What Are the Pros and Cons of Assembly Line Production?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 10 August 2018
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The invention of assembly line production resulted in many different advantages, but there are some significant disadvantages in the method as well. Most of the benefits have to do with a reduction in cost and an increased uniformity of the finished products. In addition to creating higher profit margins, this can also result in products that are more affordable and easier to repair. Disadvantages that are often associated with this method of mass production include lower build qualities, rigid or inflexible production facilities, and a substantially higher initial capital investment. This type of production is often associated with monotonous or repetitive jobs as well, which can lead to motivational problems with the workers.

Prior to the advent of the assembly line, the alternatives were less efficient methods such as cottage industries and craft production. These methods often allowed for the creation of high quality products, but the cost to produce them was also high. Each product also tended to be somewhat unique, which could lead to issues if repairs were needed. Since assembly line production involves creating highly uniform products at a fast pace, many of these issues were eradicated. One example is in automobile manufacturing, where the production method drove down the cost of the vehicles to the point where the working class could afford to purchase them.


Production using assembly lines did away with many of the disadvantages of earlier methods, though it also came with its own set of issues. One main disadvantage of this method is the initial capital investment required to set up a production facility. This can result in a large amount of capital being tied up for a substantial amount of time until a factory becomes profitable. Another related issue is the fact that assembly lines typically cannot be modified easily or cheaply to create different products, which can result in a degree of inflexibility.

Assembly line production can also suffer from personnel issues due to the monotony of the work. In craft or job production, a worker is typically responsible for the creation of an entire product and may be called upon to use a variety of different skills. Many assembly lines are so segmented that each worker is expected to perform a single task over and over again, which may result in motivational issues. The efficiency of assembly lines can also allow one worker or a robot to do the work of many, which may lead to a loss of overall jobs in production industries.


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Post 4

@bonij -- I understand where you're coming from, but that type of industry really isn't feasible nowadays, especially for larger things like cars. Unless you really go back to the 18th or 19th century in your lifestyle, you're going to have to get some things made off of an assembly line.

Besides, there are benefits to assembly line made items too. If it's a good company, then the pieces will be standardized and guaranteed to be of high quality -- definite plusses in my book.

Post 3

I have to say that I hate buying things from an assembly line. I wish we could go back to the cottage industry era where things were manufactured by hand. Everything from that era just seems to last so much longer and be of higher quality. This is why I buy locally made, artisan made items as much as possible.

Post 2

The very first summer job my husband had was an assembly line job. He knew right away that he would not be able to handle it even for a summer. I don't think he made it through the first whole week on the job.

He has never worked in any kind of assembly work since then. All jobs have their monotonous duties that have to be done, but I think there is something harder about working on on assembly line.

I think it would help quite a bit if you could listen to your choice of music or something you could do that would put your mind on something else without taking away from the quality of your work.

Post 1

I have never worked in an assembly line job, but worked for a company who manufactured airplane parts, and there were many times I was out on the floor where the assembly lines were.

Some of the employees had worked at the same job for many years, doing the same thing over and over again every day. Their production and quality was something that was monitored on a regular basis.

I am thankful there are people who do that kind of work as I probably use many things that are made by assembly workers. I just don't think I could stand doing the same thing day after day and not get too bored.

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