Most manufacturing environments fit into one of five general categories. Repetitive, Discrete, Job Shop, Process (batch), and Process (continuous).
1. Repetitive Processing
Repetitive processing has dedicated production lines that produce the same or similar items consistently without change. It requires minimal setup or changeover, so it can be accelerated, slowed down, or another production line added.
2. Discrete Processing
Discrete processing is also an assembly or production line process, but it is highly diverse, with a wide variation of setups and changeover frequencies. The variation is based on whether the products being produced are alike or very disparate. If the latter is the case, setup and tear-down will require more time.
3. Job Shop Processing
Job shop processing has production areas, rather than production lines. One or a number of product versions are assembled in the areas. If demand deems necessary, the job shop operation is converted to a discrete processing environment with automated equipment.
4. Process Manufacturing (Batch)
This type of operation is analogous to discrete and job shop processes. The process can run produce one batch or several, depending on requirements. Continuous batch processes are possible when the composition of raw materials can’t be made to a strict standard. Design considerations and disciplines are more diverse.
5. Process Manufacturing (Continuous)
This type of processing is similar to repetitive, in that they run 24/7. The main difference is that the products are gases, liquids, powders, or slurries. Or in areas like mining, they can be granular materials. With continuous process manufacturing, the disciplines to create the product are more diverse.
How Process Manufacturing Is Different than the Others
Repetitive, Discrete and Job Shop processes produce a final product that is made of separate parts and components that can be put together or taken apart. The end product must be exactly the same composition; if one part is missing, the final product is defective; there is no variation. The manufacturing process can be stopped at a certain point, and restarted at that point at a later time without affecting the final product.
These processes use complex multilevel bills of materials (BOMs) and require sophisticated planning, scheduling and tracking to be successful.
Examples of products that use these types of manufacturing processes are automobiles, computers and various types of machines.
Process Manufacturing, on the other hand, uses formulas to develop products. Recipes or formulas are used to mix or blend materials to make the final product. These recipes can be altered, as desired, with a variation of ingredients and amounts. Unlike the other processes, where the product can be dissembled and reused, the materials used in these types of products cannot.
Process manufacturing operations benefit from sophisticated tracking and scheduling automation for peak efficiency.
Examples of products where process manufacturing is used are pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages, paints, etc.
The biggest difference between process manufacturing and the other types of operations is that you cannot reverse, or halt and restart, the process manufacturing process. Process manufacturing depends on lot potency and shelf life for their requirements, while the others use BOMs, serial numbers and the like.
E3 Consulting Can Provide You with the ERP Solution for any Type of Manufacturing Process
All manufacturing processes rely on ERP software to compete successfully in the global marketplace and to maximize profits.
E3 Consulting can help you choose the system and components best suited for your specific needs. We will handle all communications with the software manufacturer, relieving you of that burden. We will also oversee the installation of the system, train your team to use and maintain your new ERP software, and make the process as pain-free and smooth as possible.
Don’t wait any longer to get the right ERP solution for your manufacturing business. Contact E3 Consulting today to learn more!