An Evaluation of Production Process and Capacity Utilization

An Evaluation of Production Process and Capacity Utilization

DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS: Production management is essential and basic to all organizations whether it is it is manufacturing or serves. It should be pointed out that the survival of the organization is dependent on how it’s production processes are managed, the basis of production is the transformation of inputs into goods and services. Products and services are usually the first thing which customers see of a company. This is why it is important that they are designed to meet their needs and expectations. Customers might also expect that designs be updated at frequent intervals to reflect fashion, technological advances or changing needs. So in addition to the intrinsic merit of the product and services designs, for many organization, it is also the continual development of designs and the creation of totally new designs which help to shape their competitive position.

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The physical design of an operation should have provided the resources, which are capable to satisfying customers demands. Planning and control is concerned with operating those resources on a day to day level in order to supply the goods and / or services which fulfill customers demand.

The need for production planning and its elements can be easily illustrated with an organization that wants to introduce new product into the market, it would first of all identify the target market for the product, there income level and forecast the demand partner of the product. This will enable the organization to then translate this forecast into the demands it general for various factors of production. Had all this been done sufficiently in advance, these factors of production could have been acquired and would be available at the present time to satisfy the prospective customer’s current demand for the product.

Production planning:     Is the forecast of the future demand for an organization’s goods or services, translating this future demand in to the demand it creates for factors such as materials, building, equipment, supplies and the procurement of these required factors of production.

Production Control:     Is the development and implementation of procedures, which will enable the organization to produce goods, or services must be produced not only in the required quantities but also in accordance with specifications and in time to satisfy customer’s delivery requirement.

In essence therefore, production planning and control involves all the production activities from the forecast for demand to the actual production and delivery of those goods or services.


Having described what production and control all about, we will now look at the cycle. Production activities fall into two categories. Pre-production and production. Pre-production activities, as the name simples, consist of all functions that must be performed before the start of production. Their objective is to ensure that all of the resources needed for production are available at the right time and in sufficient quantities. In contract, production activities deal with the conversion of these input resources into the desired final product. Both the pre-production and production phase of the manufacturing cycles would be discussed in stages.

Stage 1:At this, stage of the pre-production act invites, the production manager would have to first all the following:

  1. Obtain sales forecast which could be long term or short term. Long-term forecast covers the expectations of the marketing department for the next tone or more years and short term forecast covering the requirements of the marketing department for the next twelve months. The sales forecast would show the demand for the product. This demand would now create the demand of the necessary resources to meet the demand of the customers like finance.
  2. Financial ability of the organization whether it would be enough to cope with production and if not the organization would source for funds.
  3. Plant capacity: The available plant whether it can cope with production capacity to meet the demand, if not, additional plant should be acquire to cope with production.
  4. Availability of raw materials needs for production is also in important factor that cannot be neglected at this stage. The organization should have enough raw materials to enable the organization to have uninterrupted production, if the available raw materials would not be enough, arrangement should be made to procure more. All these resources be estimated for both present and future production.

Stage II:      Production master schedule: The master schedule is the foundation for planning and controlling all manufacturing activities, all production orders should be routed through the central decision section so that every order can be incorporated in the schedule. Once directives to work are given it also tells when the final product is schedule for delivery to the customers, including the starting date, and weekly or monthly production rate. This information is used to create a production master schedule. Master schedule also indicated production of various items in each month during their entire year based on sales forecast and leveling production. Leveling production is given in terms of finished product units. It involves uniform level of production even for the period of low demand the remaining units for the month would then be used a high demand periods. This makes for proper utilization of resources. His procedure also permits order points and economic lot sizes to be reviewed so that these may be adjusted, if necessary, in light of changes in demand forecasts, the projected plant work load, or the production process.

Stage III: Preparation of necessary data: This stage have its main purpose of all these activities is to prepare for the actual production of the item.

Stage iv:      Routing, at this phase of production activities, there is need for the preparation activities, of process sheets, and routing cards.

Garrett and Silver (1973) defined routing as the function that determines the path that each internal manufactured order will take through the production plant. It prescribes the sequence of operations that will transform the input materials into the desired end products. The concept of routing is widely used in factories, but it may also be applied in other of business. For instance sales managers have found it to be a useful means of schedule sales calls on customers in a more effective sequence.

In a manufacturing plant, the routing of an order is generally spelt out on a route sheet or process sheet. It shows a complete description of the item to be manufactured, the name of the product, part name, batch quantity, and sequence operation time are all provided. The route sheet also specifies what machines can be used to performed each operation, including alternative machines where feasible.

Stage v: Scheduling

Having determined the sequence that work is to be tackled in, some operations require a detailed time table showing at what time or date jobs should start and when they should and. Schedule are statement of volume and timing in many consumer environment. Scheduling is also used to schedule manpower in groups or on individual basis machines and scheduling materials that are needed for production. The objective of scheduling is for maximum utilization of available resources.


The production process is all about the step in the production of goods and services. It also involves the linkages among the steps to enable the productive system to produce and quality. An important part of the structure of operation in the design of the product and service of operation.

Norman Gaither (1990) said that process planning and deign means the complete lineation and description of the specific steps in the production process the lineages that will enable the production system to produce goods and services of the desired quality. In the required quantity at the time customers want them and at the budgeted cost process planning is intense for new product services, but preplanning can also occurs as capacity needs change business or market condition change technologically superior machine becomes available or as other change occur. Although production process and this technology to evolve at any point in time, the essential character and structure of production strategy.

The nature of production process must necessary follow directly from the operation strategy.

Dryden Press (1990) Said that production process must be planned and designed to provide the mix of competitive weapon embodies in the production plan which reflects the operation strategy for the business. Production manager may not always have the direct responsibilities for product and services design but they always have an indirect responsibility to provide the information and advice on which successful product or service development depends whether the production manager is directly or indirectly involved in product and service design or not they are involved in the process of keeping their organization production facilities up to date. The production process begins with product design and development, because it is here that the specifications that the production process must be meet are determined. Product design is the structure and characteristics a product takes to meet the demand of present and potential consumers.

Lockyer (1982) Said that product design involves the translation of requirement into a form suitable for manufacture or use. The design or redesign of product process and interrelated there is a continuous interaction between these attitudes. On the surface, this means that production processes must be designed for productivity but more importantly continuous interaction means that product or service designs are influenced and change by what we learn as are design production process. Process planning and design bring together technologies of the production system and markets, and ten develops a details plan for producing the product or services.

Norman G. (1990) said that inputs to process planning come from information about products and services and their market information about the production system and its technologies and operation strategies.

Process planning and design involves the selection of a process types states about the degree of vertical integration, process and product or services studies, production procedures studies and facilities studies. The outputs of these studies is a complete determination of the individual technological process step to be used, the linkage as among the steps, the selection of equipment design of building and layout facilities and of personnel. The discussion of process planning and design cannot be done in isolation of the other production operation management activities. Once process planning has been completed, the fundamental structure and character of the operations functions is set process. Planning ultimately affects quality control, human resources requirement job design and facility capacity. Its activity determine in large measure the details of how product or service will be produced.

At his juncture a very important question might be asked, who does process planning? The answer is this, in complex manufacturing situations this procedure may involve several departments such as manufacturing engineering. Plant engineering, tool functions work together to bring the process planning. In less complex situation a single person may perform all the activities of process planning.

Fundamental to process planning are the basic technological process of organization. For example in the industry, terms such as flow soldering component auto insertion and printed circuit acid balls are uses. A thorough understanding of the details of these processes one’s industry is an absolute must for effective process, product, manufacturing tools and industrial engineering organization empty these engineers to use their specialized knowledge about these processes. Although staff personnel, employees from other department and managers are not expected to be experts in the processes of this firm, neither are they expected to be to tally ignorant of them. Fortunately, most jobs afford opportunities to be become informed about underlying technologies through daily on the job encounters. For most proper, this practical know ledge cram though year of experience.


There are many reasons for product design aimed to protect or maintain the product. These reason’s include the following.

  1. FUNCTIONALITY- A product is designed in such a way that it protects or maintains a product in a functional state and to have a long shelf life. For example, a car is designed in such a way that the engine is protected from the hazards of the wealthier that is form rains, dust for proper functioning.
  2. CONVENIENCE- In product design the convenience of the user is put into consideration, as users prefer products that they can use with les difficulty. The size and shape of a product may relate to the product’s storage. For instance, people now prefer to buy the automatic and portable cars instead of the bogus ones.
  3. APPEAL- The benefits potential buyers want are a major consideration in designing a product. It is important to find out what the target market wants in a product so that the product could be designed to appeal to them. For example, in designing dresses for the young ones, the young ones, there are certain styles that attract them most, like wise other age groups.
  4. COST CONSIDERATION- designers design to reduce cost bearing in mind that they are in a competitive market. If a product is deigned without cost consideration, that is the price that the potential buyers can afford or willing to pay, the product would be priced out of market.
  5. ECONOMY- Products are designed for economic reasons. Machines can be designed to have multi purpose function; this will save the user the problem of buying many machines or products designed for economy of operation.



Before designing a product, certain factors should be put into consideration and these include the following:

  1. TARGET MARKET– In designing a product, the target market has to be identified, what group, of the ,market is the product for? Is it the young, middle age or elderly? When this has been identified, than product would be designed to appeal to them that is the target market.
  2. COST OF PRODUCT– Price consideration is a very important factor that must be considered. In designing a product and this will affect the present and potential buyers would be discouraged from buying and may prefer other products that the prices is lower.
  3. CHANGING TASTE– Products are designed to meet the taste of the consumer. Consumers are constantly having a change taste in product usage and if a producer does not put this into consideration in its product, there will be the likelihood of not meeting the needs of the present and potential customers.
  4. COMPETITION- Competition cannot be avoided and the activities of competitions cannot be controlled. To design, the structure in a competitors product must be assessed and then design your product with additions or subtractions from the competitors product to have a clear advantage. By this you can establish in the customers mind that there is a difference between your product and that of other producers.


This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic


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