There are many types of product type and also there are many types of production size as well. Many industries tend to have low volume production batches where the units produced can be less than 1 thousand per year. However, there is always a certain factor that can change the number of units produced under low volume production. The size of the unit along with the geometry and manufacturing factors also affect the volume of the production. The difference can also be seen from industry to industry depending on the demand and advisable volume.
Need for low volume manufacturing
There are cases and conditions when there can be a need for low volume manufacturing in various industries. Those cases are discussed below:
- Pre high volume production: before a high volume production starts there is always a phase between the final and prototyping phase. This phase is low volume production phase where the units are produced in lesser volume using the prototype hard tooling.
- Replacement or repair parts: usually there is a need for repairing and replacement parts which are not being produced anymore. Therefore, to produce these unavailable parts, it is used.
- Production parts: sometime after the completion of the prototyping phase the low volume production process is completed so that the produced parts are used as production tools.
Advantages of low volume manufacturing
Some of the advantages are:
- Cost-effective: It tends to save manufacturing costs, which can be wasted on producing large amounts of products when there is only a need for a few thousand. Especially in an industry where the production is done by molding, casting, etc., this will prevent the shortage of cash flow when it is needed.
- Flexibility: one of the major reasons why industries tend to choose it is because it can pave the way for more flexibility. With the flexible batch volume, one can make changes and also add new things to make the products which are durable and helpful in time without producing products with a design flaw. This will also help one in targeting the right market and also will help in making a place for the product in the market.
- Easy to clear the inventory: making products in large volumes means they will increase the inventory and one may not be able to clear them out in time. Now that the market has a tendency to change and also that new products are produced every day, the chances of clearing an outdated inventory can be even more difficult. However, in low volume manufacturing the products can be cleared out to market in lesser time.
- Mending defects: producing a large number of units and then learning that they have a defect and flaws can be a huge blowback. This is why low volume production means one can control the production units and can also make changes easily and curb the flaws in time so that large inventory is filled with defective or flawed units.