Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

4.5.2 Production Types

Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on production types. Explain the different kinds of facility layouts seen — from a systems capabilities viewpoint — as production types together with other production types.


A production type encompasses a particular set of manufacturing technologies and methodologies, having specific importance with regard to logistics management and planning & control.

In the world of practice, the understanding of the different values of the feature facility layout introduced in Figure 4.4.3.1, namely:

  • Fixed-position layout for site, project, or island production
  • Process layout for job shop production
  • Product layout for single-item-oriented line production
  • Product layout for high-volume line production
  • Product layout for continuous production

is not limited to the physical organization of the production infrastructure or the process design. Beyond this, from a systems capability viewpoint, these values are often also seen as production types.

However, a number of new terms have come into use in recent years, each standing for a specific process technology and methodology.

  • Batch production, or batch processing, is production or procure­ment of a generally wide variety of standard products or variants of a product family manufactured in batches either to order or to stock (see [Foga09],). Because of batching, precise timing and sizing of component lots are essential.
  • Mass production is high-quantity production characterized by specialization of equipment and labor ([APIC16]).
  • Repetitive manufacturing is “the repeated production of the same discrete products or families of products. Repetitive methodology minimizes setups, inventory, and manufacturing lead times by using production lines, assembly lines, or cells. Work orders are no longer necessary; production scheduling and control are based on production rates (flow control). Products may be standard or assembled from modules. Repetitive is not a function of speed or volume” ([APIC16]).
  • One-of-a-kind production is the production or procurement of an engineer-to-order, in rare cases, make-to-order product, generally according to customer specification, often derived from an earlier customer order.
  • Mass customization is a production or procurement principle that emphasizes customized products that do not cost more than mass-produced products. According to [APIC16], it is “the creation of a high volume product with large variety so that a customer may specify an exact model out of a large volume of possible end items while manufacturing cost is low due to the large volume.” Having some characteristics of repetitive manufacturing with regard to the facility layout, mass customization could be seen as “high volume repetitive manufacturing with high variety” [PtSc03]. In this context, “high volume” means either “high number of orders” or “high work content,” but not (!) “large batch.” It is repetitive manu­facturing on the family level, but not on the product level: each product (unit) produced is, while belonging to the same family, generally physically different.
    Therefore, techniques of repetitive manufacturing can be used for those aspects of planning & control that refer to the product family as a whole, but they can not (!) be used for those aspects of planning & control that refer to a specific product variant. In particular, a specific work order is required for each product produced. The work order includes the configuration of the customer-ordered variant out of a product family with a very large variety of products, with its specific components and operations, if need be with omissions or insertions of positions. Furthermore, long lead times may entail the increasing use of project management techniques rather than rate-based scheduling techniques.

It is not possible to line up these additional production types according to a single feature. In fact, in a systems capability perspective, many of them overlap, just as do some of the different facility layouts already mentioned. Fortunately, however, as Figure 4.5.2.1 demon­strates, all of these additional production types can be shown in dependency upon the same characteristic features as in Figure 4.5.1.1; that is, facility layout and product variety concept.

Fig. 4.5.2.1        The different kinds of facility layouts seen — from a systems capabilities viewpoint — as production types together with other production types.


Quiz on Chapter 4.5.2. : not yet available

Production Types[kml_flashembed movie="https://opess.ethz.ch/wp-content/uploads/elements/Quiz_4_5_2.swf" height="75%" width="100%" /]



Course section 4.5: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes

  • 4.5 Branches, Production Types, and Concepts for Planning & Control

    Intended learning outcomes: Describe branches of industry in dependency upon two characteristic features, "volume versus variety". Explain in detail production types and concepts for planning & control. Disclose selecting an appropriate branch model, production type, and concept for planning & control.

  • 4.5.1 Branches of Industry in Dependency upon Characteristic Features

    Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on branches of industry. Explain different branches in dependency upon the two features facility layout and product variety concept.

  • 4.5.2 Production Types

    Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on production types. Explain the different kinds of facility layouts seen — from a systems capabilities viewpoint — as production types together with other production types.

  • 4.5.3 Concepts for Planning & Control

    Intended learning outcomes: Present the concept for planning & control. Explain different concepts of planning & control in dependency upon the features facility layout and product variety concept.

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