Mass production – what is it and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

2014-09-06
What is mass production?

Mass production is a system of manufacturing of goods based on operation continuity. Therefore, the products have to be always on the move during production processes, when passing through the subsequent production stages, for example processing, or they have to be transported to another station or machine. When one item leaves a station or a machine, another item should be delivered to it at once – the continuity of operation has to be ensured. This also means that the work establishment has to be appropriately designed, that relevant short-distance transport systems have to be selected, and that working stations should be arranged in such a way so as to ensure the maximum efficiency.

How mass production lines are designed?

As it was already mentioned, repeatability of processes, and also production continuity, is particularly important in mass production. Therefore, experts of Europa Systems, a company specialising in such technological solutions, point out that internal handling systems are of high importance here. Belt conveyors, roller conveyors, wheeled trucks, special raw material warehouses must be adjusted in optimal way to the needs of the work establishment in order to arrive at the highest efficiency. Therefore, mass production lines should be always individually tailored.

Advantages and disadvantages of mass production

Mass production cannot be implemented in any work establishment. It has both advantages and disadvantages and when adapting the production type to the needs of a production company, it is necessary to take them into account.

Advantages of mass production
  • reduction of the costs of unit production
  • repeatability of operations enables to manufacture identical products of the same quality
  • repeatability of operations is also conducive to the improvement of the production system processes
Disadvantages of mass production
  • a limited number of types of manufactured products – mass production processes do not allow for manufacturing any type of products
  • high similarity of products can diminish their competitiveness depending on their types
  • lower flexibility of production, since the production line is designed specifically for production of certain goods, and its modification involves additional costs
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