Any business, the success predominantally depenps upon the effective production/operations process.
Any business, the success
predominantally depenps upon the effective production/operations process. There
are numerous types of production processess and there are also many ways of
classifying or grouping them for descriptive purposes. Classifying production/
operations processes by their characteristics can provide valuable insights
into how they should be managed.
In general, the processes by which goods and
services are produced can be categorised in two traditional ways.
Firstly, we can identify continuous,
repetitive, intermittent and job shop production process.
Second and similar classification
divides production processes into Process production, Mass production, Batch
production and jobbing production.
We will breifly introduce these
methods in the following paragraphs.t
A wide variety of customized
products are made by a highly skilled workforce using general-purpose
equipment. These processes are referred to as jumbled-flow processes because
there are many possible routings through the process.
Examples: Home renovating firm, stereo repair shop,
Intermittent (batch) flow
A mixture of general-purpose and special-purpose equipment is used to
produce small to large batches of products.
Examples: Clothing and book manufacturers, winery, caterer.
Repetitive flow (mass production) The product or products are
processed in lots, each item of production passing through the same sequence of
operations, i.e. several standardized products follow a predetermined flow
through sequentially dependent work centers. Workers typically are assigned to
a narrow range of tasks and work with highly specialised equipment. Examples:
Automobile and computer assembly lines, insurance
Continuous flow (flow shop) Commodity like products flow
continuously through a linear process. This type of process will theoretically
run for 24 hrs/day, 7 days/ week and 52 weeks/year and, whilst this is often
the objective, it is rarely achieved. Examples: chemical, oil, and sugar
refineries, power and light utilities. These four categories represent
points on continuum of process organisations. Processes that fall within a
particular category share many characteristics that fundamentally influence how a
process should be managed. The second and similar
classification divides production processes into:
Process Production Processes that operate
continually to produce a very high volume of a standard product are termed “Processes”.
This type of process involves the continuous production of a commodity in bulk,
often by chemical rather than mechanical means, such as oil and gas. Extra
examples of a continuous processes oil refinery, electricity production and
Mass Production It is conceptually similar to
process production, except that discrete items such as motorcars and domestic
appliances are usually involved. A single or a very small range of similar
items is produced in very large numbers. In other words, processes that produce
high-volume and low-variety products are termed line or mass processes. Because
of the high volumes of product it is cost-effective to use specialised labour
Batch Production Processes that produce products
of medium variety and medium volume are termed “batch processes”. It occurs
where the number of discrete items to be manufactured in a period is
insufficient to enable mass production to be used. Similar items are, where
possible, manufactured together in batches. In other words, batch processes
cover a relatively wide range of volume and variety combination. Products are
grouped into batches whose batch size can range from two to hundreds.
Jobbing Production (Project Type Production) Processes that produce
high-variety and low-volume products are known as “jobbing”. Although strictly
consisting of the manufacture of different products in unit quantities (in
practice corresponds to the intermittent
process mentioned above). This type of production assumes a one-of-a-kind production output, such as a new building or developing a
new software application. The equipment is typically designed for flexibility
and often general purpose, meaning it can be used for many different production
requirements. Often, it is a practice that a
firm has more than one type of operating process in its production system to
manage the resources optimally. Sometime, the labour may not be available; on
other occasion, the raw material may be short; market may slow down or go up
exponentially. For instance, a firm may use a repetitive-flow process to
produce high-volume parts but use an intermittent-flow process for lower-volume
parts. A link often exists between a
firm’s product line and its operating processes. Job shop organisations are
commonly utilised when a product or family of products is first introduced. As
sales volumes increase and the product’s design stabilises, the process tends
to move along the continuum toward a continuous-flow shop. Thus, as products
evolve, the nature of the operating processes used to produce them evolves as
Tags : Operations Management - Introduction to Operations Management
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