Production systems and manufacturing systems (types or methods) are used interchangeably. A system is composed of a number of components. These components are combined together for the accomplishment of some predetermined goal. Any manufacturing organization can be termed as a production system to produce goods and services.
There are three main components of this system namely inputs, transformation process and output. But these components can be further divided into a number of sub- components, operations and activities. Inputs can be men, material and equipment. Transformation process involves many activities and operations necessary to change inputs into output.
The operations and activities can be mechanical, chemical, inspection and control, material handling operations etc. Output is in the form of goods and services. Thus, a combination of all activities and operations to produce some goods and services is known as Manufacturing system.
The system depends on a number of factors viz. policies of the organization, types of production, size of production etc. However, the production method, its organization and operations differ from company to company.
Different Types of Production System
Production system can be classified as follows:
A. Continuous or Flow Production
B. Intermittent Production System
A. Continuous or Flow Production System can be re-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
The main advantage of continuous system is that work-in-progress inventory is minimum. As the processing of material is continuous and progressive, there is no waiting period. Each work is passed to the next stage immediately after the previous operation is complete without waiting for the completion of work on the total batch. As as result costs of materials handling are minimized and full use can be made of automation. Few job instructions are needed and less storage space is required, Cost per unit can be minimized by investing in specialized equipment.