What is Process Manufacturing: All You Need to Know

Chayanika Sen
December 1, 2022
min read
September 19, 2023
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Are you developing a process manufacturing plan for your production team? This is all you need to know!
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Are you planning to buy process manufacturing software? If this is your first time, the experience can get overwhelming because there are such things to consider to make an informed decision. So, in this article, we will take a deep dive to understand what process manufacturing is, the different types of process manufacturing software, and things to consider before making a buying decision. 

What is process manufacturing? 

Process manufacturing is a production method that combines all the supplies or raw materials using a formula.

Process manufacturing is commonly used in industries where goods are produced in bulk quantities — think of food, beverage, pharma, plastics, etc. The process involves thermal or chemical conversion using time, pressure, or heat.

So, products developed by process manufacturing cannot be turned back to their original ingredients or constituents. For example, soft drink is produced by process manufacturing. And once the soft drink is produced, you cannot turn the soft drink back to its constituent parts. Know that process manufacturing follows a series of steps.

You can reach the next step only when you complete the previous step. Process manufacturing relies heavily on tracing and scheduling tools to achieve the desired operational efficiency. 

🎓 Related resource: Improve Your Manufacturing Process With These Easy Steps

Process manufacturing benefits

Process manufacturing has many benefits, from saving costs to automating processes for operational efficiency. Let's take a look at some of the primary benefits.

1. Faster turnaround

Automating repeated tasks like back office processes with a robust platform helps save you cost and time.

As a result, your operation efficiencies increase and your team becomes more productive because you free up their headspace so that they can focus more on critical tasks. When teams are productive, you deliver more and convert a regular customer to a satisfied customer. 

2. Cost-effective

Automation and real-time data input can save you time and money because you are saving your resources from manual data input.

With a role-based dashboard entry, you don't need to assign anything manually. A centralized tool allows even your geographically dispersed team to access it anytime, anywhere. This way, the team gets more time to focus on high priority task

3. Better safety & quality control

You want to create a safe working environment for your employees. If employee safety and quality management are your top goals in creating high-quality products, process manufacturing can be your savior. The compliance tools will help you adhere to the safety guidelines both internally and externally.

For example, if you are in the food industry, your compliance tool will ensure you adhere to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Internal Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines. 

4. Better inventory control

In process manufacturing, you need to ensure that all your components are in stock, and you shouldn't be running low on the components or waiting until the stocks run out.

Again, you can't store the raw materials for too long in the inventory if they are perishable. So you need to store them in a certain way so that they don't consume their entire shelf life sitting on the shelf. 

Using an ERP supply chain management for process manufacturing, you can control these factors to source, manage and utilize all the raw materials without wasting any of them. The right process manufacturing ERP can also guide you in handling and storing the ingredients. 

5. Less wastage

As mentioned before, with better inventory control, process manufacturing software can help you minimize product waste. This can help you increase your profit margin and adhere to the environmental guides.

Process manufacturing software can help you identify the products nearing an expiry date so that you can utilize them before. It gives real-time data visibility so that you can make the most cost-effective decision. 

6. Traceability of ingredients

Process manufacturing lets you have clear traceability of your ingredients which is a fantastic way to build customer trust.

Lot traceability ensures that each ingredient in your final product has undergone careful quality checks throughout the value chain. This can also help you track if there is any quality issue so that you know which batches were affected and when they were distributed. 

7. Consistent batch quality

One of the most significant benefits of process manufacturing ERP is it lets you manage the recipe or the formula for your product.

This means you can calculate the exact amount of ingredients you need, not a gram more or less. This means the technology can help you automatically adjust the volumes and the qualities, removing any risk of manual calculation errors.

This feature comes in handy when you are creating large batches repeatedly. 

What are the different types of process manufacturing?

Process manufacturing can be divided into batch and continuous.

In batch processing, the production is based on a predetermined shape or size. In batch processing, all the ingredients are introduced at the beginning, and the finished good is ready after a certain time. 

Continuous processing derives its name from the word ‘continuous’ as there is a constant flow of raw materials and output. Continuous processing, on the other hand, is based on the production running for a certain duration. In a continuous process, the volume of the output is variable.

The ingredients are added and processed continuously to produce additional product units in continuous processing. 

Whether you choose continuous or batch processing depends on the nature of your business. For example, the batch process will be a better choice if you need better traceability and higher product quality. But if you need to procure a large volume of products, then continuous processing is a more sustainable option for your business. 

Types of process manufacturing software

If you are already using any process manufacturing software, you know that process manufacturing software must solve any of these four constraints. 

  1. Batch size — the software should be able to track the product on order and how many raw ingredients you have in stock. This is particularly important to take care of if you use perishable raw ingredients or have a limited shelf life. 
  2. The ingredient itself — the application should be able to track how many ingredients you have, especially if you are working with limited ingredients, and you need to determine how many products can be made.
  3. Packaging inventory — Do you need to store the packaged finished product? If yes, you need software that can check all the details associated with packaging inventory. For example, how long the package needs to be stored before it's shipped out so that you can make space for the new lot of packages etc. 
  4. Capacity — You also need software to determine how much product you will be able to make in the facility with all the favorable conditions at your side. This can help you to estimate deliveries for products for a time given accurately. 
  5. Saving steps and time — Process manufacturing software can save multiple steps and time due to delay in communication. Having a centralized platform where you can update all the information ( think an error in a machine that the technician has to check and update) that anybody can use through a handheld device can reduce multiple steps in the communication process and save time. 
  6. Report generation — An app can help generate homogenous reports so the technician can document issues in the app itself and not in a separate device and then update them in the main system. 
  7. Onboard monitoring and verification functionality — Using process manufacturing software, a technician can see process data in real-time without any interruption. So they can perform predictive maintenance and not wait for equipment failure. 

Tools & solutions to strengthen your process manufacturing

Process standardization

Standardizing your process is the most efficient way to do things. So if you are the process owner, take the responsability for creating a standardized process. You can take the pain of doing the process documentation part manually or use Scribe to automate process documentation. Using Scribe is super easy.

Turn on the Scribe extension and do your usual business operation. Scribe record and convert the entire process step-by-step with many screenshots and texts in seconds. However, remember to visit your process document from time to time to ensure everything is up to date or tweak it if there has been any recent change in the process. 

Streamline your process

Streamlining your process can help you free up your resources, increase productivity and save costs. Let all the stakeholders review your current process and estimate steps that are unproductive or don't yield the desired value. This way, you can streamline your process into fewer steps. 

Embrace digitization

Leverage automation and embrace digitalization to transform your operations. Digitalization can help you do your job faster without compromising the quality or the quantity at any point in time. 

If you are on a digitalization journey and want to embrace automation, Scribe can help you digitalize your process by capturing your screen in an instant step-by-step guide.

You can also combine different Scribes with video, images and more with Scribe Pages.

Here's how:

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