Manufacture of discrete parts or assemblies using a continuous process are called Mass Production. This production system is justified by very large volume of production. The machines are arranged in a line or product layout. Product and process standardisation exists and all outputs follow the same path.
Mass Production is characterised by
1. Standardisation of product and process sequence.
2. Dedicated special purpose machines having higher production capacities and output rates.
3. Large volume of products.
4. Shorter cycle time of production.
5. Lower in process inventory.
6. Perfectly balanced production lines.
7. Flow of materials, components and parts is continuous and without any back tracking.
8. Production planning and control is easy.
9. Material handling can be completely automatic.
Following are the advantages of Mass Production:
1. Higher rate of production with reduced cycle time.
2. Higher capacity utilisation due to line balancing.
3. Less skilled operators are required.
4. Low process inventory.
5. Manufacturing cost per unit is low.
Following are the limitations of Mass Production:
1. Breakdown of one machine will stop an entire production line.
2. Line layout needs major change with the changes in the product design.
3. High investment in production facilities.
4. The cycle time is determined by the slowest operation.