Process manufacturing is a method of producing finished goods by combining ingredients, supplies, or raw materials using a recipe or formula. Manufacturers that produce goods in bulk, such as refined oil, food, beverages, chemicals, paints, pharmaceuticals, gasoline, and plastics use process manufacturing.
As the production process requires a chemical or thermal reaction/conversion, such as time, heat, or pressure, breaking down of the end product into individual elements is not possible. For example, once a soft drink or paint is produced, it cannot be disassembled into its different ingredients.
Process manufacturing depends solely on the continuity of the sequential steps – as one step completes, the next begins. So, manufacturers rely on scheduling and tracing tools and software to maintain the highest efficiency of operations.
Do you run an industry on process production operations and are looking for the best ERP for manufacturing? You could only make the right choice when you know everything about your manufacturing type and the features to look out for in the concerned software system.
Too much to grasp? We have got you back! Read on.
Types of process manufacturing
To begin with, let’s understand the types of process manufacturing – continuous and batch manufacturing.
In continuous production/manufacturing, the operations run for extended periods (between shutdowns) focusing on high-volume and low cost. Consider the example of a refinery, it may shut down once in 5 to 7 years.
The industries running on this continuous process usually make the highest profit when the capacity is limited during the business cycle. As such, capacity utilization is highly significant.
High asset value
During this process, the production assets represent 75% of the company’s total assets. It is pretty high in comparison to several other industries.
Manufacturing involves over 65% of the total sales expenses.
Low volume, high value
Mostly, this kind of process manufacturing is shift-oriented. The focus is usually on producing a low volume of high value.
Batch manufacturing industries supposedly make the highest profit by taking up the demand swings quickly with minimum or no variation in the product quality.
Operations performance is measured in terms of the effectiveness in quick response to consumer demand (market demand). It also goes with continuous process industries.
Batch manufacturing companies like food & beverage and life sciences look into an array of regulatory concerns uncommon to continuous process industries, such as gas, refining, and oil.
Industries applicable to process manufacturing
While you search for effective production management software, also look into the industries falling into the process manufacturing markets.
The top industries applicable to this manufacturing type are:
One of the popular process manufacturing operations in the food & beverages industry is beer brewing. The main components or ingredients used in making beer are malt, grains, hops, sugar, and yeast. The primary steps start from making the mixture by soaking the grains in boiling water, adding malt and hops in the desired quantities (concerning the type of beer in the making), and at last, sugar. The prepared mixture develops the wort, or the liquid with sugars is fermented by the yeast to get alcohol. Water is added to the wort with yeast for an extended period of fermentation. When the process of fermentation is over, they bottle up the beer. There’s no scope for beer, the end product, to disassemble into the constituent ingredients.
Why did we explain to you the entire process of beer brewing, you may ask? It was to show the complexities of process manufacturing and make you realize that having the right ERP software is the efficient way to manage the bulk production of such items. It is an irreversible process with negligible chances of modification. So, keeping everything in check is necessary during the production phase, and for that, you need the best ERP software for manufacturing.
Challenges faced in process manufacturing
Processed goods demand concise systems and accurate processes because the recipe or formula needs supplies or ingredients in exact quantities. In the case of products having a short shelf life, the reordering and scheduling of the supply chain must be in sync. Today, despite the automation of most manufacturing processes, there’s still a requirement of manual input to manage the machinery and ensure quality control on the items. For process manufacturers, recalls are not good news. If there’s a severe defect or any other issue with the product, it called for the replacement of the entire product. And you know, the process is irreversible.
Significant features to look for in a top ERP for manufacturing
Your process manufacturing ERP system must have a list of essential elements to render peak support throughout the production phase. We have mentioned some below:
Quarantine contaminated batches
Process manufacturers check the materials in batches. Suppose you produce cakes, and brownies and the batter of the white chocolate brownies is not its usual creamy white texture but buttery yellow. You can use it to give it a special butter brownie look, but it will not be the desired white chocolate brownie. An efficient ERP manufacturing software will help you quarantining the wrong batter and confirms that the mistake is not repeated in the next batch of brownies.
Drum up specific decimals
You will need the exact number of supplies or ingredients and follow a specific process to develop a product through process manufacturing. For example, you require 0.000067 ounces of vanilla for the fudge-vanilla cake. How have you thought of getting the exact decimal? By using the right software for production, you can get a specific unit. The process ERP uses a formula to format the required unit. The formula can smoothly be applied to multiple production sizes or batches, requiring over eight decimal places of the concerning ingredient.
If your product analyst adds new calculations to the system, the manufacturing software can automatically recalculate and update all your data in place. Creating quality product formulas for regular recent calculations is no big deal for effective production planning software.
Suppose you need to add a new ratio of the ingredients used in the popular brownie recipe to boost the chocolate flavor. All you need to do is input the desired ratio into the system, and the process software will update it automatically.
Break into percentages
Do you want to break all the ingredients in all your baking recipes? What if we say that’s possible? Your custom ERP manufacturing software can monitor the percentage of the components individually for all the recipes.
Minimize machinery interruptions
Wastage of materials or issues with the machinery during production can interrupt the process. It gets annoying, but that’s what happens in the manufacturing business frequently. Having the best ERP manufacturing software enables observing the production techniques and streamlining opportunities to decrease waste and machinery interruptions. The software system can also generate in-depth production strategies to enhance productivity and ensure the utilization of the spoiling ingredients are before expiry.
In a Nutshell
Process manufacturing has unique ERP software requirements, given the complexities involved in the production management process. Now that you have a better idea about the manufacturing type and the essential features to look for, you can choose the best ERP manufacturing software for your company and maximize profits.
Vijay comes with a vast experience in ERP and enterprise solutions space with about 20 years of experience in various packaged application like Acumatica, SAP, Orion, Salesforce.com, SugarCRM and, SalesLogix.