Workshop production

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In the context of production planning and control, workshop production describes a production type in which the individual areas are structured according to the activity performed there, regardless of which products or at which point in the product creation process the activity is required. The most important advantage of workshop production is the high degree of flexibility with regard to customer requirements. In addition, the workers have to cope with demanding tasks and are only exposed to a low level of monotony. High inventories in conjunction with long product lead times are considered disadvantageous. The workshop production can be found in the trade , but also in tool and special machine construction . In addition to new products and repairs, individual or small series are also manufactured there by individual craftsmen or work groups.


Layout and material flow in workshop production (based on REFA )

Customer-specific production offers the possibility of specifying the product according to the customer's personal wishes . Thus, the customer-specific production represents the opposite of standardized production, in which the products are offered on the market without having been specified by the customer beforehand.

Customized production usually takes place

In the case of contract manufacturing, all activities related to production are only triggered when a customer order is received. The exact specification of the end product is only given when the customer order is received, making make-to-stock production usually impossible. As a rule, there are only solution concepts for product design , which is why further construction activities such as drafting or elaboration are necessary after receiving the order. This leads to long delivery times in purely customer order-related production .

With one-off production , each product is individually manufactured according to customer requirements . In small series production, the batch size is typically up to 20 pieces - the products in this series are homogeneous.

These two forms of production are characteristic of the

A high degree of flexibility is required for individual or small batch production based on customer orders , as production is constantly confronted with changing production programs and new products. Therefore, the basically advantageous arrangement of the workplaces according to the object principle typical of flow production , in which the workplaces required for manufacturing a product are spatially arranged according to the sequence of the work flow in order to ensure a continuous flow of material, is hardly feasible. In workshop production, the workplaces are arranged according to the performance principle , with identical or at least similar tasks (example: milling work) being spatially combined into a workshop (e.g. the milling shop).

During production, the product has to go through several workshops , which creates a complex flow of materials. The individual workshops can be coordinated by a PPS system , which ensures that the required parts are available on time, that the individual workshops and workplaces are coordinated in terms of capacity or that delivery dates are met.

Advantages and disadvantages

The advantages and disadvantages of the production type determine its main areas of application. In general, the following benefits are stated:

  • high flexibility,
  • diverse range of different products,
  • rapid introduction of new products,
  • customer-specific product variants,
  • Economical as well for small batch sizes
  • great scope for action and decision-making for employees.

The disadvantages are:

  • long lead times,
  • high transport costs between workplaces,
  • high set-up times and costs due to small batch sizes,
  • Intermediate storage and waiting times, thereby interest and storage costs, downtime costs of the unoccupied workplaces,
  • uneven capacity utilization of the workplaces,
  • complex production planning and control as well as
  • highly qualified and therefore expensive employees are required.

Advantage of high flexibility

Flexibility expresses the ability to adapt to different situations . Production flexibility is a measure of how quickly and to what extent a company in the production area can adapt to changed situations, especially to changed customer requirements.

The employees in a workshop have to cope with a wide range of tasks. They are trained in a variety of ways and, like the machines , must be versatile. Any fluctuations in employment can be compensated for through adjustment measures such as overtime , additional shifts or the commissioning of reserve machines. Sick leave , vacation or machine failures can be bridged by short-term rescheduling to alternative workplaces.

Production is all the more flexible, the more options and ways a part to be produced has available when it goes through production. Buffers in the form of stocks between the individual workstations are used to compensate for different processing times at two successive workshops and prevent malfunctions from spreading .

Disadvantage of lower productivity

The material flow in workshop production is characterized by a high number of transports and long distances, which results in long transport times.

Due to the workshop interim stocks, parts are left idle for a long time (up to 85% of the throughput time ). Since the degree of repetition of identical or similar work processes is low, they are less automated and the processing times tend to take longer than, for example, in assembly line production.

Furthermore, workshop production is characterized by a high frequency of changeovers.

See also


  • Dorninger, Christian: Customized production: Modern techniques and organizational forms for production planning and control . Vienna: Linde, 1991. ISBN 3-85122-299-7 .