One-off production

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The individual production (or off production ) is a production type , in which usually only one unit of product is manufactured at the same time. No product is completely or even close to the other. The contrast is mass production and series production .

Types of make-to-order

A distinction is made between the one-off production

  • One-off individual production: With this type of production, each product is designed and manufactured as a one -off, such as the Golden Gate Bridge .
  • Repeated individual production: A product is produced repeatedly, but the interruption between production times is so great that the necessary production facilities are not kept operational during this time, but are dismantled, as is the case with shipbuilding , for example .


  • One-off production is made to order. This means that it is not produced for an anonymous market with various potential customers, but for a specific order from a customer. The individual production is therefore dependent on the capacity and the technical possibilities of the equipment. There is no fixed production program.
  • Companies with one-off production require universally applicable production systems as well as a large machine park so that they can react to the different customer requirements. In addition, it must be possible to convert the production systems quickly.
  • Companies with one-off production require well-trained and qualified staff who can be used flexibly.
  • The production organization of companies with one-off production is mostly a workshop production, which is characterized by spatial concentration.
  • The classic process types for single production systems are "make to order" and "assemble to order".


  • The fulfillment of individual, unusual customer requests is possible.
  • Companies can adapt to changing market situations more quickly.
  • Increase in the satisfaction and motivation of the staff due to the diversity of the products that are manufactured.


  • Individual production results in high unit costs .
  • The customer has to accept long delivery times if the individual parts of a product required for production are not immediately available.


Individual production occurs in large and special machine construction , e.g. B. shipbuilding , often in machine tool construction , in plant construction , in the construction industry ( housing , bridge construction ), in toolmaking and rationalization equipment , but also in the craft sector, z. B. Custom made clothing and shoes. In the case of completely new designs, in which only a small amount of existing drawings , parts lists and work plans can be used, one also speaks of special one-off production . The manufacture of dentures is also custom-made by a dentist or dental laboratory. One-off production in research and development is called prototyping .

Other types of manufacture

Other types of production are series production, variety production and mass production.