Manufacturing Processes

A variety of different manufacturing processes are utilized for all the products we consume daily. Some common ones for plastic part manufacture include 3d printing, CNC machining, rotational molding, vacuum forming, polymer casting, injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding. But there are many others which are customized to the product and industry.

The steps of each of these techniques can be tied to a bill of materials and tracked using SOS Inventory, software designed to track inventory and costs, and manage end-to-end operations for any type of manufacturing technique.

  • 3D Printing – manufacturing in printed layers that follow a CAD program to create a three-dimensional part. 3D printing has been increasing in popularity over the last decade bringing us innovations in drug manufacturing, home construction and even tissue and organ creation.
  • CNC Machining – computer numerical control machining is a process of automating production of a part using tools controlled by a computer. CNC plays a vital role in modern automation processes, replacing man controlled labor for repetitive functions.
  • Rotational Molding – the process of rotating a heated mold so when material is inserted, the centrifugal force pulls the materials outwards to the mold’s form. This process is often used to create hollow, plastic items such as a tank or container.
  • Vacuum Forming – when plastic is heated and stretched to conform to a mold with a vacuum. It is commonly used to create thin plastic items such as signs.
  • Polymer Casting – when liquid material is poured into a mold for casting. One example is the creation of a plastic bead.
  • Injection Molding – a production process in manufacturing that entails the injection of liquid material into a mold. When an item is very thin, narrow or contains small details, injection molding works best to create all the fine details.
  • Extrusion – when raw material is forced into a die cast to create tube or rod formed products. If you think of a cookie dough press pushing out dough on a baking pan, this type of manufacturing process is very similar.
  • Blow Molding – used to create bottles and glasses, this manufacturing technique involves the blowing of air into material to enlarge it.

In the food processing industry, these processes include:

  • Fermentation – the breaking down of a substance with enzymes, as used in alcohol production, bread making, etc.
  • Dehydration – Drying of foods by removal of water by evaporation, often assisted by air or heat.
  • Kneading – this process entails the combination of ingredients by folding and turning.
  • Grinding – The griding process involves breaking down materials to smaller parts by crushing them.
  • Molding – forming foods into shapes using molds, as in baked goods or chocolates.
  • Extrusion – when food is pushed through a small opening, it is extruded.
  • Cutting – making food smaller by cutting with knives or other sharp tools.
  • Sifting – pushing raw materials through small openings to aerate it, as in measuring flour for recipes.
  • Milling – the removal of grain hulls to produce flour and other grain products.
  • Blanching – submerging food into boiling water to remove skin, i.e., almond skin or tomato peel.
  • Cooking – cooking refers to a broad range of techniques involving the heating of food.
  • Crushing -the smashing of food materials to create smaller particles.
  • Roasting – the heating of food in an oven
  • Brewing – the heating of a food product with water to create a solution, such as coffee.
  • Blending – combining of food by mixing
    and many more

Production Processes in Manufacturing

manufacturing processes
Tracking Manufacturing Processes

Manufacturing processes vary by product and industry, and within those processes are many workflow stages. Each one can be broken down to include raw materials, action steps, labor, and costs. As the product moves closer to the finished product stage, it accumulates more costs and materials. SOS Inventory can track all those costs and materials as incurred, updating inventory counts of raw materials and finished products available for storage or sale.

Tracking Manufacturing Processes

SOS Inventory provides all the tools you need for tracking manufacturing processes from each build to assembly, no matter how many tiers. With each build, SOS will remove raw materials from your inventory as required by your bill of materials, moving inventory into work in progress states. All costs associated with work in progress can be tracked, adding labor, overhead and assets as those costs are incurred along the way. This precise method of tracking keeps your inventory counts aligned with your ledger.

SOS Inventory gives you control over all manufacturing processes plus sales, finance, fulfillment, and inventory management features that unify all the data produced by every department of your business, no matter how many locations are included. For greater manufacturing control, streamlined operations and labor cost savings, give SOS Inventory a try today.

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