Continuous production is a method of manufacturing in which materials and parts are continuously processed and kept in motion or change. This approach is designed to maximize efficiency and allow for the production of large quantities of products in a short amount of time. Continuous production is often used in industries such as manufacturing, chemical processing, and food processing, among others. It is a common type of production that is used to meet the high demand for certain products and to achieve economies of scale. The following are the basic types of continuous production.
Mass production is the production of a large number of standard items. For example, a production line that washes, sorts and packages apples 24 hours a day when apples are in season.
An assembly line is production that adds components and parts to an item in steps. For example, a toy assembly line that adds components and parts to items in 8 steps. There is always a toy at each step with toys continuously flowing from one step to another. This can occur 24 hours a day or for a limited number of shifts per week.
Production that produces things like chemicals and raw materials with stages that add things, remove things or change things with processes such as chemical reactions. For example, steelmaking that involves continuously melting raw materials in a blast furnace.
Mass production that produces unique items that are built to customer specifications. For example, a production line that produces boxes of cereal by adding 12 ingredients in 12 steps continuously. Customers are able to customize the cereal to request different formulations. For example, one customer wants 3 ingredients in their cereal and another wants all 12 ingredients. The production line automatically produces the unique cereals based on detailed customer specifications.
Producing standard items on a continuous production line and then customizing them latter using batch or job production. For example, a snowboard manufacturer produces 12 styles of board with no art on a continuous production line. These are stocked and later then are finished with art to customer specifications.
Energy production such as a hydroelectric dam that continuously produces electricity.