Cars are an inescapable feature of modern life. Without them, modern society as we know it would come to an abrupt halt. We see them every day and so we rarely stop to think about them. But where and how do these indispensable tools come from? Here are eight insights into automotive production.
Division of Labor
Automotive production involves a production line, which is an implementation of the concept of division of labour. Before the industrial revolution, if someone purchased a product then they got it from a craftsman who made the entire thing. For instance, if you bought a wagon it was from one person who made the wheels, the seats, the axels, etc. This method of construction is more expensive than the division of labour because the craftsman has to be highly trained to know all the different tasks needed to create the product, and that training takes time and money.
Division of labour simply means you have a separate person assigned to make one piece of the product. In the wagon example, now you have just one person whose only job is to make the wheels. Then you have another person who only makes the seats, etc. This makes labour cheaper because each worker only has to be trained to do one job. When you group all these workers together so that one person can pass the product to the next one after each small task is done, you have a production line. Companies with a good CSR policy in place can help sustain the environment by contributing through their operation such as tyre sales to help the world by looking out for the environment.
Not All Parts of the Car Are Necessarily Created in the Same Place
In today’s economy, not all parts of a vehicle are created in the same factory all the time. Reasons, why a company might want to diversify the locations where they build different parts, could include the skill level of the local workforce in Best welding helmet, taxes in different areas, and environmental regulations that differ by region. Also, a car company may partner with another company that can make some of the parts they need for cheaper.
Standardization of the Product
Car production is as affordable and efficient as it is today as a result of this principle. In order for a production line to work, all of the parts have to fit together exactly so that they can form a functional product. This means that each part has to be made to specific consistent specifications in order to work. In the past, the individual parts of a product were made by a craftsman and so strict regulation of the size of each piece was not as critical. This was because if one piece of the product turned out a little too big, the craftsman could make adjustments to the piece it was supposed to fit in to and still make it work. The problem with spending this extra time is that it makes the task of building a product less efficient and therefore requiring more money in wages. Using standardization of products, the car company can get cars made cheaper, which allows them to sell at a more competitive price.
Although making parts of the vehicle standard helps make building more efficient, it limits the variety of product which the company can offer. For instance, Henry Ford only sold his Model T cars in the colour black. This way, there was no need to spend extra resources making sure replacement parts were matching in colour. The reason this doesn’t work in today’s economy is that with stiff competition between companies, the car manufacturer has to provide a variety of options to entice the customer. Platform sharing means that a car company will make multiple lines of vehicles that share some standardized parts, but also have unique parts made just for individual lines. For instance, two vehicles that have shared parts are the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango.
Much of the work that gets done to build a car involves repetitive motion. For that reason, robots can increase worker safety by taking over this type of job. That way, humans don’t have to suffer the potential health risk of moving their bodies in the same way for eight hours a day, five days a week. However, some entertain concern about the negative impact that can result from taking jobs away from people to give to robots. One positive of this development is an increase in higher skilled jobs in the field of robotics and robot maintenance.
A Clean Workspace
When you imagine a car factory, you might picture something from a history textbook where people are crowded and covered in soot. Today’s auto industry has evolved beyond that. Automotive construction facilities are designed with a spacious architecture that is kept clean. This way, the needs of workers are met and the flow of work goes smoother.
Due to problems such as global warming, many industries are taking a look to see what can be done to reduce their environmental impact. This is especially true of car manufacturers because making a car requires the use of lots of resources like rubber, steel, batteries, and fuel to keep the production line moving. Car companies are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. For instance, Ford is using waste products from food processing to make their cars, thus reducing the carbon footprint of the process. General Motors now makes an effort to reuse materials like packaging and metal to be more environmentally conscious.
In addition to taking better care of the environment, some companies are making efforts to take care of the mental well-being of workers. Auto workers run the risk of becoming alienated from their job because each worker may be limited to performing one simple task over and over. The worker does not get the satisfaction of completing an entire product. Toyota and other car companies have addressed this by giving employees financial incentives linked to the success of the company, having group exercises to strengthen the bond between coworkers, and listening to input from employees about ways to improve.
Now you know a little bit more about where cars come from. Hopefully, you will appreciate all the work and innovation that goes into the creation of the vehicles that keep you and your family safe and mobile.