Concept of Mass Production and its Advantages and Disadvantages

Concept of Mass Production and its Advantages and Disadvantages
Mass production means producing items in large amounts. This Buzzle article will help you understand the concept of mass production and its advantages and disadvantages.
BusinessZeal Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Did You Know?
The UNIVAC was the first commercial computer to have a mass production, 46 systems were built in total. This is particularly significant, considering that UNIVAC was as huge as a room, consisting of 18,000 crystal diodes and 5,200 vacuum tubes, weighing around 17,000 pounds.
Mass production involves producing goods in a large quantity. This strategy is undertaken in big companies under various circumstances. In the industrial usage, this term is called flow production. Though it is targeted at an individual low cost, it does not necessarily mean low quality. To obtain an overall profit, it is essential that all the products are consumed. The paragraphs below focus on the advantages and disadvantages of mass production.
The Concept
  • The definition of mass production is very simple, as mentioned numerous times already, it indicates excess production at a lesser cost per unit.
  • During the Machine Age, this involved usage of excessive electricity.
  • The term was first conceptualized during the early decades of the 20th century, by the Ford Motor Company.
  • The owner of the company, Henry Ford, arranged to manufacture special tools, fixtures, electric motors, drills, etc., and manufacture more machines and engines.
  • His contribution to this concept consisted of improving ways of production and resulting in a better output.
  • In the latter half of the century though, the concept gained immense popularity, and today, the trend concentrates on product design and market analysis.
Examples
  • The use of mass production is prominent in the automobile, oil, paper, and lumber industries.
  • Some other examples of mass production involve producing electronic items, like washing machines, mobile phones, computer systems, refrigerators, microwave ovens, etc.
  • They also include manufacturing hydraulic systems, like sound and light systems, radio assemblies, panels, brakes, etc.
  • It is not necessary that mass production has to occur only for manufacturing huge machines, the process takes place in companies that specialize in making sub-components as well.
Advantages
Higher Accuracy and Automation
  • A lot of goods are manufactured, and they are all standardized items.
  • This results in a high accuracy level, though it requires continuous monitoring.
  • The reason for this is that the assembly line is set up in such a way, that the machines accept an input of a fixed size and precision.
  • Thus, the goods receive the highest level of automation.
Less Labor Costs
  • A lot of things are pre-decided, this results in division of labor, which is also one of the contributing factors for a high accuracy.
  • More so, since each worker (or group of workers) focuses on his individual job, a higher degree of reliability is established.
  • Mass-hiring results in less labor costs.
Fast Production Rate
  • A high level of automation leads to powered machinery and consequently, increased rate of production.
  • Goods are manufactured efficiently and at an increased pace.
  • A fast rate of production implies that the goods can be marketed faster.
  • This leads to a healthy profit in less time.
Less Expenditure per Unit
  • Low individual cost is a key feature of mass production.
  • Automated tools are used, which ensures that work gets done faster than usual.
  • Efficient use of equipment per batch results in less individual cost.
Disadvantages
Wasted Resources
  • Sometimes, if there is anything wrong with the product design, the entire production cycle is affected.
  • Also, this cannot be accurately verified until several have already been made.
  • This results in terrific wastage of resources.
  • Limited resources is also a serious issue, and if there is something wrong with the machine, it would result in terrible losses.
No Assurance
  • As already mentioned, mass consumption is essential to determine the success rate of mass production.
  • The company needs to take into account the market demand of the product.
  • However, there is no assurance or guarantee that the product will be a hit among the consumers, and if it is not so, there will be no profit.
  • All the produced goods will then be wasted.
More Expense for Material
  • Though the overall expenditure per unit is reduced, the use of automated machine tools requires a lot of investment.
  • Also, there are other raw materials devised during the product design plan, which are very expensive and need to be purchased for a faster rate of production.
Less Variety
  • Similarity is a trait of mass production.
  • It is different if the product is in excess demand, but after a while, consumers may lose interest due to less variety.
  • Even while producing the item, it is a bulk manufacturing strategy, and therefore, no variety is introduced, all the items are of the same quality, dimensions, etc.
  • This could lead to limited consumption and wastage of capital.
Mass production, like other production strategies, needs a great deal of thought. It is always characterized by introducing some type of mechanization in order to retain quality and achieve a high success rate. It is up to the manufacturers to use the advantages to the best of their ability and combat the disadvantages using effective means.