A Virtual Tour of an Auto Assembly Line

The Ford Motor Company was established in 1903 in Detroit Michigan. In the early days at Ford, a team of two or three men would work on building the car from start to finish. Even though the cars of 1903 were much simpler than the cars of today, it still took workers days to build a complete car. Because of the labor involved in building a car, the company was only able to complete two or three cars per day.

In 1908, Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, came up with an idea that would revolutionize the auto industry and catapult Ford into the early leaders in the auto industry. Ford had the idea that if workers just specialized in certain components of the auto and only worked on them, by putting the car on an assembly line the car would be completed quicker and be constructed properly. The assembly line drastically reduced the time it took to construct autos and allowed them to be built more efficiently which reduced the cost to consumers. The Ford Model T was the first mass produced auto which allowed the average consumer the opportunity to own one.

While the complexity of the auto assembly line has changed along with the development of the automobile, the basic concept remains the same. The auto runs along the assembly line and stops at certain points in the production plant. When the auto reaches a section of the plant, workers set about doing a specific function in assembling the car. The work of assembling an auto is a team effort with all workers on the line participating in putting together the finished product.

The modern auto assembly line follows some of the same principles of the original Ford inspired assembly line. However, technology has greatly improved the work flow of producing autos, but has also led to the loss of jobs for the men that have previously held the jobs. Modern auto assembly lines utilize computer aided robots to many of the jobs previously completed by hand. By utilizing technology, the car manufacturers have speeded up the processes and have added consistency that you would get with the robots.

The assembly line runs in different areas of car production. For example, one assembly line would be for the chassis of the auto, another would be for the interior of the auto and another would be for the exterior of the auto. The final step would be a final assembly point which would put together the various components of the auto. The entire modern auto manufacturing process has evolved over time from handmade vehicles that resulted in only a couple of autos produced daily to current production methods which can produce hundreds of autos per hour, through the use of robots and men.

Because of the complexity of the auto assembly line and the precise timing required to move the auto through the process, companies rely on precise work flow calculations to determine how many cars can be produced. The need to have exact data on work flow is important so that an adequate supply of autos are produced, and produced efficiently.

The auto assembly line has evolved greatly since the early ideas of Henry Ford. Today, technology and the human touch combine to produce quality automobiles efficiently. To understand the past and future developments of the automobile assembly line, we have brought together a collection of valuable resources:

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