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The Production Process: Operating Characteristics

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Abstract

It is the thesis of this paper that the production process has an operating logic whose kernel is found in an organizational plan and program. In this sense there exist only two types of organization, classically identified as the straight-line type and the job-shop type. Considered in usual analytical terms, no industrial plant is completely of one type or of the other. However, the two types are sharply distinguishable--Indeed they are opposites--in terms, particularly, of their programs, which refer to organic, rather than analytical, parameters. This oppositeness of the two types of production process leads to distinct sets of operating characteristics. Thus, for instance, in the straight-line case the property of functional independence among elementary operations leads to a production sequencing order which is essentially fixed, with linkages based on work pace rather than work content. Conversely in the job-order case, there are functional Interrelationships among organic work phases, leading to a variable production sequencing order based on work content rather than work pace. Within this framework the paper traces in each case the logical connections between the particular aspects of the production process, such as in production plans, loadings and schedules, and also in production flow characteristics. The consequences of this with regard to the nature and application of control techniques are also shown, as are the reflections on manpower distribution and wage-payment plans.

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