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mass production




The production of large numbers of identical objects, usually by use of mechanization. The root of mass production is the assembly line, essentially a conveyor belt which transports the product so that each worker or robot may perform a single function on it (e.g., add a component). The advantages of mass production are cheapness and speed; the disadvantages are the lack of job satisfaction for the workers and the resultant numerical control machines.

in 1798, US inventor Eli Whitney introduced mass production when he was given the contract to make 10,000 guns for the US Army. Whitney built machinery to make identical parts for all the guns, so that all the components could be produced quickly and were guaranteed to fit. It also meant that damaged parts could be replaced with standard spares. The assembly line, with a conveyor belt carrying the work through a series of assembly areas, is another feature of mass-production processes. In 1912 Henry Ford used this system in Detroit for the mass production of his Model T car. Many modern mass-production processes depend on computer control of machines, including robots.


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   • TECHNOLOGY