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The hidden rainbow in 7 manufacturing process inputs


The manufacturing process is a series of work which transform materials in a repetitive large-scale environment to a finished product that customer is willing to pay for.   All man-made product we use every day from the simplest product such as a toothbrush to a sophisticated high technology product will go through many manufacturing processes in multiple factories.  Multiple manufacturing entities, together with transportation and logistic form a long supply chain. 

A process must consist of a series of actions that transform process input into the process output per figure below:- 


Figure 1. Process input vs process output


The process output can be, in turn, become a process input in the subsequent process. Typical manufacturing process inputs are materials, man, methods, machine, measure and environment known as 5Ms and 1E.  Product design is one more process input which will impact the process output. The process output can be, in turn, become a process input in the subsequent process.

Each process input must be set up and control properly to achieve the desired process output either as a finished good or a process input to a subsequent process. Remember garbage in garbage out.  An end consumer product could go through hundreds if not thousands of transformation process per figure below from one manufacturing entity to another per the figure above.   A product which had gone through 100  transformation processes with seven process input would have 700 opportunities for error which impact the product quality.   There could be a potential of scrap or rework cost, which of quality cost if the process input is not setup correctly.

Even a simple toothbrush will consist of multi-tier supplier’s product transformation.

Therefore setting up process input properly is critical to all production process.  The next question is, what does it take to set up the manufacturing process inputs correctly to get to the end of the rainbow🌈 .  More in the next article.


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