When a product is being designed, the initial considerations involves assessing the ability of the company to produce the product. The essential technology, processes, and machines needed for production are arrived at and compared to similar existing resources in the company. If the firm has the capacity to proceed with production, the next step involves designing the product. Upon the completion of the final product design, process planning and process design follows. Once, the process planning has been established, specific machinery and processing time requirements are determined. The assessment of the processing time requirements is based on the available capacity of the firm to acquire new machines and other crucial resources before deciding whether to produce a product or not.
From the analysis of the above paragraph, it is clear that both process planning and design planning should go in unison for the successful production process. Process planning involves planning for the conversion processes needed to transform inputs into final products. Process planning covers the whole production process. Therefore, process planning encompasses outlining manufacturing operations that are performed at different phases of production to achieve product design of the anticipated output.
Process planning comprises of the two major components namely process design and operational design. Both parts provide crucial information to determine what kind of the machine and other resources that will be needed to manufacture a new product. Process design outlines the whole sequence of operations needed to obtain product specifications. This sequence of operations is determined by; the material used, nature of the product, the number of quantities to be produced and the current physical layout of the manufacturing plant. On the other side, operation design involves evaluating individual manufacturing operations design. Operations design compares human resources input to the machine input in the transformation of output into the finished product during production process. The understating of operation design helps the manufacturer to determine human resource hours and machine hours in every single unit of produced.
Process planning and design are vital steps in operations management. Process planning is the aspect of operations management that determines the parameters to be used. These parameters primarily comprise of the machines that can perform the planned processes and convert them from their initial to the predetermined final form. The predetermined form is what forms up the design. Therefore, for the process planning to be executed effectively, process design must be predetermined. This helps to align process planning with the anticipated process design.
On a different perspective, process planning can be defined as a process of planning for production that leads to the realization of final product according to the product design. Product design or specification usually describes the product features, tolerances and how different components of the operations work. In fact, it describes the final product in depth. In operation management, product design is very crucial because the company may want to use another manufacturing company to help produce certain parts of the product. If the contracted company is not provided with the product design, it may result in delays, confusion, and extra costs. Besides, product design is also important even when the company wants to carry the entire production in its manufacturing facility.
Process planning marks the beginning production process. It is the step of production that involves assembling, partial designing, production quantity and due date when the product should be completed. The producer uses the above aspects to decide fixtures, tools, machines and time which each production stage will consume. Production planning and resource scheduling are based on the information obtained from process planning. Therefore, it is indisputable that process planning and design is one of the critical steps that should be observed with care during the manufacturing process.
How the whole production process run, depends on how manufacturer has taken care of process planning and process design. Production planning and scheduling will rely on process planning. If the process planning is not comprehensive enough, then both production planning and scheduling are deemed to fail. Production planning and scheduling are very crucial steps in the manufacturing process. This is because production involves the production of multiple productions and at the same time resources allocation must be done correctly to increase output. If the process planning is not good enough then, there is a high probability that both production planning and scheduling will fail. This may force the company to incur unplanned and extra costs.
Process planning largely dwells on establishing how different components will be interrelated to integrate different parts of the product to be produced. This process entails establishing which machines to use and the order to be followed to ensure all the aspects are included in the product. For the process planning to be efficient and effective, it calls for cooperation of production engineers and other experts to make sure that strategic decisions and extensive analysis of the production are carried out. This approach assists the producer to plan for the production by ensuring that every single component of the production is put into consideration. Usually, process plan is viewed as a link between manufacturing stages and product design.
Process planning is based on the number of the components to be integrated into the manufacturing stages, and the number of planned products. As manufacturing components and the number of the products to produce increases, process planning becomes more important. To make a good process planning it is always advisable to produce small quantities of the products before the actual production. Once this is done, the manufacturer can use the produced products as the sample of perfecting and building on the strong process planning. The perfection and building process will involve checking and rechecking all production components to make sure they are appropriate. However, it may be difficult to apply this technique when production is done in large quantities. This technique helps the manufacturer to make sure products are within the acceptable tolerances. In case of many quantities to be produced, the manufacturer can opt for checking components at a given sequence. For example, the manufacturer can decide to be checking components after every hundred or more products produced.