Although there are different types of manufacturing processes, these normally fall under the five broad categories – Repetitive manufacturing, Discreet manufacturing, Continuous Process Manufacturing, Job shop manufacturing, and Batch process manufacturing.
Repetitive Manufacturing Process
The Repetitive Manufacturing Process or assembly line manufacturing process produces the same product repeatedly that passes through an assembly line for assembling various parts to give shape to the finished product. The production is on a mass scale and the activities continue around the clock. Industries belonging to the automotive, durable consumer goods, semiconductor, and electronics segments usually follow the manufacturing process.
Industries of mass production are ideal for repetitive manufacturing because of the stable consumer demand for the finished products which is quite predictable. The assembly line remains constant during the time of manufacturing the same product with changes happening only when there is any change to the product. Manufacturers create master plans over a period based on firm quantities. Repetitive manufacturing is often useful for companies that maintain a fixed inventory of finished goods against a stable demand or for high volumes. Automotive industries that follow a sale-order-oriented manufacturing plan adopt the Repetitive Manufacturing Process.
Job Shop Manufacturing
The Job Shop Manufacturing process deploys production areas consisting of workshops and workstations. When the product passes through each station, workers add some value to it and the progress continues through the other stations till the product reaches the final stage, eventually producing the finished product. This type of manufacturing process suits custom manufacturing which entails slower processes and lower production volumes. A company that builds custom cabinets usually adopts the Job Manufacturing process as the product passes through different workstations while workers work on it to complete the various stages of manufacturing.
The Discrete Manufacturing process has many similarities with the Repetitive manufacturing process. Here also you will find production assembly lines that produce different types of end-products of finished goods. When switching between different products it is necessary to make changes to the assembly line configuration which in industrial parlance is known as changeover. Changeover entails setting up costs consisting of labor, time, and resources. This type of manufacturing process is prevalent in the computer manufacturing industry which produces newer devices with several variations to meet the demand for frequently changing mass customization sought by consumers.
Continuous Process Manufacturing
As the name implies, Continuous Process Manufacturing runs 24×7 for creating similar products repetitively but in larger volumes. Pharmaceuticals, chemicals and gases, fertilizers and oil, gas, steel, and paper industries come under this category that typically uses a variety of chemicals in the form of liquid, gas, powder, and slurries as raw materials and intermediates but does not use any solid-state materials. The process flow is identical to the Repetitive Manufacturing Process
Batch Manufacturing Process
Batch process Manufacturing produces products in batches according to the needs of some particular customer. Like changeover, it is necessary to clean the equipment and reset these between batches. For example, the food processing industry might produce a batch of ketchup for some specific customer than other sauces and mayonnaise whilst cleaning the equipment during product switchover.