Repetitive manufacturing (REM) is a production process where a specific item(s) belonging to the same product family is manufactured in massive numbers over a time period. This period of time is called manufacturing cycle. A firm incorporates REM only if it feels the product’s demand in the market is constant and not seasonal. This probably means the item manufactured is a generic item and not a specialty good. Assembly line manufacturing is a form of repetitive manufacturing.
The repetitive manufacturing process is usually automated. Also, the manufacturing equipment could be completely electronic and robot-controlled. At times, simple quality checks are also carried out by robots. Though this eliminates human error or reduces workplace injury concerns, such levels of automation mean reduced job opportunities.
Ideal REM Scenarios
REM setups are usually implemented if identical or similar products have to be produced consistently over a period of time. Items that have to be made in defined lots are usually not repetitively manufactured. Appliances, food products, electronic goods, medical supplies, etc. are usually manufactured over a period. Generally, an REM setup is used to manufacture a component of a larger item – for example, a car component.
Repetitive manufacturing would require huge capital investments initially. Once installed and good to go, the benefits thereafter would easily outweigh the initial costs.
- Dedicating a production setup to a single product reduces setup time, which helps streamline the process. This also means shorter lead time.
- Goods can be produced in huge lots in the shortest possible time.
- A repetitive manufacturer can serve multiple clients at the same time. For example, washing machine components are usually not brand-specific.
- Also, a firm that repetitively manufactures can make items for itself and third parties.