Sub components of engineering and other products are often sourced from other manufacturers as assemblies. Workers then assemble the ready to fit units and create a final product out of them. This process saves considerable time and investment for manufacturers as they do not have to invest in manufacturing the sub units nor do they have to worry about capacity utilization or extra labor handling. In many cases, the sub units are manufactured in-house by different departments and are then sent to an assembly shop for the final fittings.
Assembly shops generally move their products along a line by a moving conveyor system. Here the job is mounted on a platform and each work station performs a specific action such as fitting a component, the motors and screws, welding it, etc. One might test the components based on a batch-sampling basis or individually. As the product moves along the assembly line each worker only has to perform their specific task to the piece. Once they have completed this task, the piece then moves down the line to the next person and so on.
The idea of an assembly line was introduced over 100 years ago, and while the method is a good one, it was often abused by employers who would try to move the pieces along the assembly line too fast. Employers would often try to calm the employees down by paying them on a per piece basis. However, this speeding of the assembly line would often lead to products that were put together too hastily and many of them had to be repaired before they could leave the shop. Many people think that the introduction of the assembly line had a lot to do with the introduction of labor unions, which were originally formed to help protect worker’s rights. Assembly lines are still commonly used in many types of industries, especially in the automobile sector. The conveyor belts are now moving faster than ever however the tasks and jobs along the assembly lines are now usually performed by robots.
Items such as gearboxes, pumps, CPUs, motherboards, electrical motor components, housings and attachments for different types of machinery are available as assemblies. In order to quickly repair a damaged or broken product, individuals, workshops and repair crews often make use of different kinds of assemblies.