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Contribution to Book
Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia (2013)
  • Thomas Janoski, University of Kentucky
  • David Luke, University of Kentucky
Assembly involves putting a product together from component parts. Assembly lines involve dividing up tasks and organizing them sequentially to build multiple copies of the same product. Workers on assembly lines typically perform a single, simple task, and parts move on conveyor belts as workers pick up these parts and install them. Historically, assembly line production techniques were adopted to increase efficiency, standardization, and control over workers. There were several early examples of assembly lines. Venetian ship factories in the early 16th century used assembly lines to produce a ship in a day. Adam Smith's pin factory example of the division of labor was similar, but it used a minimal assembly process. Eli Whitney used interchangeable parts to make agricultural machines, and in the mid-1800s, Samuel Colt used a full assembly line with interchangeable parts to produce his famous revolver. Batch production is also assembly, but it involves totally completing one...
  • assembly,
  • sociology,
  • sociology of work
Publication Date
Vicki Smith
SAGE Publications, Inc.
Citation Information
Thomas Janoski and David Luke. "Assembly" Thousand Oaks, CASociology of Work: An Encyclopedia (2013)
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