Types of production system:

The types of production system are grouped into two categories, namely:
1. Intermittent production system
2. Continuous production system

Types of production system

1. Intermittent production system:

Intermittent means something that starts and stops at irregular intervals (time intervals). In the intermittent production system, goods are produced according to customer orders. These products are produced on a small scale. The production flow is intermittent (irregular). In other words, the production flows are not continuous.

In this types of production system, large varieties of products are produced. These products are of different sizes. The design of these products keeps changing. It keeps changing based on product design and size. Therefore, this system is very flexible.

The following are examples of the intermittent production system:
(i) The work of a goldsmith is based exclusively on the frequency of customer orders. The goldsmith manufactures goods (ornaments) on a small scale according to the requirements of his client. Here, ornaments are not made continuously.

(ii) Similarly, a tailor’s work is also based on the number of orders he receives from his clients. The tailor sews the garments for each client independently according to measurement and size. Products (sewn clothing) are manufactured on a limited scale and is proportional to the number of orders received from customers. Here, sewing is not done continuously.

Characteristics of an intermittent production system are listed below:

(i) The production flow is not continuous. It is intermittent.
(ii) Wide varieties of products are produced.
(iii) The production volume is small.
(iv) General-purpose machines are used. Different types of products can be produced by the use of these machines.
(v) The sequence of operations continues to change according to the product design.
(vi) The quantity, size, shape, design, etc. Product depends on customer orders.

The types of intermittent production system include:

  1. Project production flows,
  2. Jobbing production flows, and
  3. Batch production flows.

i. Project production flows:

Here, in the project’s production flows, the company accepts a single complex order or contract. The order must be completed within a certain period of time and at an estimated cost. Consider making a boat. Such products are never manufactured in large quantities. Labor, facilities and other resources focus on these products. Therefore, each product can be treated as a project, which requires the sequencing of certain activities, either in series or simultaneously. PERT/CPM or network analysis is a useful technique to plan and control such projects.
Examples of project production flows mainly include the construction of airports, roads, buildings, shipbuilding, dams, etc.

Characteristics of project production flows:
1. A resource requirement varies with the production phases.
2. Many agencies are involved and their jobs are interrelated.
3. Generally. Delays take place at the end of the project.
4. As routing and programming changes, inspection is required.

ii. Jobbing production flows:

In the job production flows, the company accepts a contract to produce one or a few units of a product strictly according to the specifications given by the customer. The product is produced within a certain period and at a fixed cost. This cost is fixed at the time of signing the contract.

Examples of such job production flows include services provided by clothing workshops, repair shops, manufacturers of special machine tools, etc.

Characteristics of jobbing production flows:
1. The production of items takes place in small batches.
2. Items are manufactured according to customer specifications.
3. Highly skilled labor is needed for specialized jobs
4. There is a disproportionate manufacturing cycle time.

iii. Batch production flows:

In batch production flows, the production schedule is decided according to specific orders or is based on demand forecasts. Here, the production of items takes place in lots or lots. A product is divided into different jobs. All jobs in a production batch must be completed before starting the next production batch.
Examples of batch production flows include, manufacture of drugs and pharmaceuticals, medium and heavy machinery, etc.

Characteristics of batch production flows batch instruction:
1. Products are manufactured and stored until demand arises.
2. General-purpose machines and equipment are installed.
3. There is a possibility of major work in progress.
4. You need detailed production planning and control.

2. Continuous production system:

Continuous means something that operates constantly without irregularities or frequent stops. In the continuous production system, goods are constantly produced according to the demand forecast. The goods are produced on a large scale for storage and sale. They are not produced at the customer’s request. Here, the inputs and outputs are standardized together with the production process and the sequence.

The following are examples of the continuous production system.
(i) The production system of the food industry is based solely on the demand forecast. Here a large-scale food production takes place. It is also a continuous production.

(ii) Similarly, the production and processing system of a fuel industry is also based solely on the demand forecast. Crude oil and other raw sources are continuously processed on a large scale to obtain a usable form of fuel and
offset global energy demand.

The characteristics of a continuous production system are listed below:
(i) The production flow is continuous. It is not intermittent
(ii) The products are standardized.
(ii) Products are produced with predetermined quality standards.
(iv) Products are produced in anticipation of demand.
(v) Standardized roadmaps and schedules are prepared.

The types of continuous production systems include:
1. Mass production flows
2. Process production flows.

1. Mass production flows:
Here, the company produces different types of large-scale products and stores them in warehouses until they are demanded in the market. Products are produced with the help of a single operation or use a series of operations.
E.g. Mass production is the production of toothpaste, soaps, pens, etc.

Characteristics of mass production flows:
1. Continuous production flow, depends on market demand.
2. Here, there is limited work in progress.
3. Supervision is easy: few instructions are necessary.
4. The material is mainly handled by machines.
5. The flow of materials is continuous with little or no glue.

2. Production processes:
Here, a single product is produced and stored in warehouses until it is demanded in the market. The flexibility of these plants is almost nil because only one product can be produced.
Examples of production process flows include steel, cement, paper, sugar, etc.

Characteristics of process production flows:
1. Highly mechanized system for material handling.
2. Low skilled labor and skilled technicians are required.
3. Very little work in progress, since the flow of material is continuous.
4. Production planning and programming can be decided in advance.
5. The complete production system is designed to produce a single item.


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