Ford Assembly Line Celebrates 100 Years
One hundred years ago, on October 7th, 1913, Henry Ford revolutionized the way factories build products…any product. Ford rigged up a rope tow, pulling the chassis of his Model T across the length of his assembly plant, adding parts to the new cars at certain destinations along the way.
“One hundred years ago, my great-grandfather had a vision to build safe and efficient transportation for everyone,” said Ford’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, on the assembly line’s birthday. “I am proud he was able to bring the freedom of mobility to millions by making cars affordable to families and that his vision of serving people still drives everything we do today.”
As primitive as it is compared to today’s assembly lines in the auto industry, Ford’s idea dramatically made the assembly process more efficient. The first assembly line at Ford broke the build process up into 84 steps, adding approximately 3,000 parts to the vehicle before it rolled out of the factory and to the customer. The breakthrough in vehicle engineering took the build process for a Ford Model T from 12 hours to 90 minutes and by 1927, Ford was pumping out a new Ford every 24 seconds.
Henry Ford’s vision was not only to help make the building process of his cars more efficient. He instituted the new assembly line to cut down the final cost, making it possible for the average Joe to own a new car. Ford’s dream was to manufacture a car that would be affordable and appeal to the masses and the assembly line lowered the price of the Model T from $860 to $260.
The basic principles of Ford’s assembly line are still being used today by all auto manufacturers, as well as every other factory in the world.