Definition of ‘Batch Production’
The batch production method of manufacturing is one in which products are manufactured in batches usually to order. The batches can be of any size depending on the manufacturer and products.
Batch production operates on a production line, with products moving continuously along the line through various stages each of which needs to be completed before moving on to the next stage.
Batch production differs from mass production in that the production process is stopped at the end of a batch, and a new batch, usually of a different product, is then started, whereas mass production runs continuously on one product. The stoppage time between batches is referred to as downtime, and needs to be kept as short as possible.
Batch production scheduling is useful to a small business who can not afford and do not have the facilities to operate a continuous mass production line, but which needs to reduce the high setup time and costs which one off production would incur. For example, a small clothing business might use a batch production system to make variations in size and color.
Example of Batch Production
A good example of batch production is the bakery business. A small bakery business is limited by the amount of people and equipment is has, it cannot make individual products as that would be too expensive, and it does not have the capability or sales volume to operate a mass production line.
Instead the bakery operates a batch production system which allows it to make small batches of each product according to demand. For example, it might make a batch of one type of bread sufficient to fill the available ovens, before switching production to the next batch which might be a variation on the bread type.
For further information on this topic, see what Wikipedia has to say about batch production definition.
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