What is Continuous Manufacturing?
Continuous manufacturing, otherwise known as process manufacturing, is a flow production method in which factories are continuously producing goods and materials 24/7. In this type of production method, each part of the product flows from one machine to the next without any interruptions between the various stages of manufacturing. Continuous manufacturing is best known for producing large scale products, such as steel, chemicals, gas, oil, etc.
Continuous Manufacturing vs Batch Manufacturing
While manufacturers are able to produce mass amounts of goods with continuous production, batch production (a type of discrete manufacturing) is often used by companies creating either personalized or small amounts of goods. Batch manufacturing can create various types of changes in the product, such as varying colors, sizes or styles – whatever change the product may need. If a product requires any variation, batch manufacturing can be used to ensure that each change is created with the same quality.
The Advantages of Continuous Production
Continuous production has many advantages for larger companies that are used to produce large scales of goods. Some of the benefits of continuous manufacturing include:
- Consistency: As manufacturers are running a consistent process without any interruptions, they’re less likely to face human errors which ultimately reduces waste and machine downtime.
- Increased production rate: Continuous production runs 24/7. This means that manufacturers can produce large quantities of goods, in a shorter amount of time, to meet the consumer’s increasing demand.
- Enhanced quality control: Since there are minimal changes conducted during continuous production, manufacturers gain a stronger quality control, eliminating chances of human error impacting the end production.
- Decreased labor costs: As soon as the operators and engineers design a flow for continuous manufacturing, not much service is needed. The machines continue running without any downtime. This enables factories to cut spending on labor and rather focus on advanced technology.