Production process: what it is and how it develops

How to develop and optimize a production process is a job that surely the vast majority of companies must face at least once along their business path. But in order to develop it effectively, you must first be very clear about what it is and what it consists of.

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What are the productive processes?

A production process is the set of activities oriented to the transformation of resources or productive factors into goods and / or services. Information and technology are involved in this process, which interact with people. Its ultimate goal is demand satisfaction.

In other words, a production process is a system of actions that are related to each other and whose objective is none other than to transform elements, systems or processes. For this, some input factors are needed that, throughout the process, will increase in value thanks to the transformation.

The most common and common production input factors in all companies are labor, resources and capital that applied to manufacturing could be summarized in a combination of effort, raw material and infrastructure.

What is the production process?

To know what a production process is, it is necessary to attend its stages. Each of them intervenes decisively in the achievement of the final objective, which is none other than the transformation of the products and / or services so that they can achieve customer satisfaction, covering the needs that are extracted from their demand through a product or service.

You could talk about the existence of three phases in any production process:

  • Gathering/analytical stage:
    This first stage of production, the raw materials are gathered to be used in manufacturing. The main objective of a company during this phase of the production process is to get as much raw material as possible at the lowest cost. In this calculation, transport and warehouse costs must also be considered. It is at this stage that the decomposition of raw materials into smaller parts is carried out. In addition, in this first phase the manager or the production manager will indicate the production objective that has to be achieved, something to take into account when making the collection of the raw material, as well as all the material that is You will need to make the correct production.
  • Production/synthesis stage: during this phase, the raw materials that were previously collected are transformed into the real product that the company produces through its assembly. At this stage it is essential to observe the quality standards and control their compliance. In order for this phase to go out as planned and problems are avoided, it is necessary to do a work of observation of the environment, so that changes can be anticipated and an action plan can be drawn up to know how to act at all times to continue working for the fulfillment of the objectives.
  • Processing/conditioning stage: the adaptation to the needs of the client or the adaptation of the product for a new purpose are the goals of this productive phase, which is the most oriented towards the marketing itself. Transport, storage and intangible elements associated with demand are the three main variables to consider at this stage. Once the product / service is already delivered, it cannot be forgotten that a control task must be carried out that allows knowing if what has been delivered meets the objectives set and the quality standards that the customer demands.

What are the types of production processes?

There are four different types of production process. They are the following:

  • Production on request
    In this production modality only one product is manufactured at a time and each one is different, no two are the same, so it is considered an intensive labor process. The products can be handmade or arise as a result of the combination of manual manufacturing and interaction of machines and / or equipment.
  • Batch production: a small quantity of identical products is produced as often as necessary. It could be considered as a labor-intensive production process, but this is not usually the case, since it is usual to incorporate patterns or templates that simplify execution. The machines can be easily changed to produce a batch of a different product, if the need arises.
  • Mass production: it is what is called the manufacture of hundreds of identical products, usually in a manufacturing line. This production process often involves the assembly of a series of sub-assemblies of individual components and, generally, a large part of each task is automated, which allows a smaller number of workers to be used without prejudice to the production of a high number of products
  • Continuous production: allows many thousands of identical products to be manufactured and, unlike mass production, in this case the production line is kept running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In this way it is possible to maximize performance and eliminate the additional costs of starting and stopping the production process, which is highly automated and requires few workers.

In addition to this classification of process types, another can be done if the focus is on the type of transformation that is being attempted:

  • Technical processes They are those who are responsible for intrinsically modifying the factors.
  • Mode processes They are characterized by transforming the form or mode of disposition of the factors.
  • Processes of place Its objective is to transport factors and final products / services from one place to another.
  • Time processes The objective in this case is to make the object itself be preserved in time.

All these classifications can be taken into account in a generic way, since the production of fresh products such as food (perishables) is not the same as more durable materials such as furniture. In addition, according to the production process we will be in different economic sectors and, therefore, we will work the processes in one way or another.

Trends applicable to any production process

Industrial manufacturing has nothing new and yet it continues to evolve and adapt to new realities. The three trends set out below are just an example of the business regeneration capacity:

  • Sustainability: forcing the adjustments and the economy of processes to the maximum, for a better use of the resources that translates into a more sustainable company, both for the environment and its own future.
  • Application of technology: as for example in the case of the combination of robots with vision systems. This issue is increasing, since the use of technology applied to the field of industry makes them much more operational and, therefore, more effective.
  • Incorporation of big data: The Big Data allows to achieve a better adjustment to the demand and the optimization of the relations with suppliers, partners, transport companies, among others, as well as to know more about the potential client to better offer the services and products What demand.