Analyzing the issue of the technological process, it should be placed in a broader context and start considering the concept of the production process. Well, this production process is the sum of all activities undertaken in order to produce a finished product in a given production plant. There are two basic issues within the production process, i.e. a technological process and auxiliary activities under which, among others, transport, control, maintenance or storage.
By far the most important element of the production process is the technological process, ie an organized and orderly set of activities aimed at changing the physical (or chemical) properties of the work items. It is possible to summarize this issue as deliberately carried out chemical and physical phenomena that are to lead to the creation of the desired product. It all starts with a set of raw materials that undergo a deliberate transformation, resulting in the creation of the final product.
Concepts related to the technological process
Unit processes and unit operations
These are the components of the technological process, and more specifically the activities that cause the desired changes in the raw material during the technological process. Unit processes refer to changes of a chemical and biological nature. On the other hand, unit operations are changes of a physical nature, i.e. mixing or shredding.
The technological system / sequence – tis a set of devices used to carry out the technological process.
Production installation – technological system and all other devices that support the technological process, i.e. transport machines.
Półfabrykaty – rodzaj materiału i jego forma, które zostaną wykorzystane do wykonania produktów.
Semi-finished products – the type of material and its form, which will be used to make products.
More about technological processes
There are distinguished technological processes controlled and controlled, which in practice are very closely related to each other. The guarded process is one in which all its parameters are transferred to appropriate external objects. Whereas the technological process controlled for operation needs commands received by means of telemechanical devices – however, for the control to be correct it is necessary to constantly inform the control device about the detailed course of this technological process. Therefore, it can be said that the process is controlled simultaneously by the supervised process.
Activities performed during the technological process are divided into main and auxiliary ones, where the first concerns direct changes in the properties, shape or dimensions of the intermediate, but also combining individual elements into larger parts, i.e. subassemblies or even finished final products. Taking into account such division of activities, we can distinguish the technological process of machining and assembly.
An example of the structure of a technological process for metalworking.
Operation – operation characterized by constancy: a work station, a workpiece and workers performing a given treatment.
Setting – part of the operation to be carried out with one fixture.
Position – that is, any position of the object relative to the machine tool, but without interfering with its settings.
Treatment – part of the operation that takes place while processing one specific surface, with one tool.
Transition – i.e. removing one metal layer by one tool.
Work movement – the smallest isolated element of work.
Another approach distinguished in the structure of the technological process, also on the example of metal machining:
Pre-treatment – responsible for removing the superficial layer of material.
Roughing – for removal of the damaged layer.
Shaping processing – during which the product gains shape in accordance with the execution drawing.
Finishing treatment – so-called accurate, where turning, milling, boring and grinding are most commonly used.
Technological process and types of production
There are many types of production, but in the context of technological process planning, the most important is the production typology based on its size, and in this context we can deal with:
- Unit production – where the final product is unique and unique. Due to small or individual demand on the market, the production of such a product is characterized by high costs, and the production process itself is very labor-intensive. Most often such production takes place on one stand, on universal tools that allow to perform various types of activities. It is characterized by low automation and specialization of workplaces. As an example of unitary production, one can cite the construction of a house or a ship, but also to sew an individual model of clothing.
- Serial production – it takes place when a series of identical products is produced in an identical, systematic way. After production of a batch of products, production is stopped until the order is re-ordered or when the production machines are adapted to produce new products. As a result, mass production occurs in two variants, as repeated or one-off, while production periods can be regular or variable, rhythmic or non-rhythmic. In the case of this production, specialized machines are most often used. It takes place, for example, in the production of drugs, specialist footwear, in bakeries.
- Mass production – results from a very high demand for a given product. This is the production of a huge number of identical products. An important feature is the use of highly specialized machines that are responsible for a specific stage in the entire production process, while employees who are responsible for performing specific tasks do not usually have to be highly qualified, it is enough that they have been trained in accordance with the procedures. Thanks to these elements, mass production is characterized by relatively low costs, however, it is very inflexible, and therefore the end products themselves have limited competitiveness on the market.
The natural thing is that the complexity of the technological process depends on the type of production and the final product. The same factors also influence the extent to which and how a given technological process can be mechanized and automated. Each type of production requires an individual approach – different ways to prepare documentation, detailed production planning, precise calculations on the amount of materials required or finished and already finished products. In each case, one thing is certain: every production process can be improved. The proven and most economical solution in this area is the introduction of production management systems..
The realities of contemporary competition, very dynamic customer expectations, limited access to production materials are factors that affect the huge demands on the quality of the technological process. The key issue for every business is efficiency, which can and should be optimized at once on several levels, such as design, production or customer service. All this can be achieved by means of a properly selected and used production management system. It is worth remembering, however, that it must be used professionally to bring about real improvements in the technological process and allow the company to feel business benefits.
Why reach for? Here are some examples of using modern software to improve performance:
- For production and order planning –
APS – APS – it is possible to plan or replan the production with a few mouse clicks, because with the help of a specialized system it is much easier to control all aspects of running a business.
- For warehouse management – WMS – WMS – warehouse under control is the most solid basis for a profitable company. It is worth emphasizing that integration with accounting systems is of great importance here.
- For the implementation and control of production – MES – MES – it allows you to efficiently carry out production, control its effects and settle work time or raw materials.
- For work time settlements – RCP – it enables accurate settlement of working time.
- For offers and orders – CRM – that is support in commercial activities, and at every stage of contact with the client, from the preparation and submission of the offer, through the acceptance of the order, to the settlement of production and service care.
- To maintain traffic – CMMS – invaluable facilitation, allowing to reduce the number of failures, effective resource management, and even management of inspections and machine servicing.
The above are examples of possibilities offered by modern production management systems, it is certainly worth emphasizing that all of them can be adapted to the needs of a specific company, even the smallest one. Integrate with used systems such as accountants. Yes, to rationally dispose of the company’s resources and work out with them as much as possible.
To sum up – the technological process is a very broad concept that actually touches all areas of the production company’s operations. That is why it is extremely important for a company’s profitability that information – eg regarding the technological process, inventory resources, order status, employee availability, production machines efficiency, etc. – be available at any time and always reflect the real state, preferably at the exact moment of asking the question. Information flow and production optimization are the basis for a profitable, efficient production enterprise.
Discover our way to optimize production. It is already successfully used by dozens of enterprises in Poland and Europe. For more information call +48 517 827 436 or e-mail address email@example.com.