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Manufacturing is the type of production that results in a finished product. It is usually done in a factory setting. A factory is a facility that houses the operation under one roof or in one location. Often, unlike other means of production, the factory worker is  somewhat stationary and the work is brought or fed to them. Factory workers become very efficient as a result of doing the same task over and over without having to "become" efficient or even very knowledgeable,  of all the varied skills and tasks required to produce the entire product. Their work usually entails a specific process, operation of a machine (where they may be referred to as operators) or assembling of particular components (parts that make up the finished product)

Sometimes a finished product doesn't require any assembly because it consists of only one component, such as an eraser. Often, such as in the case of your pencil, there are a number of components. Your pencil's components may consist of the wooden component, lead, eraser and metal component. A component maybe deemed as "other product", an item purchased from a supplier, to be assembled during the manufacturing of your finished product. It may be hardware such as hinges and handles for a jewelry box producer, or alternators for an automotive manufacturer. 

Custom Manufacturers such as or Nova Scotian Crystal, Canada’s only mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal maker located in Halifax, may produce similar, but truly "one of a kind" products. Their products are usually expensive due to the highly skilled workers required and the some what inefficient approach (lack of better words) to produce their product. The inefficiency is the result of depending on the artistry, skill and traditional processes to produce these products. Each item is hand crafted which results in custom type of production. The pottery from Cape Breton Clay is beautiful, unique and so-on. This is reflected in it's price, as is the skill and time to produce it. On the other hand, you may go to Walmart or even Canadian Tire and get a salad bowl that is not hand molded or even hand painted, for a small fraction of the cost. Your salad bowl will not be so rare and perhaps not nearly as beautiful; but you would not be so worried about using it everyday either. Click here to check out a variety of artisans from Newfoundland to Quebec. Click here and follow the links at the top to see what is involved in producing pewter products.
The company that produced the Canadian arm for the space shuttle is obviously a custom manufacturer. Again, their products are one of a kind and require very highly skilled workers. There are many other factors contributing to their very highly priced product including research and development costs, special materials and components; as well as the responsibility of perhaps life threatening failures.
Other custom type approach manufacturers that deal with large projects and relatively small numbers, are companies that are into aircraft manufacturing; or perhaps more specific custom type work such as a place like Cheticamp Boat Builders. In this type of industry the factory worker may experience the most mobility and perhaps varied responsibility. For example, unlike the "bumper putter on her" on a production line in a car plant, where all the do, day in and day out, is attach bumpers as the cars are fed to them every minute; a fiberglasser for a boat builder will glass the hull and build and attach other various components, as well as perhaps do body work and the gel coating (coloring/kind of paint process). In fact, when you build a fiberglass hull in a mold, the first thing you do is gel coat the pre-waxed mold. Then you start building the layers of fiberglass to the paint.
Depending on the product and the size of the company; their work force may consist various combinations of non-skilled to very highly skilled people with salaries that reflect their responsibility, education and so-on. Again, as in the case as the fiberglasser, the amount of responsibility (different duties) depend on  their skill and training, as well as the demand for it. Due to the fact that pay is supposed to reflect such things, the company may only want one or two fully qualified personnel and will maintain a larger number of apprentices and non-skilled workers.

This boat was made by a local fisherman who made a mold of his hull once it was completed so that he could manufacture his prototype more efficiently down the road. In the last photo you can see them removing the mold. Their approach will be much different for the next boat. file:///C:/Users/JOHN~1.MAC/AppData/Local/Temp/sandbtjpg
Large product companies often require a large number of non-skilled (low pay) workers,  trades people, technicians, engineers and a host of business and management positions. As you get closer to the top, the positions are fewer and the pay gets higher.

Some manufacturing companies produce various products or products varying in size or shape, etc. The numbers they produce of each also vary considerably, but are significantly higher than the custom type approach above. They often produce in batches. Batch or lot production is when you tool up ( set your machines and process) to make a specific item or size. Depending on the product, the numbers maybe less than a hundred or maybe in the thousands. In batch production, the run (the time the setup is expected to last or the number of pieces required), is usually for a limited time frame before a new tool up is required. For example: This photo depicts some local factory workers at a small hard wood flooring company. They have tooled up for, and have been running a batch of, 1" X 4" juniper flooring. They will tool up when they change over to 6" or 3" boards. They will have to make all the necessary changes/settings to the same equipment, perhaps reroute the line if they tongue and groove it. 
In batch production; stops, jigs and fixtures are often used to speed things up. When producing one of a kind or very low numbers, it is not practical to invest in special equipment and processes to cut out work done by the worker.
 For example: if you were to make a table it would be expected that you measure and layout your pieces as you cut them out. On the other hand, If you went to make a hundred tables, you would likely setup a stop to make the same cut 100 times. This would save having to measure each piece, as well as insuring that they are all the exact same size. This method not only saves a lot of time, but contributes to the interchangeability (when any component will fit other assemblies), as does fixtures and jigs
ftab6.jpg (164025 bytes)Fixtures are devices that quickly locate and hold your work in the right place and position in order to perform an operation like drilling a hole. In the picture to the left, the fixture is clamped to the table and allows the operator to slide the leg pieces into position between the guides, to the stop. The operator simply lowers the drill to produce the hole to many pieces in a very short time. When you think about it, a stop is simply an elementary type of fixture.

 Jigs are similar except they actually guide the tool that alter sthe work piece. An example of the difference would be in the case above, where you mount a fixture to the table of a drill press to quickly locate your work with out having to lay out or measure the holes. The drill is set to depth etc, but the path the drill takes to produce the hole is fixed as is the table and the fixture. If you had to do the same using a hand drill in stead of a press, you would not have the table or any fixed drill path. If you were to fix a metal plate to the slides so that the leg pieces could still slide into position and it had a guide hole drilled in the proper location through the steel. The fixture would become a jig because the hole in the steel could guide your drill so that the holes would be straight and in the proper location. 
Below in fig#1, is a jig that was made for drilling holes for round balusters in a deck railing. Once the first hole was drilled in the 2"X4", a plug was put through the jig to locate it in relation to the starter hole. The sides of the chanel positioned it on the center of the 2"X4". Then you simply slide the 2"X4" along under the drill for the next hole and simply drilled through the holes in the steel.( see fig#2)  Fig#3 shows part of the finished rail. The 2"X4's on the top and the bottom had to line up. This jig greatly sped up the job.

Interchangeability doesn't only greatly improve production of new products, but also makes repair and maintenance much more effective and cost efficient. Just imagine how much it would cost if you had to custom fit the parts to your vehicle instead of going to Canadian Tire or some other place to simply replace a damaged or worn out item. It is interchangeability, when things are made to tight enough tolerances, that allows us to count on any of the same, to fit.


In the case of mass producing (the making of extremely large numbers) of finished products, the factory would incorporate the production line approach. The numbers in these cases are seemingly infinite, 10's and even 100's of thousands. The production line usually entails relatively stationary workers performing a limited number of tasks as the work is fed to them. In today's world, the production line is the king pin of automation and efficiency. Most can visualize the robotic welding machines on the auto production line. Below is an example of a local wreath manufacturer that produces tens of thousands of wreaths each season.

Even though the pieces that make up the wreath are natural grown bows and not precision manmade components, they are prepared and presented in a very controlled manor. more automated company found in North Sydney is TESMA. Many of the products which they produce at Tesma are components used by  General Motors Canada. Tesma's expansion announced in 1991 illustrates the importance of such an industry into any community.
Some of the assemblies are done by hand.
Operators (factory workers) feed stamp presses that literally punch out the pieces. handle the very hot, newly injected components.
Operators proceed to break the (cooled) individual components apart like model car parts.

In resent times, Tesma has been changing it's focus from fine stamp products to injection mold. Their transmission assemblies, in the past, caused them to purchase over 19 million parts annually. They now purchase aluminum instead and make many of these parts from scratch. Now they capitalize on the value added product that their suppliers once did.

None the less, in each example, the line is fed interchangeable components (for the most part). That is parts that are very consistent and accurately produced so that a component will always fit. These components are also prepared and presented in an particular fashion, same position,  location etc., in order to maximize the speed of the production line. Where the line is very automated, it is essential that the part and it's presentation is very specific in order to avoid a crash. (the machine or even the line to breakdown)

What ever manufacturing approach is used, although there are many factors to consider; the main factor is the number of units required. 
For example:
You would not set up a production line to make a one of a kind product. Neither would you purchase a $Million CNC(computer numerical control) machine to drill holes for 6 bird houses.

Watch the videos of these different CNC machines:


 We have said that production technology is the most important of all technologies as it not only produces the items to fulfill our wants and needs, it produces the means for all technologies to exist. The tools, equipment, facilities etc, for energy, transportation and communication technology systems. Manufacturing production technology systems are probably the most influential of the production systems. Mainly due to the effort to maximize profits; methods, machinery and so-on developed in manufacturing environments are showing up in other types of production. For example: Feed lot farming is taking over traditional farming techniques. Production line set ups are common place in various processing facilities. Prefabricated components are becoming the trend in constructing large projects such as the new Margaree bridge and even our school had the cement walls trucked in and assembled on site.


1.) Can a manufacture's product actually be a component? Explain.

2.) a.) What does how many of what you make have to do with how you approach making it?
b.) Explain the difference to the 3 approaches to production 

3.) What is so big about interchangeability of components?

4.) Explain the difference between a jig and a fixture.

PUZZLE read the clues below to fill in the puzzle.

Parts that make up the finished product. 
8. Parts that are very consistent and accurately produced. 
11. Devices that quickly locate and hold your work.

 2. The type of production that results in a finished product.
 3. One of a kind manufacturing 
 4. Approach that tools up for a specific run.
 5. Workers that run machines and equipment.
 6. The main factor determining manufacturing approach 
 7. A facility that houses the operation under one roof. 
 9. Actually guide the tool. 
10. Production with stationary works assembling components.


Watch the videos below and answer the following questions as you go:

 factors of production ,necklace example      
The "factors of production" that these videos are really talking about are to do with the "M's" of production we talked about before. Resources, natural or in the form of standard stock = Materials. Labor = Manpower, Capital = Machines, Other products = Money; and really they all are interconnected to the 7 "M's".

 1.) We live in a modern society that sees the results of it's production broken into either goods and services. 

    a) Under goods, what are some consumer and what are some industrial, goods related companies. 
When ever possible always try to name as many any local or close to home companies as possible.

    b) What are some consumer and some industrial production service companies?

2.) From the Bus video what would be an example for each of the following terms:

    a) Natural resource:________________________

    b) Standard Stock: _________________________

    c) Capital:  _______________________________

    d) Components:____________________________

3.) Now choose a production company of your choice. Once you describe who the company is and/or what they do; break it down by identifying the following:

a) Does it fall under goods or services?

b) .....consumer or industrial? (Market)

c) materials involved- natural resources, standard stock & other products or components?

e) manpower< who, how many do you suppose

f) management< who, what type of structure do you suppose

g) methods< skills, type of approach (line, batch, custom perhaps)

h) machines< tools and equipment 

i) money< what kind of other kinds of capital may be required to run this business?

Below is an example of how many wood cutters (in our area and in more recent times) are being replaced by automated machinery. This harvester (modified excavator equipped with wood cutting head) is operated by one person who can produce 50 cords of wood a day. If they do shifts, as this machine can be equipped lights to work 24 hours a day, it can produce in excess of 100 cords in good wood.
- It cuts the tree off.
- de-limbs it.
- Measures and cuts to length
- piles the wood
- all in seconds, by one person

 This is one way workers are being replaced by automated equipment. CNC (computer numerical controlled) machines, inspection lasers, and robot welding machines are other types of machines that are replacing people. This is a CNC lathe machining (cutting out) a cylindrical shaped piece from a blank (piece of material). Note the robotic arm loading & unloading the stock. It is highly likely that the job could be done on a manual machine, but because of the rigidity of the CNC machine and it's ability to machine at a constant surface ft/min, it can operate much faster. Even more efficient is it's ability to accurately repeat it's path indefinitely without any downtime due to interruptions and second guessing itself and so on. 


The same can be said of harvesters and new bailing equipment. A farmer can nearly collect his crop single handedly these days. These, sometimes large, machines very efficiently do the work that used to require many hands. They are replacing people as quickly as they can do the work. device of today's modern age, is the laser. It has many purposes besides being a pretty light; they are used as security devices, as very accurate measuring devices and even as cutting tools.  

  Robots are mechanical devices controlled by computers. Real robots today are not what we see in space movies. They do often resemble body parts and are programmed to perform human like activities. However, a robotic arm may have 10 joints instead of three, and rotate 360 degrees. Besides being more flexible , robots can perform in conditions that humans cannot, for example: Exploration of the Titanic on the bottom of the ocean ,or that of Mars with the space probe "Spirit". They are also used to dismantle bombs or to fight fires. Scientific studies and human lives are enhanced as a result of these machines. 

Robots like the one to the left, and CNC machines, like the one mentioned above, are replacing human workers. These machines can accurately, consistently and efficiently perform specific tasks, never getting bored or distracted. These automated machines quickly pay for themselves by their ability to work virtually 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week with out skipping off; with out a salary, benefit costs, no sick days or vacation etc. These are some reasons why so many jobs are lost to automation. So, ***technology does produce employment, but it also (machines) reduces employment.***

In class assignment: As an intro to the next session, click on . If this link does not work, copy this link to your browser: , click on "technology", then "robots". Wait for the video to load, watch the video, and then answer the quiz. Note: Some of these questions are likely to show up on the test.


1.) What kinds of machines are taking people's jobs today?

2.) a.) How might the technology from one culture differ from that in another?
    b.)  What are two good reasons why they might differ? 

3.)  Does individual or cottage industry outputs (production) necessarily mean that the producer will have poor standard of living, or low return of investments? Explain.  




Click on the "Brain Pop icon ,If this link does not work, copy this link to your browser:, click on technology, then click on "assembly line". Wait for the video to load, watch it,  and then answer the quiz. Note: Some of these questions are likely to show up on the test.