Page:The Cycle Industry (1921).djvu/59

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CHAPTER VI

PRODUCTION METHODS

There are several ways of producing bicycles and all makers do not work on the same lines, in fact, possibly there is no trade where so much diversity exists in production methods as in the manufacture of bicycles.

Omitting the small local assembler who makes up an odd machine or two from finished parts purchased from the big factoring houses, we have, in order of size and importance, the small maker, who builds a bicycle throughout from the raw material; the medium-sized factory owner, who makes most of the parts himself but purchases a number of finished or partly finished components from outside sources; and the very large and complete factory owners, nearly always limited liability companies, who go in for mass production and do all the various preliminary processes on their own premises.

Mass production in the cycle trade is now a very highly organized branch of mechanical engineering. To make a success of cycle building from raw materials a big works has an expert drawing office staff, not only for the designing of bicycles but for scheming the tools which are to produce the parts at the lowest cost. Under this staff work a specialized branch of the engineering trade, who are the tool makers; this staff produces the jigs, templates, dies, etc., used in the departments which are the production shops proper.

Another works staff looks after the progress of the work through the various shops and keeps account of the numbers of parts produced each week, so that an equal

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