discrete manufacturing definition

Discrete manufacturing is an industry term for the manufacturing of finished products that are distinct items capable of being easily counted, touched or seen. In theory, a discrete product can be broken down at the end of its lifecycle so its basic components can be recycled. An automobile is a product of discrete manufacturing.

Discrete manufacturing can be contrasted with process manufacturing. In process manufacturing, the product is created by using a formula or recipe to refine raw ingredients and the final product cannot be broken down to its basic components. Aspirin is a product of process manufacturing.

This was first published in June 2009

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