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Planning And Control Of Mass Production

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Henry Ford is considered the father of modern mass production. His Ford motor company was the first to start assembly line production of vehicles. Mass production, as the name suggests follows the concept of assembly line. The task or the production process is broken down or divided into simplest possible components. These components are the grouped to follow production procedures. Assembly line consists of work stations or arrangement of labor and equipment in a sequence. At each work station, a pre decided task is completed. This facilitates the production in large quantities. On an assembly line, the materials move continuously at a uniform average rate. At different work stations, a portion of work is done. Industries such as toys, automobiles, televisions, computers are all assembly line productions. Assembly line productions can be manual or through conveyor belts carrying materials at a pre decided rate so that there is sufficient time at each work station to perform the allotted task. The conveyor belts are of belt type, chain type, overhead type or screw type


Mass production pertains to a large quantity of production with standardized products having more or less the same features. This single standard product is manufactured on a continuous basis over a period of time. The determining factor is the demand on the basis of which continuous or batch type production is chosen.


This system has both advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of Mass Production :
  • There is a smooth flow of material from one work station to the next.

  • There are in built inventories at each work station because output of one work station becomes the input of the next.

  • Production time is shorter in assembly line productions.

  • The material is more efficiently handled since work stations are spaced closely together.

  • There is no special expertise required required for the staff. Training cost is lesser.

  • Production planning and control is simpler.

Disadvantages of Mass Production:
  • Since the proper functioning of all the machines is required in an assembly line production, maintenance is a challenge.

  • Assembly lines are rigid inflexible set ups. Any change in the design layout proves difficult.

  • The production speed is determined by the slowest machine.

  • Assembly line set ups are capital intensive since they require installation of specific types of machines


The assembly line balancing aims to minimize the idle time of machines. It means the reduction in the number of operators to perform a task. The entire assembly is divided into parts. An assembly line may follow any of the following models:

  • Modular Production:

  • Such a model is followed to introduce variety in the mass production system. In such a system, a minimum number of parts or processes are developed and produced. These are called modules. They can be combined in a different ways to offer variety.

  • Group Technology:

  • In a group technology plant layout, parts required in a particular operation are put under different groups. Machines are arranged in such a way that each machine is assigned to the production of one group.

  • Automation:

  • Machines, material and control are integrated in such a system.

Example of Mass production systems:

Production of biscuits in a factory can be taken as an example of mass production. At every stage a particular operation is performed using a specific machine. As is shown below, packs of identical biscuits are produced in an industrial unit

Stage: 1: MIXING: Flour + fat + sugar + bicarbonate + additives

Stage: 2: MOULDING: Dough is laminated in a laminator

Stage: 3: GAUZE ROLLS: Laminated dough is cut as per size and shape

Stage: 4: BAKING: Biscuits cut into shapes are baked in the oven

Stage: 5: COOLING: Biscuits are cooled in conveyors once they are baked

Stage: 6: PACKAGING: The final product is then packed into pouches and cartons

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