production line

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

production line


assembly line

a means of organizing PRODUCTION whereby a product is manufactured by passing it through a series of operations, further materials or components being added as appropriate. This method of production is used in, for example, the production of motor cars and electrical products such as television sets.

In planning an assembly line careful attention must be paid to PRODUCTION-LINE BALANCING to ensure that all operations are synchronized so as to produce a preplanned volume of output.

Assembly-line methods usually involve breaking down production operations into many small tasks. This has the benefit of reducing the complexity of each task, reducing the skill demanded of production operatives and reducing training costs. Such lines also create opportunities to use specialized purpose-built machines to undertake particular production or assembly processes (see AUTOMATION, ROBOT). Assembly line methods also facilitate the use of special materials-handling devices like conveyor belts which reduce materials-handling costs. Finally, use of assembly lines serves to reduce stock holdings of raw materials and components between production processes by making it easier to estimate daily production and usage.

On the other hand, assembly lines are vulnerable to breakdowns and disruptions since a breakdown at any point on the assembly line stops the whole production process. In addition, the speed at which the line is operated can cause stress problems for operatives. Finally, the limited and repetitive nature of each operation can lead to worker demotivation. To counter such motivational problems some companies use job enrichment programmes whereby operatives undertake a wider range of activities, or interchange between activities (see JOB DESIGN AND REDESIGN). See PRODUCT-FOCUSED LAYOUT, JUST-IN-TIME (JIT) SYSTEM.

References in periodicals archive ?
However, as workers are the key to raising productivity on a production line, it is difficult to perform verification in virtual environments, necessitating a resort to a process of trial-and-error on the production line in order to improve efficiency.
As the last major aircraft production line in southern California, it would be devastating to lose that industrial capacity in 2008 when the 180th aircraft is finished.
Mobile platforms move parallel to the production line and are height adjustable.
Bosses at the Rosyth factory are to mothball one of the six production lines.
Ichniowski and Shaw's sample includes 36 production lines in the steel industry that use similar technologies to manufacture the same product.
The company adhering to the" Shoulder to shoulder, for a Win-Win future" business philosophy, providing customers with high quality and efficiency of the complete production line, responsible for training, guidance and long term technical support and services, always do its best to fulfill the customer's satisfaction.
JinYi can manufacture a variety of non-woven machines and production lines.
of Taipei City, Taiwan, to provide Spire's 10-megawatt turnkey photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing production line.
Italy for a tissue production line at its mill in Stendal, Germany (see photo above).
On Thursday, Boeing executives with the 717 program and the Boeing Long Beach Commercial Site met individually with groups of plant workers to tell them the plane's production line would end after existing orders are filled.
A long, mature production line had already been established and was operating for the STANDARD Missile.
With all the investments made in automation and other production line advancements in recent years, it is almost startling to realize that material handling via conveyor systems has lagged behind considerably in many manufacturing operations, despite the presence of more advanced equipment and methods.