Process manufacturing is the production of goods that are typically produced in bulk quantities, as opposed to discrete and countable units. Process manufacturing industries include chemicals, food and beverage, gasoline, paint and pharmaceutical.
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The production of process goods usually requires inputs for thermal or chemical conversion, such as heat, time and pressure. The product typically cannot be disassembled to its constituent parts. For example, once it is produced, a soft drink cannot be broken down into its ingredients.
The term contrasts with discrete manufacturing, which involves products that can be counted and labeled on an individual basis. Examples of discrete manufacturing industries include automotives, equipment, appliances, apparel, toys and electronics such as televisions and computers.
Learn More About IT:
> Wikipedia has more information in its entry for process manufacturing.
> Herb Lichtenberg discusses the application of lean principles to process manufacturing.
> Brad Kenney writes about wireless technologies in process industries.