significant changes to the equipment

• Workers feel boredom and hence more absenteeism

• Susceptible to equipment breakdowns

• Planning the layout and installing equipment is very complex

Example: Assembly of a chopper


As shown in the figure, if all 6 stages are to be completed at one place, then at one time we can assemble only one chopper. But here we split the assembly into 6 stages and each stage is completed at a different place. So we can simultaneously assemble 6 choppers, each one at a different stage thereby increasing the efficiency of assembling.



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