Manufacturing is a conversion process and a form of production. It brings together resources including materials, manpower, tools, equipment, technology, and facilities in a structured, organized manner to produce the evolved design of a finished product. Manufacturing includes three main functions:
- Manufacturing Management
- Manufacturing Engineering
- Manufacturing Operations
1) Manufacturing Management
Manufacturing Management refers to internal organizational processes such as organizing, planning, controlling, and directing of manufacturing activities. Manufacturing Management ensures that the organization has the necessary skills and resources to provide a quality product on schedule, at the lowest possible cost.
2) Manufacturing Engineering
Manufacturing Engineering refers to the activities that address process and product design and systems engineering. Manufacturing Engineering includes developing manufacturing methods, process flow, tool design, and plant layout. Trade studies on competing designs are conducted and detailed design analysis is performed to determine the most cost effective manufacturing approach.
3) Manufacturing Operations
During manufacturing operations, raw materials are transformed into finished products which are then shipped to the customer. Quality Assurance (QA) is used to ensure that the manufacturing operations result in defect-free products through process control (controlling quality, stability, consistency, and predictability). Activities in Manufacturing Operations may include:
- Writing work instructions
- Final Assembly
- Inspection (acceptance testing)