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And it was quite a lasting idea. On Oct. 7, while the country worried about the government shutdown and impending debt ceiling wrangling, Ford Motor Co. celebrated a century of its moving assembly line.

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Before the assembly line, cars were virtually hand built carriages that required craftsmen to move from vehicle to vehicle to perform their work.

to run his plants on three neatly balanced eight hour shifts and retain employees under unpleasant working conditions.

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Eventually, a Model T rolled off the line every 24 seconds.

On Oct. 7, 1913, at Ford's Highland Park, Mich., plant, teams began roping rolling Model T chassis together and pulled them in unison, bringing the cars to workers. Ropes quickly gave way to chains, and by mid 1914, lines were humming.

During 2013, Ford produced 16 vehicles every 60 seconds around the world. And between now and 2015, Ford will open seven new plants, primarily in China and India. That's after seven were opened from 2011 2013 crucial investments to serve emerging economies.

We say "the assembly line" as if it were "the automobile," D Rose 7 Low Release Date

"the telephone" or "the airplane." In truth, these devices would be much more expensive and sparsely available without the assembly line.

"One hundred years ago, my great grandfather had a vision to build safe and efficient transportation for everyone," said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Thinking like true lean manufacturing practitioners, factory managers broke a Model T's 3,000 parts into 84 distinct steps that were timed Adidas All Stars Office for consistency.

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Ford's idea was simple: Construct cars using the same tools that slaughterhouses use to deconstruct cows.

did not invent the assembly line, but he used it to full advantage.

By 2017, virtually all Ford vehicles will be built on nine core platforms, making the company even more efficient and flexible to meet global demands.

A century of Ford's assembly line

By offering employees $5 for an eight hour day (unheard of when $2.50 for a 10 hour day was not uncommon), Ford was able Adidas All Star Primeknit

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Assembly time for a completed Model T Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 3

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By continually reducing the resources and manpower required to build a Model T, prices were reduced from $850 to $300. Nearly everybody could afford one. But the achievement was about more than ropes and craftsmen.

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Today, we say the steps are balanced to "takt time," or how often a line must produce a vehicle to meet customer demand. The challenge soon became how to produce enough Model T's to meet demand.

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fell from 12 hours to 90 minutes.

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