We explain what the production process is and the types that exist. In addition, what are its stages and the milk production process.
What is the production process?
It is known as process of production or production process or as a production chain to the diverse set of scheduled operations to transform inputs certain factors or goods or services determined by the application of a technological process that usually involves certain type of knowledge and machinery specialized. The fundamental objective of this process is the satisfaction of a certain type of society’s demand.
The production process is composed of successive stages and is complex and diverse in nature , so it warrants prior study, planning and the provision of certain basic elements, known as raw material , as well as a source of energy (usually electricity ). At the end of this process, the goods or services are offered through a marketing circuit that makes them reach the consumer. In addition, the transit from one stage to the other gives the final product an added value that makes the whole operation profitable.
The way in which we understand the production processes at the moment is the result of both the Industrial and Technological Revolution , as well as the liberalization of trade, aspects that were accentuated in the world from the middle of the 20th century. This is also linked to the increasing industrialization of the world and its known ecological consequences.
Types of production process
Generally, five different types of production process are identified, which are:
- Production by projects or upon request. This type of process produces an exclusive and individualized product, that is, that each organization or company will have a specific production process according to what it produces and how. It is the usual type of process in the housing construction industry, for example.
- Batch or batch production. It is identified because it manufactures a small batch of different products, similar to each other, since they are produced in a similar way, through tasks that do not differ too much until some time in the production chain. It is generally the type of production of the initial stages of certain consumer products , such as in the ink and paint industry, in which one color is produced first than the other.
- Craft production The one that manufactures diverse products, of more or less unique piece, little uniform, produced in much smaller lots and generally destined to a specialized or occasional public. It is the type of production, for example, of popular indigenous looms in Latin America.
- Mass production. It is a highly mechanized and automated process, which uses modern technology and a high number of workers , to manufacture a large number of similar products, that is, uniform and serialized, at a fairly low cost and in an amount of time Very brief. This is the type of production of most everyday objects, such as canned goods.
- Continuous production. On an even larger scale than mass production, continuous production generally manufactures intermediate inputs to feed other industries , so that their products are quite homogeneous and the stages of transformation of inputs very similar to each other. This is the case of the steel industry, for example.
Stages of the production process
Any production process is broadly composed of three phases or stages:
- Analytical or collection stage. The production circuit begins when raw materials are collected and grouped for processing. At this stage, what is sought is to obtain the greatest amount of raw material at the lowest cost , also taking into account transport and storage costs. Then the raw material is broken down into smaller parts, according to the specific needs of the production process.
- Synthesis or production stage. In this stage the raw material is subjected to various physical, chemical and industrial processes to finally obtain a unique, different product. The supervision of these processes implies quality and control standards.
- Conditioning or processing stage. Once the product is obtained, it is adapted to the needs of the client , preparing it for entry into the commercial circuit, either definitive (for the products made by the final consumer ) or intermediate (to serve as input to new production processes).
Milk production process
A good example of all of the above is the milk production circuit that we buy in the supermarket. Said circuit comprises the following stages:
- First stage: milking. As we all know, milk comes from cows, which are found in specialized milking farms. Before proceeding to milk them, that is, to connect them to machines that mechanically extract the milk from the udders of the animal, each cow should be inspected to ensure that they are in good health and that the liquid is not at risk of contamination. Then we proceed to milking, through aluminum mechanisms that operate with vacuum suction and that have filters to remove impurities; It is then stored in tanks at a temperature of four degrees Celsius (4 ° C), without any additives or preservatives.
- Second stage: pasteurization and separation. The stored milk is delivered to plants specialized in its evaluation and processing, turning raw or freshly milked milk into fluid milk, which is then subjected to the pasteurization process: it is heated to a temperature of around 80 ° C, cooling it of immediately to kill any type of microorganisms present, without altering the chemical and physical properties of the product. At this stage the different portions of milk that will go to different markets are also separated: that of liquid milk, that of cheeses, that of yogurts, that of creams, etc.
- Third stage: commercialization. Milk (and / or its derivatives) is packaged in containers designed to compete commercially, and subjected to quality and hygiene standards testing . It is then distributed in supermarket chains and other stores that make it reach its target audience, who buys it, takes it home and consumes it.