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What is assembly line?
An assembly line is a manufacturing process (most of the time called a
progressive assembly) in which parts (usually interchangeable parts) are added
as the semi-finished assembly moves from work station to work station where
the parts are added in sequence until the final assembly is produced.

History of assembly line

The first production line in the western world was the Venetian Arsenal
which operated since around 1104. ships moved along a canal and were
fitted by various shops as they passed. At its peak efficiency it produced
one ship a day and could fit out, arm and provision a new ship on an
assembly line basis

During the early 19th century, the development of screw-cutting lathe,

metal planer, milling machine and of toolpath control via jigs and fixtures,
provided the prerequisites for the modern assembly line by making
interchangeable parts a practical reality

Probably the earliest industrial example of a linear and continuous

assembly process is the Portsmouth Block Mills, built between 1801 and

The first flow assembly line was initiated at the factory of Richard Garrett
& Sons, Leiston Works in Leiston in the English county of Suffolk for the
manufacture of portable steam engines

Though Henry Ford is generally thought to be the inventor of the assembly

line, earliest example of it was in China where it was used to mass
produce agricultural tools, armor, weapons and china

The idea of the assembly line of the Ford Model T was inspired by the
disassembly line of the meat factories in Chicago

The efficiency of one person removing one part over and over again from
the carcasses inspired William Klann of Ford Motor Company

Principles of assembly

Place the tools and the men in the sequence of the operation so that each
component part shall travel the least possible distance while in the
process of finishing.

Use work slides or some other form of carrier so that when a workman
completes his operation, he drops the part always in the same place
which place must always be the most convenient place to his handand if
possible have gravity carry the part to the next workman for his operation.

Use sliding assembling lines by which the parts to be assembled are

delivered at convenient distances.

What is automation?

Automation is defined as The act of implementing the control of

equipment with advanced technology; usually involving electronic

A phrase summarises the purpose of automation:

Automation replaces human workers by machines

Automation basics

Automation aims to reach a particular goal with minimal human action

Nowadays most automation is implemented by computer-controlled


Automation systems broadly consist of a control system and devices

controlled by it

An early example of a control system is the centrifugal governor (see fig.)

in use since around 1785. increase in the speed of rotation causes the
balls to rise which pulls the green collar up and releases excess pressure in
the steam engine

Industrial automation

Industrial automation is accomplished by robotic arms, various sensors

and computers

The robotic arms used in industry automatically cut, smooth, weld, drill
and check each car underbody.

The arms can complete the jobs much faster and more accurately than
people and without risks and hazards

Automation, though very expensive to implement, saves production costs

in the long run due to the efficiency. Also, there is savings in salary due to
minimal human involvement

Effects of automation
Some positive effects

Increased production levels

Automation as a key element of competitiveness

Some negative effects associated with automation use

Increased complexity for the human operator

Reduced safety margins

Operators are left to deal with automation malfunctions

For highly complex systems like aircrafts, during automation

malfunction, total control of whole system is not possible for most
present pilots


What is Man-Machine Interaction?

The operation of any instrument does not qualify as man-machine

interaction. Man-machine interaction is only possible when the machine
in question is capable of responding to actions of the person

The definition of MMI narrows its field to computers, humanoids, androids,

virtual and artificial intelligence software

The Man and the Machine in MMI

Common cases of MMI are our daily use of computers, mobile phones

The input given to the computer, phone etc. results in outputs

MMI is more specifically applicable when the interaction is intuitive and


MMI with a difference: prosthetics

The artificial limbs which can be mind-controlled are seeing success presently.
But scientists in Switzerland have taken it further: their prosthetic has a network
of highly sensitive electrodes to send back feelings of touch to the brain