Unitary production

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Unitary production (job shop production, one-off production) is one of many types of organization of production processes. It involves manufacture of unique items, on which market demand is small, usually one, at most two pieces alike. In such process each product unit is closed whole. Company produces a single item or multiple items of the same type. In this type of production, machine centre performs an unlimited number of operations, which usually do not repeat or repeat rarely, mostly in irregular and unpredictable intervals. In unitary production system little time elapses between the decision to produce and its results.

It is characterized by the high cost of manufacturing of a single product, exceeding several times the cost of the same product made in mass production. This type of production is very labour-intensive. Companies use universal machinery and equipment, because with them it can perform a variety of operations. Utilization of these machines is relatively small. Employees must possess high technical qualifications, because they perform a variety of operations, changing along with the change of the product. The production range is very wide, characterized by a limited repeatability.

Advantages and disadvantages of unitary manufacturing


  • the ability to make small amount of unique product,
  • highly qualified crew,
  • the ability to adjust the level of employment to economic fluctuations,
  • flexibility of production.



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Singh, N., & Rajamani, D. (2012). Cellular manufacturing systems: design, planning and control. Springer Science & Business Media.