Types of Processes
Manufacturing operations as shown in Exhibit 3.7 are categorized into three broad types of process structures each category depending to a large extent on the volume. of item(s) to be produced These three categories are often referred to as project processes intermittent processes and line-flow processes While we identify three discrete categories we should emphasize that the different types of manufacturing processes that exist should be viewed as a continuum and that anyone company may incorporate a combination of these processes in the manufacture of its products.
A project oriented process usually involves the manufacture of a single one of a kind product Examples here include the production of a movie and thee erection of a skyscraper Building a customized car to compete in the Indianapolis 500
race is another good example. The major strength of a project-type process is that it is totally flexible to meet the individual needs of the customer. Projects are usually analyzed using network-solving techniques like tho e presented in the supplement to this chapter. Variable costs in this category are comparatively very high. On the other hand fixed costs are negligible or even nonexistent In the extreme case when there is truly only one product to build all costs are expended and consequently there are no fixed costs Highly skilled personnel are usually required for this type of process as they often must work independently with minimal guidance and supervision. In addition workers here need to be well trained in a variety of tasks.