Mass production

From ArticleWorld

Mass production refers to the manufacture of goods of a similar kind on a large scale. It applies manufacturing processes based on the principles of specialization/division of work and standardization of items. In this way, high rates of output with respect to unit cost can be ensured resulting in high efficiency for a manufacturing establishment. Lower costs can be safely projected as the volume of production increases.


Principles of mass production

Mass production is based on two important principles:

  1. The division and specialization of human labour
  2. The use and deployment of machinery and automated processes to aid large-scale production.

Mass production requires the use of the same tools over and over again by human workers adequately trained in specialized tasks. Once a certain worker’s task is accomplished, the work is handed over to other workers for completion. This may apply to fully automated processes as well. For example, in a car manufacturing plant, welding of parts like the chassis, doors and dashboards is done by robots programmed to do the job. Another set of robots perform the assembly of the audio system and so on. Once the welding and fabrication is done, the cars are transferred to the painting division.

Benefits of mass production

A few of the benefits of mass production are:

  1. There is high efficiency of manufacturing because of reduced losses in each stage.
  2. The skills of every worker are honed as a result of specialization of work unlike the case of craftsmen who may have to do jobs other than their main tasks as well.
  3. The costs of production are well-justified.
  4. There is excellent accuracy in the finished goods.
  5. The management of raw material, different stages of manufacture as well as stores of finished goods is easy and highly organized.

Methods of mass production

A number of techniques may be used in mass production. Before an establishment goes about the manufacture of goods on a large scale, it is necessary to consider how the design of a certain product may be implemented. Raw material should be easily available at each stage. Human workers and robots should be adequately equipped/programmed. Production techniques should focus on projected volumes.

Mass production is usually organized on assembly lines. This method involves the use of a main conveyor belt supported by auxiliary conveyor belts or overhung monorails. Thus a main assembly is supported by sub-assemblies. This is used in the production of a large variety of goods from everyday items such as groceries or pharmaceutical products to heavy vehicles.

Mass production may also involve vertical integration in which goods are manufactured from their raw materials by one single establishment, which need not depend on other suppliers.


Mass production is not an entirely new concept. This concept was used in the manufacture of ships on a large scale during the Middle Ages. With the invention of printing, books were printed in thousands using the principles of this method. It was one of the major contributing factors why the Industrial Revolution picked up. It was in the early 20th century that mass production became popular when the great industrialist Henry Ford used this technique in his car manufacturing plant. Today, mass production of various kinds of goods has led to a vast improvement in man’s quality of living.