The art of manufacturing is one that involves the harmonization of several elements. Hitherto, the high level of sophistication means that we can only focus on a particular category at any given time. Two popular types that are often compared together are discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing and these categories are optimized for a particular purpose.
However, the changing demands of customers and the ever-evolving landscape of digitization has created an urgent demand for diversified manufacturing processes. Companies are becoming ore open to flexibility and this means one particular approach to production would not suffice.
This has brought about a new category called the mixed mode manufacturing. We shall go into details about this approach in a while, but before that, let us explore process manufacturing and discrete manufacturing.
What is Process Manufacturing?
In essence, this aspect of manufacturing entails the production of a product which when assembled, cannot be divided. One easy example of this is production of a food like bread. Let’ say your favorite manufacturer gets a supply of flour, butter, milk, and the other necessary products. Do you think this can be separated after it has been made into bread? Of course not.
That’s a very simplified definition. In essence, process manufacturing is one that usually involves a recondite and exacting requirement. No matter how complex and advanced the level of production is, quality control is also expedient, and this is done by maintaining traceability.
What is Discrete Manufacturing?
Let’s allow your understanding of process manufacturing to sink for a while. Discrete manufacturing, on the other hand, is another ball game entirely. This involves the manufacture of goods whose parts can be dissembled and offered t customers separately, either as a component part, or as a raw supply. One very obvious example of this is in the automotive industry; your car.
Think of how the assembly line in your favorite car production industry is. There are different engines, tires, bolts, gear system, headlights, etc. all requiring a neat and orderly assembly. Some of the parts are outsourced to other companies whose specialty is in the area.
The structure then tells us that the production process will include inventory control and traceability, it will also include assembly tracking.
Now, let’s get to the mixed mode alternative.
What is a Mixed Mode Production Process?
Think of it as the best of both worlds. Basically, you are employing two radically different strategies to manufacturing at the same time. it involves the production of batches of a particular recipe, and then this batch is a subassembly that is offered under a discrete assembly.
Basically, when you adopt this strategy, you are leveraging the benefits of ERP while you also bear the challenges. The keyword here is integration. Rather than sticking to one process that doesn’t necessarily suit your business needs, you are integrating all the requirements of your business.
More Details About Mixed Mode Manufacturing
Below are some of the advantages of mixed mode manufacturing.
- It gives you the opportunity to aptly meet the demands of your customer without going over and beyond. In essence, you are in control.
- You also get to manage batch manufacturing and flow manufacturing process. This is possible with just one ERP software system.
- Reliability and quality assurance are guaranteed. You also get to exercise control over processes that were out of reach.
- You can execute process and discrete manufacturing in the same plant.
- You can also satisfy a large number of customers without necessarily compromising on quality.
The world is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Businesses that fail to demonstrate flexibility and adapt are often forced to go out of business. One way of ensuring that your company does not fall victim is to adopt an enterprise resource planning strategy that gives you control over the manufacturing. You also get to practice the maintenance approach that works best for you.
This will help you truly tap the best of both worlds and give your company a huge boost. If you are interested in enjoying this opportunity, you can reach out to us here.