The system relies on a number of important factors like policies of the organization, types of production, size of production etc. However, production methods, its organization, activities and operations differ from company to company. Production system can be classified in the following ways:
A. Continuous or Flow Production
B. Intermittent Production System
A. Continuous or Flow Production System can again be classified into:
- 1. Mass Production System
- 2. Process Production System
- 3. Assembly Production System
Process Production System can again be classified into:
i. Analytical Production System
ii. Synthetic Production System
B. Intermittent Production System can be re-classified into:
- Job Production System
- Batch Production System
Comparison Between Different Types of Production System:
Different systems of production can be compared in terms of following characteristics :
(1) Manufacturing Costs : Per unit cost is maximum in Job production and minimum in process production. The four methods of production in increasing order of costs can be arranged as process, mass, batch and job.
(2) Capital Investment : The requirement of capital varies according to the nature of the product and the input needs. The systems in ascending order of capital investment can be arranged as job, batch, mass and process.
(3) Size of Plant : In job and batch system same equipment/machine can perform a number of operations to manufacture different type of items. So the size of the plant is likely to smaller than those for mass and process system where whole production process is to be strictly arranged in a predetermined sequence of operations.
(4) Technical Requirements : Highly skilled labor is required in job and batch production to operate and carry out specialized work on machines. In the case of mass and process systems semi-skilled persons can also operate the machines. But due to large scale of production, more managerial skill is required in continuous systems.
(5) Organizational Structure: In job and batch production generally functional organizational approach is adopted whereas divisional organization pattern is used in mass and process systems. There is decentralization concept in organization of job and batch whereas centralization is prominent in mass and process systems.
(6) Flexibility in Production : Job-batch systems can easily adjust to changes in the requirement of the consumer with incurring any heavy expenditure. But in the case of mass and process systems we can produce one single product and with change in demand of products the systems cannot be adjusted easily. Thus job-batch system using general purpose machines is more flexible than mass-process system using single purpose machines.
(7) Type of Products Produced: Job system can be used in buildings, bridges, specific machines. production etc. and batch system can be used in producing machine tools, garments, shoes etc. Mass production is helpful for producing electrical items like switches, plugs, refrigerators etc., cars, trucks, tractors etc. Process production is suitable to manufacture, petroleum, dairy and chemical products.
(8) Security of Job: Job and batch systems produce items only when orders are received. During slack periods when there is no or very little demand workers are likely to be sacked. Thus, there is less job security in Job-batch production systems. In mass and process system, items are manufactured for stock and so production is continuous. Due to this there is more job-security for workers.