Total Cost Minimization : The Development Of The Assembly Line

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Total Cost Minimization
The development of the assembly line has greatly impacted the way in which products are manufactured for the masses today. The innovation of the assembly line reduced the cost required to make products which opened the market of luxury items, such as cars and kitchen appliances, to the middle class. The first assembly line designed for large scale manufacturing was developed by Henry Ford in 1913. Ford desired a method to produce a large quantity of the Model T car at a minimal cost. Ford achieved this method by standardizing the parts required to make the car, simplifying large tasks into smaller ones and increasing the demands of manual labour. Ford’s assembly line provided other car manufacturing companies with
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Automation enables parts to be manufactured at a rapid pace; however these newly developed machines are able to assess if there is a defect in the part or in the machine itself and are programmed stop immediately to prevent manufacturing defected products. Primarily, human automation minimizes the cost of production as it reduces the number of workers necessary to ensure a quality product. Workers can be less vigilant while monitoring the machines as the machines have sensors that indicate if there is a problem that needs to be addressed. As a result, one worker can monitor several machines which reduces the cost associated with worker’s wages. Secondly, this type of automation reduces the total cost as it minimizes the amount of defected products that are manufactured. Dr. Anil Mital from the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Cincinnati comments, “it is essential to integrate inspection into automated manufacturing in order to provide the necessary feedback which could be used to fine tune the automated manufacturing system” (119). This insight demonstrates the importance of manufacturing quality products the first time to reduce costs. Inspection prevents the mass production of defected products which eliminates the costs needed to repair the unusable parts. Therefore, the development of human automation allows for total cost minimization in the manufacturing process as it reduces the
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