The types of processes carried out in modern manufacturing industries can be grouped into three general areas. In terms of the kind of operation that takes place, as :
- Continuous Process
A continuous process is one in which raw materials enter one end of the system and the finished product comes out the other end of the system. The process itself runs continuously. Once the process commences, it is continuous for a relatively long period of time. The time period may be measured in minutes, day, or even months, depending upon the process.
- Batch Production
In batch processing there is no flow of product material from one section of the process to another. Instead, a set amount of each of the inputs to the process is received in a batch, and then some operation is performed on the batch to produce a finished product or an intermediate product that needs further processing. The process is carried out, the finished product is stored, and another batch of product is produced. Each batch of product may be different.
Some process combine the features of the batch and continuous types. In such processes, several product materials are treated and stored in batch operation. Then these stored materials are drawn off as required into a continuous process. Many chemically based products are manufactured by using batch processes.
- Individual Products Production
The individual product production process is the most common of all processing systems. With this manufacturing process, a series of operations produces a useful output product. The item being produced may be required to be bent, drilled, welded, and so on. The workpiece is normally a discrete part that must be handled on an individual basis.
In moderen automated industrial plan, the operator merely sets up the operation and initiates a start, and the operations of the machine are accomplished automatically. These automatic machines and processes were developed to mass-produce products, control very complex operations, or to operate machines accurately for long periods of time. They replaced much human decision, intervention, and observation.
– Petruzella, Frank D. Industrial Electronics. 1996. McGraw-Hill International Editions. pg. 304-305.
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