What Is the Production Rate?

Production rate, in terms of manufacturing, refers to the number of goods that can be produced during a given period of time. Alternatively, production rate is also the amount of time it takes to produce one unit of a good.

In construction, this is the rate at which workers are expected to complete a certain segment, such as a road or building. The production rate will depend on the speed at which workers are expected to operate, generally categorized as slow, average, or fast.

Production Rate Explained

For manufacturing and construction, a higher production rate can lead to a decrease in quality. As machines or employees work to have more product pushed through the production line or more of a building completed, more mistakes are likely to happen. There is thus a point at which a decrease in quality could wind up costing a company more, even if less time is needed to push out a unit.

Production rate can be expressed as a factor of the maximum output possible minus the rate of defects in the products. Any production line can expect to see some degree of flaws in the items produced. The frequency and severity of the defects will reduce the number of viable, usable products that will be generated.

Management might review the elements of production to discern where errors or slowdowns occur and then take measures to address those issues to increase the production rate. Outside factors can also affect the production rate of any operation. Availability of materials and available skilled personnel to perform the production work can limit the pace. For example, if a crucial source of materials becomes inaccessible or limited, the production rate may be forced to slow or halt.

What Affects Production Rate?

The nature of the material and the complexity of the product can also affect the production rate. The more intricate and precise the end product is, the more time may be needed to complete the product. As manufacturing becomes more efficient, through new methods or techniques that reduce the possibility of defects in the process, the production rate will likely increase.

Production rate, along with the quality of the product, can play a significant factor in pricing. Rapidly produced, lower-quality products are more likely to be priced low as a reflection of the cost and toil required to make each unit. For goods that require are a longer time investment, with a slower production rate, pricing may be higher to compensate for the effort and outlays that went into creating the product.