All manufacturing operations strive to ensure their supply meets user demand. However, demand volume is not constant, and neither is a manufacturing strategy for satisfying that demand. Most industrial production operations can be classified broadly as either low or high volume. For high-volume operations, the goals are to build as many products as possible as fast as possible and at the lowest cost. Doing so can ensure that adequate supply is always available to meet demand.
Low-volume production, on the other hand, is more nuanced. Here, the goal is to fulfill demand “just in time” without maintaining excessive and potentially unusable products. Low-volume manufacturing often applies to custom products that may be complex or require multiple components to build. When this is the case, it is known as high mix low volume manufacturing; for many applications, such as specialized high-spec assembly projects, this is the preferred strategy due to its flexibility, speed, and cost-efficiency.