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Batch production

Where a large or small quantity (batch) of the same item is produced at the same time. In many cases it involves batches of the same product passing through one process before passing on to the next. In the case of crisp production, for example, a batch of 100g of potatoes may pass through each of the following processes in turn: washing, peeling, slicing, cooking, post frying, flavouring, bagging and, finally, packing. It is suitable when a limited number of the same product is required at one particular moment in time, and where the demand for the product is not sufficient to warrant investment in a ‘non-stop’ production line. Many businesses that supply a particular type of product but in different shapes and sizes, using different materials, or containing different ingredients, or where different packaging is necessary for the same product in order to cater for different languages, use batch production. Like job production, flexible systems are required to enable work to be easily switched from one batch of products eg one flavour of crisps to another. Workers tend to be semi-skilled, as they often specialise in one particular process / job. In the case of crisp production, for example, workers may specialise in, say, just the cooking process, or the post frying process, or the packing process.

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