Capital intensive

Robots at work - an example of capital intensive production
Robots at work - an example of capital intensive production

Capital intensive is when products are mainly produced by machines and robots, meaning the initial outlay and maintenance, will be very high. Capital intensive production can be either mechanised or automated:

Mechanised production

Mechanised production is when the production process requires both machinery and humans. Machines are required to carry out most of the work although they are operated and controlled by humans.

Automated productions

Automated productions is when the production process is mainly carried out by machinery/robots and is mostly controlled by computers. Human input is limited in automated production.

Workers on production line in industrial clutch factory
Automated productions are mainly controlled by computers but there is limited input from people
Less employee wages and costsMore difficult to customise orders
Quality can be standardised, the same every timeBreakdowns in production can be costly
Machines can work continuously, 24/7 meaning products are produced quickerInitial set up costs of machinery are high
Machines can carry our dangerous tasks which will reduce accidentsEmployees may become demotivated
Machines can carry out repetitive tasks that humans would find boring