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August 22, 2016
On December 1, 1913, something historic happened in suburban Detroit: Automaker Henry Ford pressed “go” on the first moving assembly line, built for the mass production of automobiles.
Inspired by the animal “disassembly” lines in the meatpacking plants of Chicago, Ford’s system simplified fabrication of the Model T by breaking its manufacturing process into 84 distinct steps that workers executed as the vehicle chassis moved down the line on rope-and-pulley-powered conveyor belts. The process reduced the time it took to assemble the Model T’s 3,000 parts from more than 12 hours to just 2.5 hours.
More than 100 years later, companies still use an automated version of Ford’s assembly line to mass-produce everything from airplanes and artillery to smartphones and shoes. For some reason, though, the process hasn’t been fully adopted to mass-produce buildings with modular-construction methods.
In the construction industry, productivity has trended downward since 1964. Learn how the benefits of modular construction and innovative technology can help reverse course. . . . read the entire article.