Industrial production systems are the different methods used by a company to transform a raw material into the final product to be marketed. Knowing them is important because the company can know from the first moment what is the policy that it will have to follow to achieve success.
This article explains why companies opt for one system or another and a description of each of the four most used will be made.
Industrial production systems
The choice of a certain system depends on various variables that must be considered. The type of company, activity, workforce, volume of production or market niche are the most important at a structural level, since adopting one option or another involves a medium-term investment. Depending on the case, a production system may be closed, if it has predetermined its cause-effect relationships, or open, if it does not have them.
In most cases, there are not several ways to produce, but the company will have to opt for a certain system from the beginning. What can be given is that, for reasons of size change, it is convenient to move from one specific system to another, especially in the consumer goods producing industry.
Depending on the person skilled in the art, three or four industrial production systems are listed.
Production per job or project
Production by work is carried out after receiving an order and is common in companies that need an intensive use of labor and resources, as is the case with the shipyard industry. Also, some small companies are governed by this form of production. Before the buyer agrees, the company sends a report with the total cost of the order, necessary materials, planning and possible incidents that may occur.
The main drawback of this system is that the sustainability of the company is subject to orders and flexible forms of contracting will be required.
Batch production provides for the use of standard labor and the release to the market of a limited number of products with homogeneous characteristics called, generically, batch. This way of producing is typical of small or medium-sized companies, and even of old craftsmen who have made the leap towards standardized production. It is profitable in the case of products with a high added value because, although it works by means of homogeneous molds, the quantities produced are small.
Although manufacturing is relatively easy when the guidelines are known, it offers the problem of the coordination of the different parts of the company because, if one part of the chain fails, the entire process goes wrong.
Mass production: part of the idea that you have to produce a lot to be able to sell cheaply. Therefore, hundreds or thousands of identical products are obtained and a reduction in production costs is obtained, both by the incorporation of new technologies and by the rationalization of labor activity. Consequently, the production chain operates for a period of time that, in principle, is indefinite, although rest shifts can be established every day.
This is the usual production system in industries such as automotive or certain consumer goods. If a mass production company expands its market, it is likely that it will tend towards continuous flow production to optimize the use of machinery.
Continuous flow production
Continuous flow production is an evolution of mass production, with the main difference that here the production chain runs uninterrupted 24 hours a day. The main handicap, more than in the production process, is in the possibility of getting commercial outlet to the goods. Therefore, this method is only chosen when it comes to industries with a very high product turnover or when the harm of stopping production during a shift would be clearly greater than maintaining it.
Certain industries, such as blast furnaces or thermal power plants, have to operate through continuous flow production. It is also possible to maintain this pace in large companies of other types of goods.
5 tips for selecting a production system
Many companies face the problem of selecting a production system, either for the first time or after suffering one or several failures in the subject.
To give an idea of the magnitude of the problem, it would be said that more than 70% have had negative experiences and maybe 20% more have had mediocre results.
As everything related to systems lends itself to promising anything, in a title such as production programming can be encompassed from elementary systems to systems that contemplate all the variables and take into account the total state of the production situation, rethinking the complete situation in each run. We are going to propose below 5 steps to follow and some criteria to take into account to face the selection of a system:
Ask what you want to solve with the implementation of the system.
Establish an investment budget.
Select the possible suppliers.
Take advantage of the demonstrations.
Features of the system
How can you evaluate if a production system is complete and advanced?
We give as a reference a list of advanced topics that these systems must handle, the more of these topics are available, the more complete the production system can be considered, although your company does not need any of them today, it may need them in the future:
Unlimited reprogramming and simulation of the programming run.
The programming process does not interrupt the use of the production system by users.
Management of Third Parties with issuance of purchase orders, control of income and returns, control of stock and lot in the third party, control of its billing.