This is the production of standard units in lots, where each lot has to be processed at each operation before moving forward to the next operation.
Batches may be produced to order and forwarded directly to the customer, as in the production of sub-components for another manufacturer or they may be made for stock.
A major problem with batch production is to determine the optimum size of batches especially where general demand exists. If too many units are produced, stocks will lie idle or go to waste; if too few are produced, the item will go out of stock.
CHARACTERISTICS OF BATCH PRODUCTION
• A standardized set of operations, carried out intermittently, as each batch moves from one operation to the next.
• General-purpose machinery and plant but group in batteries of the same type.
• Heavy shop floor stores requirement.
• Narrower range of skills.
• Emphasis on production planning and progressing
• Relatively short production runs.
Its main disadvantage is the time-delay caused the queuing effect of individual units waiting for the batch to be completed before moving to the next operation.
The circumstances that would justify the adoption of batch production are:
• Where items are to be produced for stock e.g. to support production in due course.
• Where standardized items are being manufactured, on a sub-contracted basis for another manufacturer.
• Where production requires a variety of quantities and types of items that cannot be produced under a flow-production process, because of interruptions to the flow of operations.