Here at Dear Systems, manufacturers are continuously searching for and testing new approaches to enhance and streamline the production process.
As with all processes, batch production has advantages and disadvantages and suits some industries better than others. Here’s all you’ll need to know about the popular method of product assembly and how implementing a comprehensive manufacturing inventory software solution can reduce COGS.
What is Batch Production?
Batch production is the manufacturing of a product or range of similar products that require completion in a series of multiple steps or stages.
Also known as ‘batch and queue,’ batch production sets up items to go through the successive stages of production towards final completion.
Batch production allows manufacturers to control multiple stages of production to accommodate specialized manufacturing requirements. Batch production supports the production of goods in large quantities; however, the assembly line does require modifications along the way.
These modifications create variations of a similar or identical commodity – the main difference over continuous mass production. Batch production also allows for quality control at different stages of the process and minimizes the risk of waste.
Brands Using Batch Production
Ikea is one of the popular global brands that use batch production. The Swedish furniture giant mass produces a vast volume of goods in batches and allows some flexibility to manufacture similar items with variations across the product family as per demand.
Whittakers, New Zealand’s home-grown chocolate maker, is well-known for its batch production credentials. Not only do they batch produce their chocolates by creating a variety of flavor combinations and limited editions, but they also batch roast their cocoa beans.
Advantages of Batch Production
The benefits of batch production are as follows:
Batch production can produce variants of items on the same assembly line. Production equipment is used efficiently and is seldom underutilized as it can accommodate any number of production processes.
Batch production minimizes the risk of focusing on just one product so that businesses can be more agile in responding to supply and demand.
Batch production allows manufacturers to fabricate more products on the same production line and spread manufacturing costs across various commodities.
Pairing batch production with comprehensive manufacturing inventory software allows for planned maintenance during downtime reducing operational costs and minimizing breakdowns that halt production altogether.
Great Quality Control
Batch production lets you check and test products at each stage of the manufacturing process allowing for greater control over issues or problems.
So, instead of discovering faults at the end of a large assembly line when thousands of products are already complete, they can be quality checked at each stage.
Disadvantages of Batch Production
Batch production isn’t suitable for every business and industry. Its disadvantages are as follows:
Difficulty in Automation
Batch production requires variables that make automating the manufacturing process more challenging. This is due to equipment and process modifications required by individual attributes for each version of the product.
More Costly than Mass Production
Batch production is more expensive than mass production as there are more stages to the manufacturing process. Initial outlays of batch production technology and equipment are costly as they need to be specifically designed to perform a range of functions.
Production Takes Longer
The overall manufacturing process takes longer when you produce goods in a series of steps and can’t move onto the next stage until all the batch items are ready and the required modifications are made to the production line.
It is especially true if alterations to machinery are to be made before production continues or there is a delay in getting the next phase ready.
What is a Batch Tracking System?
You can greatly increase batch production efficiencies if used in conjunction with a batch tracking system. There are several reasons for this:
- Traceability becomes easier and more time-efficient, especially when it comes to raw materials and tracking them to sell finished products.
- You can manage materials better with greater stock visibility and prioritize using the oldest stock first, reducing costly waste, especially in perishable consumables.
- Compliance is vital, especially when it comes to pharmaceutical, health-related, and food products. If a health and safety recall is necessary, it’s much easier to facilitate with the right technology and software in place.
Use of Batch Management in Manufacturing
You can simplify managing raw materials, inventory, and finished products with a batch management system. Here are some of the benefits:
Create Batch Numbers
Requirements vary among industries but giving each batch produced a unique and traceable batch number offers end-to-end transparency across production.
Connect the Technology
Batch management systems can be linked to machinery and equipment via the Internet by implementing robust tracking technology. This capability results in more visibility at every stage and in multiple aspects of your business than you thought possible. Plus, there is a greater opportunity to benefit from machine learning capabilities.
Raw Materials, Manufacture and Sales
When you have real-time awareness of sales activity and stock on hand, you can ensure that you have the proper inventory to continue with production at the right time. Batch management systems help avoid production delays caused by shortages of raw materials.
With visibility into sales data, you can strategize the best time to commence producing any product or range of goods. So, by automating schedules, you can let the software do the work, forecast demand, and respond to changes in priorities.
DEAR Systems Manufacturing Inventory Software
While many manufacturing inventory software systems are available today to help your business with batch production, DEAR Systems offers you one of the industry’s most advanced and affordable solutions.
Dear Systems software allows you to create advanced Bills of Materials, implement parallel and non-parallel operations in a production BOM and quickly estimate COGS by allocating costs accurately to products in production.
Our team is always available to help you with any questions or concerns, and once you try Dear Systems software for yourself, you’ll wonder how your business survived without it.