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Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Strengthening Questions

The design department of a cardboard factory has a computer-operated machine that makes cuts and prepares fold lines from a standard flat piece of cardboard so that a full-size prototype can be folded and built into three dimensions. Designers constantly use the machine, which is overloaded with pending cut-outs to create, to test their sketches and, as a rule, need to build at least 5 prototypes before having a design authorized for production. To increase the department's efficiency, the factory manager is planning to introduce a rule demanding that the designers build the first three prototypes manually with pens, rulers, and cutter knives.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the reason to expect that the factory manager's plan will succeed?



If anything, this answer choice weakens the manager's plan by showing how much more efficient the machine is. The fact that a person is needed to feed a piece of cardboard for each prototype seems like a minor disadvantage when compared with the huge difference in production times.



Although this answer choice supports the idea that the current situation is inefficient, it doesn't support the manager's plan in particular. Even if repairs are expensive, we have no basis for comparison - we do not have enough information to determine whether the price of repairs is greater than the cost of designer time wasted by building prototypes manually.



The fact that the manager's plan is possible does not mean that it will make the department more efficient. Even if the designers are good at building prototypes manually, we are not told if they can do it faster or better than the machine can.



According to the manager's plan, the last two prototypes are built by the machine and not manually. Therefore, this answer choice is irrelevant, and neither weakens nor strengthens that plan.



This answer choice confirms the assumption behind the plan, showing an advantage to handcrafting. If the machine has made the designers careless, then making them construct prototypes by hand will encourage them to make less mistakes in the design.

The computer-operated prototype builder needs to be manually fed a new piece of cardboard for every prototype that it prepares although with this help it can make 40 times more prototypes than a designer can in the same amount of time.
The constant workload placed on the machine leads to an increase in the number of malfunctions it experiences, and repairing it is very expensive.
Because the factory only purchased the computer-operated machine one year ago, all the designers know how to convert two-dimensional sketches into accurate three-dimensional prototypes manually.
Since the last prototype is the most critical in the process, the authorization of the product depending upon it, building it manually would not be as accurate as allowing the machine to prepare the cut-out.
Instead of checking thoroughly for mistakes, the designers are often hasty in sending their sketches to be created by the machine since doing so requires none of the effort entailed in building a prototype by hand.