production line

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production line

a factory system in which parts or components of the end product are transported by a conveyor through a number of different sites at each of which a manual or machine operation is performed on them without interrupting the flow of production
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Production Line


the aggregate of processing machines or work positions that are used for the manufacturing of parts and assembly of articles and are placed along the path of the production process. One or several operations are assigned for each machine or work position on the line. Production lines in metal-working shops have one or two rows of processing machines that are interconnected by transfer devices that move parts from one operation to the next. Lines in assembly sections have a row of work positions provided with equipment, tools, instruments, and transfer devices to move the article being assembled from position to position. These work positions receive a continuous supply of parts and assemblies from which to assemble the article. Automatic lines are constructed by outfitting production lines with mechanisms that load and unload parts, with transfer equipment, and with a control system.

There are three types of production lines. Individual lines are used for making one part; paired lines, for simultaneous processing of two parts; and group lines for simultaneously processing several parts or for making the parts in a definite sequence. When large units are assembled on production lines, the assemblies and parts enter the line in a set sequence, and the assembly is done by specialized brigades, which move from one unit to the next. The assignment of definite operations to each machine tool and work position of the production line makes it necessary to adapt the equipment and accessories so as to permit the worker to perform these operations continuously. These adaptations ensure high labor productivity and high-quality work. At enterprises in the USSR, the production line is typically used for all kinds of jobs, including machining, welding, heat treatment, pressing operations, die and chill casting, washing, and painting. This is taken into account in designing the machines.

In machine building, continuity in the manufacturing process is ensured by the correct positioning of equipment in each production line and by placing lines for machining parts and assembly lines in the correct relationship to each other. The most widespread method is to arrange assembly lines at right angles to the machining lines, with the equipment that performs the final machining operations abutting on the points in the assembly line where the machined parts are installed in the unit being assembled. Production lines are most effective in large-scale production. However, production-line methods are also used in lot and small-series production. These methods may even be used in unit production, when it is necessary to manufacture a large number of parts for one completed article.


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