Continuous Manufacturing Systems

In continuous manufacturing systems the items are produced for the stocks and not for specific orders. Before planning manufacturing to stock, a sales forecast is made to estimate likely demand of the product and a master schedule is prepared to adjust the sales forecast according to past orders and level of inventory. Here the inputs are standardized and a standard set of processes and sequence of processes can be adopted. Due to this routing and scheduling for the whole process can be standardized.

After setting of master production schedule, a detailed planning is carried on. Basic manufacturing information and bills of material are recorded. Information for machine load charts, equipment, personnel and material needs is tabulated. In continuous manufacturing systems each production run manufactures in large lot sizes and the production process is carried on in a definite sequence of operations in a pre-determined order. In process storage is not necessary which in turn reduces material handling and transportation facilities. First in first out priority rules are followed in the system. In short, here the input-output characteristics are standardized allowing for standardization of operations and their sequence.

Production Control Mechanism for Continuous Manufacturing Systems

In continuous production systems the control mechanism is not as elaborate and complex as for intermittent system. In continuous systems large quantities of standardized products are produced using standardized production process.

Following points of control mechanism are worth noting for such a system.

  • This system does not involve diverse work, due to which routing standardized route and schedule sheets are prepared.
  • In case of standard products meant for mass production, master route sheets are prepared for more effective co- ordination of various departments.
  • Scheduling is required to rate the output of various standard products in their order of priority, operations and correct sequence to meet sales, requirements.
  • Work relating to dispatching and follow-up is usually simple. Dispatch schedules can be prepared well in advance in such systems.

Types of Continuous Manufacturing Systems

Continuous manufacturing systems can be divided into two types of production, namely Mass production systems and Process production systems.

Mass and flow production where a production run is conducted either on a single machine or on a number of machines, arranged according to the sequence of operations and several number of a product are manufactured at a time and stocked in warehouse awaiting sales. But, in process production systems, a single product is produced and stocked in warehouses until it is demanded in the market and the flexibility of these plants is almost zero because only one product can be produced.

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