Types of manufacturing processes
Another way to classify manufacturing is to look at the production method and the type of finished goods produced.
Discrete manufacturing entails the production of items that are easily identifiable and itemized—for example, personal computers and home appliances. A bill of materials is used to define the component parts and raw materials that make up the distinct finished product. Production usually takes place on an assembly line where the distinct item is duplicated to meet the quantity required by the production schedule. Changeovers and setups due to the production of different products using the same assembly line can make this a complex process.
Process manufacturing differs from discrete manufacturing in how the product is created. Using recipes and formulas, raw materials and ingredients are converted into a finished product via chemical and physical changes. While the finished product is usually produced in bulk, it can be divided into smaller distinct units that are consumable by the customer.
There are two methods of process manufacturing: batch process manufacturing and continuous process manufacturing. Batch process manufacturing involves producing a product in a standard run or lot size that is determined by vessel size, line rates, or standard run length. It is commonly used by the food and beverage industry, among others. In contrast, continuous process manufacturing operates 24/7/365 with very long periods between shutdowns. It is used by industries such as oil and gas.
Mixed mode manufacturing
To meet changes in customer expectations, some industries use both discrete and process manufacturing. An example is the consumer packaged goods industry, which produces some products using a batch mixing process before packaging them into discrete units. This method can be challenging for manufacturers who need to run this process on one production line using a manufacturing execution system (MES) application.
Read the solution brief: Oracle Mixed-Mode Manufacturing Cloud for the CPG Industry (PDF)
Job shop manufacturing
Job shop manufacturing is for smaller batches of customized products, which can be MTO or MTS. Because it requires a unique setup and sequencing of process steps, specific production areas are used instead of assembly lines—for example, a machine shop that makes custom parts for other manufacturers of industrial machinery, aircraft, or high-tech equipment.
Read the solution brief: Oracle Project-Driven Supply Chain in the Cloud (PDF)
Some industries require a constant flow of product with minimal setup or changeover times—for example, the automotive and durable consumer goods industries. In repetitive manufacturing, dedicated assembly lines or manufacturing cells are set up for the same product or family of products, production is run 24/7/365, and work-in-process material is not moved to a temporary storage area.