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Ford Production System

Essay by   •  July 16, 2011  •  Case Study  •  785 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,888 Views

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A. Examine the mass and assembly line production system at Ford, which helped the company gain recognition as an innovator in the automobile industry

Innovation has been at the heart of Ford since its inception in 1903. From the original assembly line using CPS, to being the first in the industry in using CAD/CAM tools to design models, Ford always believed in bringing the best to the masses at affordable cost.

While Ford started in 1903 and were manufacturing cars using their initial Craft Production System model it was only in 1908 with the launch of "Ford Model T" that company gained popularity due to its low cost and high reliability and durability. With the Model T, Ford introduced the mass-production system where the parts were standardized and assembling them became easy with increased interchangeably. Mass production system is generally a name given to a method of producing goods in large quantities at low cost per unit. It is itself characterized by mechanization to achieve higher volumes. This helped Ford to design that limited the number of parts required to assemble the car and made the process of assembly easy. While the process was quite efficient it still had some problems. Workers still had to move from one car to another which was a waste of time and energy.

The challenges of these, led Ford to extend the application of these ideas to new extremes - involving heavy investment in highly specialized machine tools and handling systems, and extending the division and separation of labor to provide workers whose main tasks were assembly the portion of the machines.

An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which are added to a product in a sequential manner using optimally planned logistics to create a finished product much faster than with single crafting-type methods.

While initially a whole car would be assembled by one assembler. One assembler would assemble a big portion of the car before going on to the next one. The assembly line allowed the workers to stay in one spot. Instead of the worker going to the car, the car came to the workers on a 250 foot long assembly line. Each man had just one simple job to do. For example, if a man put a bolt on, he would not put the nut on. Using time and motion Ford engineers timed the conveyer belt to allow the worker to do his job and keep the line moving. The time it took to put a car together was getting better all the time. This innovation reduced the cycle time of the task from 2.3 mins to 1.19 mins. The total assembly time for the Model T chassis fell drastically from 12 hrs 20 mins to 5 hrs 50 mins. From $850 in 1907 the prices were cut on the Model T to $390.00 in 1914. An assembly line worker could buy a Model T with four months' pay

By 1914, the assembly process for the Model T had been so streamlined it took only 93 minutes to assemble a car. That year Ford produced more

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