Discrete Manufacturing is a type of production process where the output can be counted and tracked as per unit numbers and they are measured in terms of weight or volume.
For example, products like toys, automobiles, smartphones, airplanes are made from discrete manufacturing.
A business must have good supporting software that helps in impeccable planning and execution of the same.
The biggest challenge of this manufacturing process is that its production depends on the individual needs of its customers.
During the production planning phase, the real-time data collected across plants and resources will help the managers to analyze the current production status of the firm.
Due to the unexpected demand in this system, with complete details, the production team will be able to pull themselves up to meet the unexpected demand and fulfill the orders accordingly.
It also must be quick enough to adapt to the current demand to implement a new course of action. Flexibility is one of the key factors of discrete manufacturing.
The business must also ensure that it takes equal measures to make sure that the quality of products is extremely good with the least number of defects.
It is also important that a firm chooses an ideal software for discrete manufacturing that will help in good inventory management so that the company doesn’t waste time in getting stocks for unexpected demand.
It must also ensure that it doesn’t overstock the goods which can make them obsolete and will add up to the firm’s expenses.
Basically, ERP systems are developed to manage discrete manufacturing processes. These ERP systems help the organization to control the manufacturing process, reduce waste, save time required by the product manufacturing, and get a clear vision of the manufacturing process.
Some of the good ERP vendors for discrete manufacturing are Netsuite, Oracle, Epicore, SAP, Infor, and more. ERP modules of these vendors are flexible and easily customizable to meet customers’ requirements.
Most of the ERP systems for discrete manufacturers ran on-premises but nowadays these systems run in the cloud also.
Discrete manufacturing workflow
The discrete manufacturing process supports the following workflow
- Make to stock: That means in this type of workflow you keep stock of products before customer order.
2. Make to order: In this type of workflow you do not keep more product stock in your warehouse. You manufacture the product only when a customer order comes in.
3. Assemble to order: This type of workflow lies between Make to stock and Make to order. Here you manufactured the components or parts of the products before the customer order.
Once the customer order comes in immediately you can assemble the final product.
Types of manufacturing process
Apart from discrete manufacturing four more manufacturing methods are available. Let us have a quick overview of other methods.
Repetitive manufacturing: Industries that produces same items throughout the year use repetitive manufacturing method.
This method allows the industries to adjust the production speed as per the customer demand. Because its set up needs very small changes to adjust the speed.
Job shop manufacturing: Industries that produce small batches of customized products follow this manufacturing method.
Unlike discrete manufacturing, it uses production areas. Here, work centers are arranged to make one or more versions of custom products.
Process manufacturing (continuous): In this method, products are produced by adding ingredients using some formulas and different recipes.
For example products like food, chemicals, pharmaceutical, soap, shampoo, glass, plastic, and beverages are produces from process manufacturing methods.
Batch manufacturing: This process includes both discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing.
For example glass ornament industry. To produce glass process manufacturing method will be used and to produce glass ornaments discrete manufacturing method will be used.
Difference between Discrete manufacturing and Process manufacturing
- Products made from discrete manufacturing can be broken down into their basic components and these parts can be recycled also. But products made from process manufacturing cannot be broken down into their basic component.
- The discrete manufacturer uses a Bill of material and the process manufacturer uses a formula or recipe for products.
- Examples of discrete manufacturing industries are automobiles, computer hardware, smartphone, defense, etc. Example of process manufacturing industries are food products, beverages, pharmaceuticals, refined oils, paints, etc
What are the products made by discrete manufacturing?
Products made by discrete manufacturing are toys, computer hardware, mobile handset, automobiles, etc.
What are the products made by process manufacturing?
Products made by process manufacturing are jam, juices, beverages, chemicals, medicines, oils, etc.
Get more definitions about discrete manufacturing and other ERP-related terms here.