Production Process – Concept, types and stages

We explain what the production process is and the types that exist. Also, what are its stages and the milk production process.

production process
The production process seeks to satisfy a certain type of demand in society.

What is the production process?

It is known as a production process or productive process, or also as a productive chain, the diverse set of planned operations to transform certain inputs or factors into goods or services determined, through the application of a technological process that usually involves certain types of specialized knowledge and machinery. The fundamental objective of this process is the satisfaction of a certain type of demand from society.

The production process it is made up of successive stages and is complex and diverse in natureTherefore, it requires prior study, planning and the arrangement of certain basic elements, known as raw materials, as well as a source of energy (generally electricity). At the end of this process, the goods or services are offered through a marketing circuit that makes them reach the consumer. In addition, the transition from one stage to the other gives the final product an added value that makes the entire operation profitable.

The way in which we understand production processes today is the result of both the Industrial and technological Revolution, as well as the liberalization of trade, aspects that were accentuated in the world from the middle of the 20th century. This too is linked to the increasing industrialization of the world and its well-known ecological consequences.

Types of production process

Production process
Artisanal production produces much smaller batches than mass production.

Generally, five different types of production process are identified, which are:

  • Production by projects or on request. This type of process produces an exclusive and individualized product, that is, each organization or company will have a specific production process according to what it produces and how. It is the usual type of process in the home construction industry, for example.
  • Batch or discontinuous production. It is identified because it manufactures a small batch of different products, similar to each other, since they are produced in a similar way, through tasks that do not differ too much until some point in the production chain. It is generally the type of production in the initial stages of certain consumer products, as in the ink and paint industry, where one color is produced first than the other.
  • Artisan production. That which manufactures diverse products, with a more or less single piece, not very uniform, produced in much smaller batches and generally intended for a specialized or occasional public. It is the type of production, for example, of popular indigenous looms in Latin America.
  • Mass production. It is a highly mechanized and automated process, which uses modern technology and a high number of workers, to manufacture a large number of products similar to each other, that is, uniform and serialized, at a fairly low cost and in an amount of time Very brief. This is the type of production of most everyday consumer objects, such as canned goods.
  • Continuous production. On an even larger scale than mass production, continuous production generally manufactures intermediate inputs to feed other industries, so its outputs are fairly homogeneous and the input transformation stages very similar to each other. This is the case of the steel industry, for example.

Stages of the production process

Production process
In synthesis, the raw material undergoes various physical, chemical and industrial processes.

Any production process is broadly made up of three specific phases or stages:

  • Analytical or collection stage. The production circuit begins when raw materials are collected and grouped for transformation. At this stage, what is sought is to obtain the greatest amount of raw material at the lowest cost, also taking into account transportation and warehouse costs. Then the raw material is decomposed into smaller parts, according to the specific needs of the production process.
  • Synthesis or production stage. In this stage the raw material is subjected to various physical, chemical and industrial processes to finally obtain a unique, different product. The supervision of these processes implies quality and control standards.
  • Conditioning or processing stage. Once the product is obtained, it is adapted to the client’s needs, preparing it for entry into the commercial circuit, whether it is final (for the finished products purchased by the final consumer) or intermediate (to serve as an input to new production processes).

Milk production process

Milk production
In the third stage, the milk is packaged in containers designed to compete commercially.

A good example of all the above is the productive circuit of the milk that we buy in the supermarket. This circuit comprises the following stages:

  • First stage: milking. As we all know, milk comes from cows, which are found on specialized milking farms. Before proceeding to milk them, that is, to connect them to machines that mechanically extract the milk from the animal’s udders, each cow must be inspected to ensure that they are in good health and that the liquid is not at risk of contamination. Then milking is carried out, through aluminum mechanisms that operate with vacuum suction and that have filters to remove impurities; then it is stored in tanks at a temperature of four degrees centigrade (4 ° C), without any additives or preservatives.
  • Second stage: pasteurization and separation. The stored milk is delivered to specialized plants for its evaluation and processing, converting raw or freshly milked milk into fluid milk, which then undergoes the pasteurization process: it is heated to a temperature of around 80 ° C, cooling it down to immediately in order to kill any type of microorganisms present, without altering the chemical and physical properties of the product. At this stage, the different portions of milk that will go to different markets are also separated: the liquid milk market, the cheese market, the yogurt market, the cream market, etc.
  • Third stage: commercialization. The milk (and / or its derivatives) is packaged in containers designed to compete commercially, and subjected to tests to verify quality and hygiene standards. It is then distributed in supermarket chains and other stores that make it reach their target audience, who buys it, takes it home and consumes it.