Unit Production

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Unit Production


a type of production characterized by unit (piece) manufacture of production of varied and changing nomenclature.

Unit production includes enterprises manufacturing large turbines, rolling mills, ships, unique machine tools, and metallurgical and mining equipment, as well as repair works and experimental plants. As distinguished from mass production and serial production, unit production allows for the non-regulated movement of a product through working locations and a free working rhythm. Working areas are usually provided with general-purpose equipment. The production process of each order is designed individually. An intershop technology routing is set up, indicating which equipment groups are needed to implement the order. The technological processes are more precisely defined at the shops. The diverse nomenclature of production and the unique nature of the orders require the labor of more highly skilled “general” workers. Semiskilled and unskilled workers in unit production are a smaller percentage of the staff than in other varieties of production. Considerable decentralization of operational-production planning and large amounts of unfinished production are characteristic of unit production. The use in unit production of specialized equipment and devices and the frequent changes from one item to another cause relatively large expenditures of manpower in setting up operation and longer production cycles.

Certain elements of serial production may be applied in unit production through standardization and unification of parts and assemblies and standardization of technological processes. Thus, the group method for processing parts using systems of general-purpose unit-construction and general-purpose alignment equipment is being used with increasing frequency in unit production. Introduction of the group method for processing parts allows using more productive and more specialized equipment, lowering costs in manufacturing technological fittings, reducing expenditures of preparation and finishing time in the assembly and removal of parts, and cutting the length of production cycles and the volumes of surpluses of incomplete production.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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