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Characteristics of Intermittent and Continuous Manufacturing Intermittent and Continuous manufacturing are the mutually exclusive activities.

The follwing comparison will clarify their true nature of operations: Particulars (1) Type of plant Layout Intermittent Manufacturing Process Layout is most suited. Continuous Manufacturing Product Layout designed according to a separate line for each product is considered. As the production flow is permanently set in the form of product-line, the special purpose machines are used.

(2) Type of machines As it necessitates frequent changes in the machine set-up required by the specifications of each order,the general purpose machines are more suitable. (3) Type of Labour Thi type of production presupposes frequent changes in product design and machine setup and thus requires highly skilled workers.

(4) No. of products & designs

(5) Changes in the machines set-up

(6) Nature and size of the order

The manufacturing activity becomes a routine function and so is carried on by the unskilled workers.The specialized team of plant maintenance looks after the repair and maintenance of the machines. Wide range of products are Few standard products are manufactured in small manufactured in large quantities.The product design quantities.Usually the productchanges from lot to lot according line is geared to only two or to the product specifications. three products of standard design, As the specifications of each Under this type of order changes,the machines are manufacturing,the set-up of the set according to the requirements machines remains unchanged of each order.Thus frequent for a longer period.The standard changes in the machine set-up is products are manufactured in a a common phenomenon. continuous flow. Generally the unrepeated small Generally the production is size of orders are received for carried on for stock.The unstandardized products.The production is made of order may involve the production standardized products and so of a single product or the they are produced in identical products in limited anticipation of demand.Like

intermittent production,there does not arise any problem about non-repeat orders or orders for unstandardized products. (7) Investments in The machines are arranged machines & according to the product equipment layout.So it results in duplication of machines.Moreover,it is essential to maintain stand-by equipment to meet any breakdowns resulting in production stoppages.Thus investment in machines is fairly high. (8) Investment in It necessitates the reservoir of Due to continuous flow of inventories processed inventories and production,the need for the subcomponents in substoring of processed inventories stores.Moreover,waiting and is reduced to the bottlenecks slow down the minimum.Similarly the operating cycle.As a result,the operating cycle is very fast investment in inventories reducing the necessity for the increased. locking-up of the in process inventories. (9) Material handling As the in-process materials are Due to the movement of inequipment required to travel on varied process materials between fixed routes,it is not feasible to employ points,it is possible to use mechanized material handling mechanized material handling equipment. equipment.Mostly the materials are handled through conveyor belts,roller conveyors,pipelines,overhead cranes etc.Under the automation,the materials are automatically handled from one machine to the next one. (10) Material The material handling cost tends The materials handling cost is handling cost to be high due to long less due to line balancing distance,backtracking,movements forward movement of materials

lot.Usually the production is carried on according to order.First the orders are received and then they are translated into the actual production. As the machines are arranged according to process layout,less machines are required.

(11) Plant maintenance services

(12) Balancing in the production capacity

(13) The production planning and control

of non-standard lots and lack of mechanization of material handling services. It is desirable to have the plant maintenance services for repairs,maintanence and replacement.However,like continuous production,there is no danger of the stoppage of whole line. The existence of imbalance in the production department is likely to exist in such production resulting in the underloading or overloading of work on men and machines. The function of routine scheduling,dispatching and follow-up become relatively copilicated due to odd size of the order,non-repetitive nature of the order and awkward delivery dates resulting in imbalancing in production capacity.

and use of mechanized material handling equipment. It is highly essential to have a sound plant maintenasnce services with a view to avoid any interruptions in the production flow.

It is possible to ensure the perfect balance in the production line.The chance of overloading or underloading on men and machines are very little. The routine,scheduling,despatching and follow-up functions are carried on smoothly due to the standard production under rated capacity carried on in anticipation of demand.