Deciding which manufacturing productivity software your facility needs is usually a complex matter. There are so many factors to consider before you buy, including a comprehensive review of the software’s features and benefits. Every company’s manufacturing needs are unique. Any significant investment in industrial automation solutions necessitates that you source the correct system that meets your specific production requirements.
In an industry too frequently riddled by its own excessive use of terms and acronyms, concepts and services are often confused and inappropriately conflated. It’s, therefore, easy to lose track of the difference between discreet and process manufacturing. In this post, we’ll show how discrete and process manufacturing are two distinct concepts that are each improved by a well-implemented enterprise resource (ERP) system. Before the conclusion, we’ll offer a few useful pointers on how to choose the ideal solution for your food production plant.
What is process manufacturing?
Process manufacturing refers to any manufacturing type that blends, boils, mixes, or conjoins ingredients to endure a unique (often chemical) process that yields a specific output of items in bulk instead of a set volume of individual units. Products are put out in bulk quantities under the established process manufacturing principles. In comparison, discrete manufacturing relies on bill of materials as opposed to recipes or formulas to determine the final outcome of their food products.
Effective product planning systems must have the technical capabilities to accommodate your scalability requirements, ongoing process inspections, production methodologies, and existing equipment and infrastructure. Most formulas and recipes in process manufacturing are flexible, meaning you can run different batch sizes without having to recreate the same formula every time. If your primary focus is on cakes, industrial automation solutions and equipment let you produce frosting for similarly flavored items in bulk instead of mixing them individually for each product type.
The ability to scale your ingredients is convenient in process manufacturing because you can easily make adjustments and account for the inventory you have on hand. If you only possess enough ingredients for a quarter batch, automated software solutions for the food industry allow you to scale your production down to that amount for all the product elements. Other conventional methods, on the other hand, would require you to stop production altogether.
In discrete manufacturing, the distinct elements that go into generating the final product are easy to identify. This observation is less true in processing manufacturing in which various product ingredients are, unlike discrete manufacturing, melded together to the point that they can no longer be disassembled back into the same individual parts. Frozen ice cream, for example, can’t be turned back into milk any more than baked bread can be restored back to its source grains and wheat.
Discrete manufacturing vs. process manufacturing: More key differences
Discrete manufacturers always use bill of materials and distinct, standard parts that can be assembled back to their original state. Finished goods like smartphones, motorcycles, and industrial furniture are all examples of products that originate in discrete manufacturing plants.
Process manufacturers, in contrast, produce goods like paint and baked items for which disassembly is impossible. That’s why this approach is called process manufacturing. The final product is the result of an irreversible, state-changing process that permanently alters the various ingredients and components that formulate it.
Again, it’s worth reiterating that the main difference between the two concepts is that discrete manufacturers rely on bills of materials to assemble their products, while process manufacturers develop recipes and formulas to deliver their desired final outcomes under the specified procedures. Both manufacturing types allow manufacturers to build their goods to order or preassemble and warehouse their inventory for later distribution.
Do you need system integration?
It’s important to understand the distinction between discrete and process manufacturing so you can begin narrowing down prospective software providers that meet your specific requirements. If you run a wholesale industrial, software for these facility types represents a niche product. You may find yourself stumped, asking, where can I find industrial automation companies near me that work specifically with the process manufacturing industries?
EZSoft, the expert in industrial automation, is a full service-service integrator of process control systems helps companies in the food, metal, and chemical process industries solve complex manufacturing problems through emergent industrial automation solutions and manufacturing productivity software.
Our decades of combined experience servicing multi-warehousing systems in the manufacturing sector means that we have exactly what it takes to get the results you need to improve efficiency and accomplish more with less at your factory. After a comprehensive assessment, we’ll help you identify the required integrations or if you’d benefit from an entirely new platform.
If you’re still running an outmoded legacy system and preparing to upgrade your facility to an automated solution for increased efficiency gains, call EZSoft now at (484) 568-5040.
If now isn’t a good time to chat, fill out our online request for contact form. We’ll have a dedicated client relationship specialist from the team reach out at your convenience and explain how automation software from EZSoft can improve your product quality and accuracy while reducing risk exposure and simplifying compliance.