What is Repetitive Manufacturing?
Repetitive manufacturing is the factory process function in which products are produced for rapid production flow. A distinguishing property of repetitive manufacturing is its primary utilization of assembly and/or production lines, specializing in repetitive production.
Producers use this manufacturing method when they are mass-producing products that are similar in layout and function. If there are any variations in product design, they’re marginal and won’t make for major changes in the creation process. Using this process in conjunction with discrete manufacturing can also help production rates. However, with marginal changes, this means that the repetitive manufacturing process is not befitting for someone producing products with more creative variety, such as a crafter, maker, or artist. For one of those three producers, a more traditional and hands-on method of manufacturing is better suited for production. For artists, the products being made are typically more unique or customizable and their production requires more attentiveness to the finer details. This is something much more difficult to achieve in repetitive manufacturing.
A strict schedule is used for repetitive manufacturing in order to attain a set production rate and keep a certain level of quality. These production rates are typically set with a daily, weekly, or monthly target in mind.
Because the items being produced are so similar, the setup time is significantly lower than compared to other manufacturing methods. This allows for a shorter manufacturing lead time.
To run efficiently, manufacturers need a master production schedule. This will help to stay ahead of production needs as the production here is done prior to customers placing orders.
Examples of production companies utilizing a repetitive manufacturing process would be durable goods, cars, and electronic products.
What are the benefits of Repetitive Manufacturing?
Repetitive manufacturing is used by manufacturers committed to a specific production rate. The process uses specific production lines that are producing the same, or extremely similar products, all the time.
With setup being minimal and noninvasive to the production line, there are many benefits to the use of repetitive manufacturing.
- This is an extremely cost-efficient method of production.
- Use of the machinery typically requires low skill levels, potentially allowing for a lower entry point for future employees.
- You’ll be able to easily monitor the manufacturing process (performance visibility) from one location, from the beginning to the end of production.
- With this method, you’ll be freeing up employee time, as their main responsibility will be to maintain machinery.
- Using repetitive manufacturing makes tracking real-time manufacturing analytics an easier and more straightforward process.
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What are the disadvantages of Repetitive Manufacturing?
- Teardowns, when a different item begins manufacturing or how the item is manufactured changes, can be costly for the company.
- Because this process produces mass-produced items, customers are less likely to be able to personalize or customize their orders.
- Low skill levels is a pro and a con in repetitive manufacturing. The work is usually monotonous and repetitive, typically leaving employees feeling uninspired by their daily activities.
- With mass-production, there’s always the possibility of either not meeting customer demand or overestimated demand for the product.