|Manufacturing Process Selection and Design|
Case: Circuit Board Fabricators, Inc.KEY POINTS
Process selection refers to the strategic decisions of selecting the kind of production process to have in a manufacturing plant. The process flow in an organization refers to how a factory organizes material flow using one or more of the process technologies including the job shop, batch shop, assembly line, and continuous flows. The process chosen depends on the customization of the product as well as the volume required in the market. The relationship between the process structures and volume requirements is depicted on a product-process matrix. As volume increases the product line narrows and specialized equipment and standardized material flows are come economically feasible. The evolution in the process structure is often related to the product's life cycle stage. Thus the matrix is useful in linking marketing and manufacturing strategies.
Break even analysis allows manufacturing managers to visually present alternative profits (and losses) based on the number of units produced or sold. Specific equipment selection follows the selection of the general type of process structure in an organization. The tools of break-even analysis help managers make equipment selection decisions.
Process flow designs focus on the specific processes that raw materials, parts, and subassemblies follow as they move through the plant. Charts and drawings aid in process flow design.