April 13, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

The Different Types of Manufacturing Processes That Exist Today

3 min read

The manufacturing industry is a staple to any company that sells goods.

Without it, new product development would slow to a snail’s pace, and many of the conveniences we enjoy today would be much harder to get our hands on.

When you think of the manufacturing industry, you may imagine assembly and production lines. This is not always the case though.

As technology has evolved, the manufacturing industry has evolved with it. Here’s a quick guide on the different manufacturing processes used today.

The Different Types of Manufacturing Processes

While many manufacturing processes do use a production or assembly line, others do not.

Different industries have different manufacturing needs. Some industries need people to make custom products. Others find that only having to pay for machine components, like plastic roller cost, is cheaper and more effective.

Repetitive Manufacturing

Repetitive manufacturing uses dedicated production lines to produce the same or similar items. This form of manufacturing goes on 24/7, year-round.

The requirements for setup are minimal and have little changeover. This allows operation speeds to change to meet customer demands.

Discrete Manufacturing

Discrete manufacturing also uses an assembly or production line. It is often used to make products that can be broken down and recycled, including:

  • Automobiles
  • Airplanes
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Smartphones

Discrete manufacturing is highly diverse, having a range of setups and frequent changeovers.

This is often due to how similar or different products are in design. Items that are vastly different require altering the setup and a tear-down, so production will need more time.

Job Shop Manufacturing

Instead of using assembly lines, job shop manufacturing uses production areas.

It can produce smaller batches of custom products that are either made-to-order or made-to-stock. This is because it allows manufacturers to make one version of a custom product or a few dozen in batches.

If required by customer demand, the operation can become a discrete manufacturing line. Automated equipment may replace labor operations if this occurs.

Continuous Process Manufacturing

Like repetitive manufacturing, continuous process manufacturing runs 24/7.

However, it handles raw materials like gases, liquids, powder, slurries, or granule materials. It tends to be used in oil refining, metal smelting, and food production.

Batch Process Manufacturing

Batch process manufacturing is continuous by nature, but depending on consumer demand, may stop at one batch. After the batch production is run, the equipment is cleaned in preparation for the next batch.

This process is achievable when ingredients or raw materials are not made to a strict standard. Like continuous manufacturing, the product ingredients are similar, but the process is more diverse.

3D Printing

3D printing is a newer method of manufacturing that has grown increasingly popular. It allows manufacturers to fabricate products from a multitude of composites and materials. This includes:

While 3D printing was only developed in the 1980s, its popularity has grown at a rapid rate. It allows for the fabrication of three-dimensional goods with the use of a digital model.

This method decreases the need for physical labor and automated machines. Plus, it allows for rapid prototyping, as companies can create and test products before manufacturing them en-mass.

Modern Manufacturing Processes

Different industries have different requirements and needs for manufacturing.

As manufacturing processes continue to evolve, producing new goods will likely become easier than ever. This is especially true with growing technologies like 3D printing, which allow more and more people to start making their own custom products.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out some of our other posts for more useful tips and information.