Production system: is a collection of people, equipment, and procedures organized to accomplish the manufacturing operations of a company (or other organization).
Production systems can be divided into two categories or levels as indicated in the following figure. The production system consists of facilities and manufacturing support systems.
The facilities of the production system consist of the factory, the equipment in the factory, and the way the equipment is organized.
Manufacturing support systems
This is the set of procedures used by the company to manage production and to solve the technical and logistics problems encountered in ordering materials, moving work through the factory, and ensuring that products meet quality standards. Product design and certain business functions are included among the manufacturing support systems.
In modern manufacturing operations, portions of the production system are automated and/or computerized. However, production systems include people. People make these systems work. In general, direct labor people (blue color workers) are responsible for operating the facilities, and professional staff people (white color workers) are responsible for the manufacturing support systems.
Production System Facilities
The facilities in the production system are the factory, production machines and tooling, material handling equipment, inspection equipment, and the computer systems that control the manufacturing operations. Facilities also include the plant layout, which is the way the equipment is physically arranged in the factory.
The equipment is usually arranged into logical groupings, and we refer to these equipment arrangements and the workers who operate them as the manufacturing systems in the factory. Manufacturing systems can be individual work cells, consisting of a single production machine and worker assigned to that machine.
We more commonly think of manufacturing systems as groups of machines and workers, for example, a production line. The manufacturing systems come in direct physical contact with the parts and/or assemblies being made. They “touch” the product. A manufacturing company attempts to organize its facilities in the most efficient way to serve the particular mission of that plant. One of the most important factors that determine the type of manufacturing is the type of products that are made.
Two types of manufacturing systems
1. Discrete manufacturing systems and
2. continuous manufacturing systems.