Definition: Process operations, also called process manufacturing or process production, is the mass production method of producing products in a continuous flow. In other words, this is a conveyer belt system that produces identical, standardized items at a high rate of speed.
What Does Process Operation Mean?
You can think of any mass-produced good as an example. Take Coca-Cola Corporation for instance. The Coke bottling company has a series of processes that take raw glass, melt and shape it into bottles, and fill it with soda. They do the same thing with cans.
The general Coke processes include creating containers (bottles and cans), filling them, and packaging the finished products for delivery to customers. Each one of these steps is considered part of a process production line because the same step is duplicated over and over at a fast rate of speed in order to produce identical products. Let’s take a look at a few of these processes.
First, the bottles need to be created. Recycled glass and sand is poured into a kiln to warm. The heated glass is poured into fixtures to shape it like bottles and sent down the line to cool. The bottles then head down the line at speeds of over 1,000 bottles a minute to the packing department where a machine automatically boxes and crates the bottles for delivery at the filling plant.
Once at the filling plant, the bottle crates are loaded onto an automatic de-crating machine that un-packages them and puts them into the filling lines. The bottles are sanitized, dried, and filled at a rate of 700-1,000 a minute. The filled bottles are then warmed and packaged by another automated process.
As you can see, process operations are typically completely automated and used to mass produce identical products—in this case Coke bottles. Almost all large manufactures from drug companies to oil refineries use this system of production to reduce production costs.