Manufacturing

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What is the difference between Discrete and Process Manufacturing?
ASKED: December 16, 2004  8:26 AM
UPDATED: December 21, 2004  8:51 AM

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Discrete manufacturing deals with the mfg of individual distinguishable items such as computers, bicycles, bolts, etc., whereas process manufacturing deals with indistinguishable items such as gallons of milk.

The simplest defition I have seen is from Carol Carrillo: “discrete = hard” and “process = gooey”.

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  • Loucdog
    Process has to do with recipes. I like the gooey definition myself.
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  • Adebon
    Discret = I produce only the quantity requested by customers (closed order) Process = I always produce that product, because I can sell it anyway (open order + prdocution version)
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  • Solutions1
    Chemical manufacturing, plasdtics molding and oil refining are notable examples of process industries, while automobile assembly is an example of discrete. From a systems perspective, the difference is that discrete manufacturing is guided by a bill of materials plus computer-aided design (CAD) drawings. As noted by another respondent the process industry is guided by recipes, and a recipe is made up of a combination of ingredients, sequence, time, actions, and conditions.
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