A type of process in which high volumes of identical, or very similar, products are made in a set sequence of operations. It involves high capital expenditure and depends on efficient plant layouts and procedures, as well as good product design to minimize unit costs. The levels of skill required are not usually high. In recent years a number of organizations have experimented with systems that trade off the benefits of full line production in exchange for the increased levels of motivation following from giving staff more ownership of the product, e.g. through cellular layout. The introduction of computerized control systems has enabled some manufacturers to produce apparently unique products without losing the benefits of the line process. For example, some Japanese car manufacturers have put together a relatively small range of standard components, trims, finishes, etc., to the customer's specification, which enables them to claim that no two of their cars are identical.
Subjects: Business and Management.