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KF5JRV > TODAY    07.10.18 15:30l 57 Lines 3154 Bytes #2 (0) @ WW
BID : 22685_KF5JRV
Subj: Today in History - Oct 07
Sent: 181007/1315Z 22685@KF5JRV.#NWAR.AR.USA.NA BPQ6.0.16

For the first time, Henry Ford’s entire Highland Park, Michigan
automobile factory is run on a continuously moving assembly line when
the chassis–the automobile’s frame–is assembled using the revolutionary
industrial technique. A motor and rope pulled the chassis past workers
and parts on the factory floor, cutting the man-hours required to
complete one “Model Tö from 12-1/2 hours to six. Within a year, further
assembly line improvements reduced the time required to 93 man-minutes.
The staggering increase in productivity effected by Ford’s use of the
moving assembly line allowed him to drastically reduce the cost of the
Model T, thereby accomplishing his dream of making the car affordable to
ordinary consumers.

In introducing the Model T in October 1908, Henry Ford proclaimed, “I
will build a motor car for the great multitude.ö Before then, the
decade-old automobile industry generally marketed its vehicles to only
the richest Americans, because of the high cost of producing the
machines. Ford’s Model T was the first automobile designed to serve the
needs of middle-class citizens: It was durable, economical, and easy to
operate and maintain. Still, with a debut price of $850, the Model T was
out of the reach of most Americans. The Ford Motor Company understood
that to lower unit cost it had to increase productivity. The method by
which this was accomplished transformed industry forever.

Prototypes of the assembly line can be traced back to ancient times, but
the immediate precursor of Ford’s industrial technique was 19th-century
meat-packing plants in Chicago and Cincinnati, where cows and hogs were
slaughtered, dressed, and packed using overhead trolleys that took the
meat from worker to worker. Inspired by the meat packers, the Ford Motor
Company innovated new assembly line techniques and in early 1913
installed its first moving assembly line at Highland Park for the
manufacture of flywheel magnetos. Instead of each worker assembling his
own magneto, the assembly was divided into 29 operations performed by 29
men spaced along a moving belt. Average assembly time dropped from 20
minutes to 13 minutes and soon was down to five minutes.

With the success of the magneto experiment, Ford engineers put the Model
T motor and then the transmission on moving assembly lines. On October
7, 1913, the chassis also went on the moving assembly line, so that all
the major components of the Model T were being assembled using this
technique. Ford rapidly improved its assembly lines, and by 1916 the
price of the Model T had fallen to $360 and sales were more than triple
their 1912 level. Eventually, the company produced one Model T every 24
seconds, and the price fell below $300. More than 15 million Model T’s
were built before it was discontinued in 1927, accounting for nearly
half of all automobiles sold in the world to that date. The affordable
Model T changed the landscape of America, hastening the move from rural
to city life, and the moving assembly line spurred a new industrial
revolution in factories around the world.

73 de Scott KF5JRV


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