Three Types of Manufacturing Concepts

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Technology continues to advance our manufacturing concepts.
Technology continues to advance our manufacturing concepts. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

In the ever-changing world of technology, there have been many different types of manufacturing concepts through the years. As technology increases, so do the concepts. Mass production has become an important part of everyday life; therefore, it is important to develop ways to effectively produce these products. These concepts discuss the types of products that can be made and the risks and costs associated with each.

Just-In-Time Manufacturing

Just-in-Time manufacturing has evolved from providing just enough product to meet demand, to now providing as much demand as is necessary with as little waste as possible. This is a simple concept that provides much better understanding, and involves less risk. Providing just enough products to meet the demand saves a company money because they have less waste; it also prevents having to provide storage of unused products. For this concept to work, the entire company needs to be on board with the concept. This only works if everyone works together, because if one line falls behind, quotas will not be reached.

Custom Manufacturing

Custom manufacturing involves making specific products. This is one of the older concepts of manufacturing, but is still relevant in the 21st century. Back before machines and factories existed, every product was made in a customized fashion. Nowadays, products can be made in bulk by machines, but there is still a need for customized products. For example, handmade quilts are made by custom manufacturing.

Continuous Manufacturing

For complex products such as car parts or furniture, continuous manufacturing is needed. This concept is relatively new compared to custom manufacturing; it is solely based on the demand of the product. Each part can be made the same way, so assembly lines are used to assemble the parts. The parts may be going to a variety of different suppliers; therefore, just-in-time manufacturing would not be practical.

Costs

The product and the business can determine what type of manufacturing to use. Another factor that can determine which concept to use is cost. The most practical manufacturing concept related to cost is just-in-time manufacturing because it prevents waste and gives you just the right of product to meet the demand. The risk associated with just-in-time manufacturing deals with not meeting quotas if a line goes down. The most expensive concept of manufacturing is customized because you have to pay a lot more for production of specialized products. Continuous manufacturing is practical in the sense that many products can be made to meet demand, but is very pricey since the technology needed for mass production is very expensive and the upkeep of such technology is expensive as well.

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