In order to know the meaning of the term bottleneck, it is interesting to discover, first of all, the etymological origin of the two main words that make it up:
-Neck derives from Latin, exactly from “collum”, which was used to refer to both the “stem of a plant” and the “upper and narrower part of a bottle”.
-Bottle, on the other hand, also comes from Latin. In his case, specifically, it emanates from “butticula”, which was used to refer to a type of container.
The expression bottleneck can be understood literally or figuratively. In the first case, it refers to the narrowest part of a container, which is located in the upper area.
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The neck ends at the spout or mouth of the bottle. As it is narrower than the rest of the container, it helps to regulate the amount of liquid that is drunk or poured: if the neck were the same width as the rest of the bottle, liquid control would be more difficult.
Appealing to an analogy, the idea of a bottleneck is used to refer to different situations or events. Suppose that an avenue has four lanes but, after a certain crossing, it only has two lanes. It can be said that, at that moment, a bottleneck occurs: the vehicles that had been traveling along the avenue at a certain speed do not find space to continue moving at that pace and must slow down until they are accommodated in one of the two available lanes.. This bottleneck, in short, generates congestion and delays.
In the framework of the production process of certain goods, on the other hand, a bottleneck can also be generated. This occurs when a phase of production develops more slowly than the previous ones, slowing down the process in general.
Within the production of a factory a bottleneck can occur due to different circumstances. However, among the most frequent causes are the lack of operators, that there is a lack of materials to be able to undertake a specific phase of that production, that one of the machines used breaks down or works more slowly than usual…
Precisely to prevent this situation from occurring, it is established that it is necessary to anticipate it and for that, production will be analyzed in depth. Specifically, it will be studied in its entirety and from end to end in order to take the appropriate measures to prevent it from arising.
However, if a bottleneck finally occurs, you must act quickly and precisely so that a serious problem is not generated. In that case, the cause will be discovered and then a decision will be made between two options: act directly on the fault and paralyze everything until it solves it, or adapt the chain to that problem.
For computing, a bottleneck arises when a device has a higher processing capacity than another with which it is connected. The notion also appears in the field of biology linked to a reduction in the genetic variability of a species due to an abrupt decrease in the number of individuals in the past.