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Mass production


Mass production
Most great inventions, we have discussed above, relate to art. For centuries, technological improvements allow to revolutionize the production of repeatedly increasing productivity. But the invention, which will be discussed in this chapter, has a very different nature - it is not in the art and is, essentially, what is called scientific organization of labor. It turned out that this area of ​​relations, which for a long time did not pay enough attention, is fraught with enormous opportunities and can make a revolution in production, equal in importance the introduction of the steam engine or electric motor. The first crucial proper organization of labor in its factories demonstrated a prominent American entrepreneur and engineer Henry Ford. The son of a poor farmer, he was a few years thanks to a clear mind, cold calculation and brilliant intuition acquired multimillion state and became one of the richest people in the world. Ford was a brilliant engineer, talented inventor, consummate businessman and an original philosopher. Yet he did not become famous for his inventive talents or business skills, and the fact that developed, embodied in the life and perfected the idea of ​​mass-line conveyor production. There is no doubt that the organization of mass production - one of the greatest inventions of the XX century, thanks to which humanity for the last eighty years, has received an unprecedented increase in wealth. Since its widespread introduction of industrialized countries as it has reached a new, qualitatively different level and was finished in a few decades to the introduction of new high-tech - a comprehensive mechanization, automation and robotics of production, that is all that has brought scientific and technological revolution of 50-90 's, our century.

It all started very modestly. In 1893, Henry Ford (who was then working as a mechanic in Detroit Electric Company) has collected the car on a gas engine. It was the first car in the city and one of the few in America. A few years later Ford was able to organize "the Detroit car company", in which he took over as chief engineer. The company has established production of cars Ford design, but things were not going her since Ford's voice then had a large weight, and many questions were solved in spite of its recommendations. In 1902, Ford abandoned his post, left the company and immersed himself in the construction of a new car. When the car was ready, he spoke at the competition and won the race champion Alexander Winton America. In 1903, he created a new race car "999" - a monster with an engine 80 hp This car driver Barney Oldfield won the 1903 race at a kilometer ahead of his rivals.

These two remarkable victories attracted the attention of the business community in Ford cars. In the same year it was founded, "Ford Motor Company", in which Henry Ford was vice-chairman, chief engineer and director. In subsequent years, gradually buying up Ford stock. In 1906, he already had a controlling interest, and by 1919 - 92% of the shares. Moreover, for each share of which in 1903 was worth only $ 100 he paid in 1919 for 12,500 dollars, ie shares for 15 years jumped to 125 times! It spoke of a rare even by American standards, the commercial success of the enterprise. 1700 cars were sold the first year of existence of the company. In those days it was considered a good indicator. Shareholders were satisfied, but the Ford believed that 1,700 cars a year - it is ridiculously small. Even then he wanted to produce the same number of cars per day. These plans may seem unfounded, yet they are based on a precise calculation. Furthermore, Ford was confident that the 1000-2000 produced cars per day - this is not the limit, and that for a country like America; You can make 6-8 thousand and even 10 thousand cars a day! And they can not just produce, but also to successfully sell, gain a lot of money.

At the beginning of the XX century, when the car was still a novelty, many looked upon him as a pleasant but very expensive toy, available only for the rich. In fact, the cars produced at the time in Europe, were very expensive, so few could afford to have their fun. Car companies not only did not try to dispel this belief, but, on the contrary, in every way he played up. The whole car business has been focused on the upper strata of society: the cars have been sought and produced in small batches. Constantly stressed that car - it is a luxury or sports, a necessary element of fun, elegant and aristocratic life.

Meanwhile, Ford's policy was exactly the opposite direction. From the beginning, he tried to prove that the car is not a luxury but a necessary thing in everyday life of modern man. To make the car available to the widest segments of society, he now and then reduced the prices of its "Ford", abandoning the short-term super-profits for the sake of expanding sales. He did not want to pursue the fashion and did not want to produce new models, because I thought that it is better to win the trust of customers continuously improving the same model. He also believed that the commercial success of a particular model depends not primarily on the appearance of the car, and how strong and durable, every detail and how much will a comprehensive after-sales service of the manufacturer. While most manufacturers after the car stopped selling all sorts of things with the customer and were even more interested in the fact that the car sold them quickly deteriorated. Ford is in no way has not adhered to these views, and paid great attention to the creation of a network of repair shops, production of spare parts and maintenance of machines already implemented. Every buyer of his car had the right to a number of services from the company in respect of maintenance and operating assistance.

However, Ford did not immediately able to implement their plans. For several years, as already mentioned, it was not the absolute master of the enterprise. The perfect car models, where production could focus all their efforts, too, was not yet. Just got our hands on a controlling stake, Ford was able to turn its full width. In 1908, low-cost design has been developed, but very reliable car which has received the name "T" model. It did not contain a single new unit, which in one form or another would not have already been tested in some of the previous models. What is new is only the material from which most of the parts of the machine was made - vanadium steel, has an amazing ease and at the same time a remarkable strength. This car Ford made millionaire celebrity and one of the kings of American industry.

After creating your perfect car, Ford decided to no longer deal with its modernization and to focus on mass production of a single model. His plans have caused a stir among shareholders and among sales agents. All in one voice saying that the market requires diversity, and a single model would alienate a significant portion of the buyers. On this Ford confidently argued that 95% of consumers do not know what they want, and if they instill confidence in the brand new, they will not make specific claims. He spent a lot of money on advertising, flooding all the newspaper ads, which proved that the model "T" meets all the requirements, which only can be presented to a perfect car. He constantly emphasized that his car - not for the rich, it is designed for the "average" American, it is a "family", "popular" car, etc. All these were completely new techniques in the automotive business. Prior to this, no one believed that it is possible to manufacture an inexpensive, but nice car and that in general you can find buyers for the car in the wide circles of the urban and rural bourgeoisie.

Ford is the first to prove that everything is possible. Its portable, easiest and cheapest car available to any average American, as well as possible meet the requirements of the time. By 1910 it was already sold 10 thousand "Ford T", and in 1911-1912 - 34 thousand. Production is rapidly gaining momentum. Ford bought in a suburb of Detroit, in Highland Park, a large piece of land here and began building a huge plant, designed to produce not thousands, but millions of vehicles. It was a completely new type of mass flow production, before on such a scale never ever apply. It is the first time Ford did conveyor assembly process and the main axis of a completely new developed system of labor-intensive processes of decomposition of complex into its component parts. He was the first to implement the idea as much as possible cheap, but the mass of the car. These were the three pillars on which the unprecedented prosperity of his enterprise.

Ford's strength lies in the organization of labor. All processes at its plants, from the casting of parts before screwing the nut insignificant, have been streamlined with such perfection, what no one before him and never reached. Production flow of moving from raw materials to finished machine, never turning back. Initially, the factory in Highland Park assembly of cars made by means of the working teams, which moved the shop with handcarts and hauled to each car for the relevant parts of the assembly. Assembly team moved from one car to another and thus collected the entire car from start to finish.

In the improved system, Ford workers left motionless and began to carry the materials by them manually. Soon the short line for final assembly of cars has been arranged, where the parts moved by workers using mechanical force. This system with further improvements became a conveyor. The first experience with the assembly through was made in April 1913 at the assembly of the magneto. Prior to that, one working for nine hours of the working day can collect between 35 and 40 magneto that is spent on each of about 20 minutes. After the introduction of the assembly line time required to assemble a magneto, it was reduced to 13 minutes. A few days Ford stood near the assembly line worker, watching every movement of workers. He noted that builders have to stoop while working due to the fact that the pipeline is too low. He stopped and told to raise the production pipeline by 8 inches. After that, build time reduced to a single magneto 7 minutes. New improvements have brought it up to 5 minutes. Not wasting funds on new machines or materials, only one expansion of the assembly process at 45 elementary operations and the movement of material by standing in a fairly comfortable position and still working Ford has achieved amazing results, increasing productivity by almost 4 times.

Shortly conveyor was used in the assembly of the chassis. Under the old method of assembly of the chassis required 12 o'clock 8 minutes. When I tried to break it down into a few simple steps and built a primitive pipeline (with the help of a rope and pulled past the gates of the chassis line workers) assembly reduced to 5 hours and 50 minutes. Ford continued to improve the pipeline. In adjusting to the average growth of the workers, he tried to pave the way teams at different heights. Its engineers have worked on the fragmentation of complex processes into constituent parts. Each worker had to do less and less of a variety of hand movements. As a result of all these improvements one chassis assembly time reduced to 1 hour 33 minutes. The process of division of labor was brought virtually to the limit: if one worker drives the bolt, then put another nut and screw it in the third.

Working in Ford's production turned into an appendage of the machine. On the assembly line during operation could not make it unnecessary step or motion. Tools he should have been positioned so that it does not have to search for them or to bend them. The rhythm of the assembly worked more most ferocious guards. Thanks to him, Ford sought the maximum rates, which only can be achieved without compromising the quality of work.

However, despite this, the unemployed from all over America sought to get to Ford raised high wages. Because the production process is broken down into elementary operations, Ford almost did not need skilled workers. He readily took to his people completely unskilled, ignorant, even crippled. Already in 1915, perhaps the first of the major manufacturers, Ford introduced a 5-day work week and reduced the working day to 8 hours. However, the labor intensity of its plants was so high that the cost 10 hours in any other plant. Every second demand full commitment. Seven hours of work countless times repeating the same movement. Talking to smoke or sit during operation is strictly prohibited. If someone wanted to go out, he raised his finger and waited for the supervisor is not sent to replace him deputy. During the break, which lasted only 15 minutes, to the shop from different directions drove trucks loaded with bags with standard breakfast of three sandwiches, a piece of sweet cake, an apple or an orange. Ate working directly at the machine - out of the shop without any special permission.

conveyor assembly success was so obvious that after some time the system was transferred to all plant Ford plant. All the companies involved in its production Ford also had to move to line method. Having bought one glass factory, Ford offered local experts to produce plate glass for continuous wide ribbon of cars, without the help of manual labor, mechanize all processes from start to finish. Experts and specialists have stated categorically that change the way the production is technically impossible. Ford then sent to the factory people ever glassworks business not engaged. A year later, its engineers have developed a brilliant method of full mechanization of production. Throughout the production line and the new machines were installed. As a result, the factory began to produce 1 million square meters of first-class plate glass per year. Its area compared with other glass factories was half and performance - twice. Following the reorganization of the enterprise was to save Ford $ 3 million per year.

Rebuild All production and continuously increasing its volumes, Ford has achieved in a few years of his cherished dream - every day at all plants produce 10 thousand cars, and they are all sales. Largely thanks to Ford car has become a national feature of America. If in 1900 one car accounted for 9000 people in the US, in 1929 - one vehicle for every 5 persons. All in all, this time on the roads of America, ran 26 million standard "Ford T", differing only in color and shape of the body. The US had several times more cars than all other countries put together, with car owners here are not only the rich, not just the middle class, but also many workers and farmers. This fact has changed the face of the country itself. If in 1893, the American roads were considered almost the most nasty in the world, through which some 20-30 years old beautiful road on which both sides moving stream of cars were everywhere laid. Almost all the cars were assembled at the Ford plants.

Production of this magnitude has set many challenges Ford. For example, Ford had to abandon the idea of ​​producing all the cars in Detroit, as it would raise intractable transportation problems. Instead, it is scattered all over the world their assembly plants that produce finished parts from as many machines as possible to sell this place. Transporting the machine disassembled generally be advantageous. One boxcar could, for example, contain only 7 finished vehicles. In the exploded as it could plunge the 130 cars that is used instead of the 18 cars, only one. Thanks to well-established organizations Ford managed to reduce the production cycle from 21 to 14 days. (The production cycle - a period during which the money invested in any company are bound, it includes the time of the purchase of raw materials to the sale of the finished vehicle.) Thus, Ford was able to maintain a high level of production by two-thirds of the former capital . At the large scale of its activities, this meant tens of millions of dollars in savings per year.

For two decades, Ford reigned supreme in the market for cheap cars. None of his rivals could not at the same price to the car of the same quality. "Ford T" occupied a special position among other companies vehicles.

Having conquered the US market, Ford moved their cars to Europe. First European automotive firms looked down at his plain and inconspicuous car, but they soon realized that greatly underestimated this competitor. In all races and rally "Fords" shown remarkable reliability and excellent driving performance, the price of the same was an order of magnitude lower than those of European machines. Middle class in Europe, as well as in America, could not resist the temptation to have her even if not a luxury, but a reliable and unpretentious car. In almost all countries of the world soon appeared fordovskie branches, representative offices and assembly workshops. In Canada, large and Manchester car factories were built, and in Cork - Tractor Plant.

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