All That You Need To Know About Manufacturing Processes

Every business has a product. Be it a physical quantity or a service. For smooth operations and continual revenue generation, different types of equipment and tools are needed, anyhow. All of these products are manufactured somehow. This is the reason, manufacturing processes are another successful model for businesses. But what does it take to set up a manufacturing plant? Here’s all that you need to know about the manufacturing processes. Let’s begin with understanding what the manufacturing process is.

What Is A Manufacturing Process?
A process that involves the procurement of raw material, processing the raw material and turning it into something that can ease the human efforts, is known as a manufacturing process. These processes include a vast arena of products including, computer peripherals, equipment, tools, textiles, paper, and anything that we use in our day to day life.No two manufacturing processes are the same. The difference in the products and their required processing divides manufacturing processes into two broad categories.
What Are The Types Of Manufacturing Processes?Considering the type of operation a manufacturing process is intended to perform, it can be classified as either a continuous manufacturing process or a batch process. Let us understand what is the difference between these two.

Continuous Manufacturing Process
Most of the products that are consumer-oriented, need to be manufactured continuously. For example, a toothpaste manufacturer needs to produce the same product over and over again. This requires a manufacturing line dedicated to the same product to manufacture it 24/7. This type of manufacturing line or assembly is known as a continuous manufacturing process.

Batch Manufacturing Process
In a few cases, where the product is produced in small quantities to meet the momentary demand, a temporary setup is required. The setup can be altered with minor or major changes, depending upon the requirement. Small batches of products are manufactured over a short span of period. This type of process is known as a batch manufacturing process. One such example of a batch manufacturing process is injection molding ( that enables flexibility in the manufacturing designs and associated assembly lines.

Apart from these two, there is a third type which does not fall under any of the above categories. 3-D Manufacturing produces custom products as per the demand. There is no continuous or batch manufacturing involved in this process. The product is manufactured as per the customers demand in discrete quantities.

What Does A Manufacturing Process Involve?
Typically a manufacturing process would not be limited to just the production of the product. There are many steps to a manufacturing process prior and post to the production. Here is a list of tasks that are involved in the manufacturing process: 

Before any product is manufactured, the very first step is to devise a concept for the product. This involves the requirements a product needs to meet and what the product is intended to perform.

Once, the product concept is ready, there needs to be a design prepared for how the product should look like. The designing is conducted keeping in mind the concept of the product. The design is either a hand-drawn sketch of the product with all the details of the product on paper, or can be developed in a computer software known as CAD(Computer Aided Designing). Whatever be the method of designing, the design essentially provides with detailed information on what the product should physically look like.

Prototype Development
Once the design is ready, it needs to be transformed into an actual product. But before the mass production begins, there is yet another step to ensure that the product meets the requirement. This stage is known as prototype development. A prototype is a replica of the actual product based on the actual design of the product. It is developed to ensure that the product performs as required and meets all the necessary criteria. 

Once the design is approved, by developing and testing a prototype, mass production begins. A product, depending upon the market demand can be either continuously manufactured or manufactured in batches. Both the manufacturing lines differ in their setup. The former being a permanent setup, and the later with scope for minor alterations when required.

Quality Assurance And Checking
Stringent consumer laws and competition in the market demands certain quality parameters to be met. In order to assess if the product meets the required quality parameters, post-production quality checks are carried out. Quality control, can, in fact, be carried out either during the production or post-production. The former is called online quality control whereas the latter is known as offline quality control. Having said that, online quality control does not omit the necessity of quality control, anyhow.

What Are The Prospects In Future?
To meet the needs of the growing population and demand for innovation has led to higher production. More and more products with integrated innovations are gaining demand. Setting up a continuous manufacturing plant may secure revenue by reducing changeover costs.

But, with rapid innovations and developments being explored in every array of manufactured products, a batch manufacturing plant seems more legitimate. A batch manufacturing process demands higher investment with flexibility in assembly setup. In a nutshell, manufacturing processes have a very bright future but limited to certain areas. Before setting up a manufacturing plant consider the cost and demand of the product to be manufactured.

From toothpaste to an airplane, everything is manufactured. Some in parts and components whereas some in a single unit. Every man-made object that you come across in your daily life is manufactured in a factory. The scope for manufacturing processes is endless unless there comes a day in the future when everyone turns back to the stone age.

A manufacturing process involves certain prerequisites which are necessary. The raw material, the machinery, and the customer are the essentials that keep a manufacturing plant running all along. Any other element involved in the manufacturing process is a marketing augmentation that is necessary for monetary purpose solely.

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