Saturday, December 13, 2008

What is Discrete Manufacturing?

What is Discrete Manufacturing?

1) Discrete manufacturing is a manufacturing process in which distinct items/products(which you can easily count, see and touch) are built or manufactured in discrete batches on manufacturing floor. It creates physical products which go directly to business and consumers, and assemblies that are used by other manufacturers. The resulting product is easily identifiable. It is different from process manufacturing where products are undifferentiated (can not tell the difference between one product and another) such as oil, natural gas and salt.

2) A typical characteristic of discrete manufacturing is the frequent switching from one manufactured product to another. The products are typically manufactured in individually defined lots, the sequence of work centers through production varying for each one of these. Costs are calculated on the basis of orders and individual lots.

3) Discrete manufacturing is also characterized by individual or separate unit production. Units can be produced in low volume with very high complexity or high volumes of low complexity. Low volume/high complexity production results in the need for an extremely flexible manufacturing system that can improve quality and time-to-market speed while cutting costs. High volume/low complexity production puts high premiums on inventory controls, lead times and reducing or limiting materials costs and waste

4) Discrete manufacturing typically involves the sequence of work centers through which the products can pass during production. This sequence can be varied as per requirement. The order of work centers is determined in routings, which can often be very complex. There can be waiting times between the individual work centers. Also, semi-finished products are frequently placed in interim storage prior to further processing

5) In discrete manufacturing, component materials are staged with specific reference to the individual production lots. Completion confirmations for the various steps and processes document the work progress and enable fine-tune controlling.

Examples are Transportation equipment, Automobiles, toys, Computer and accessories and electronic products, consumer electronics, furniture, Lego Blocks, Appliances and other house hold items, Industrial and electrical equipment, Medical equipment and supplies, Fabricated metal, furniture, recycling, pencil ,light bulb, telephone, bicycle, fuel pump, miscellaneous manufacturing as well as "big ticket” consumer and commercial goods like cars and airplanes, semi conductors, outfitting with industrial products, machine and plant engineering, right through to shipbuilding and aircraft construction. Fabricating products by assembling components and subsystems into larger systems. The automated assembly line is the prime example of discrete manufacturing such as in the making of automobiles, household appliances and computer systems. Discrete manufacturing systems typically deal with digital inputs to programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and programmable automation controllers (PACs) that cause motors and robotic devices to be activated. Fabricated Metal Products, Industrial and Commercial Machinery.


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