Selecting Rubber and Plastic ERP: Process vs Discrete ERP Systems

When searching for the right rubber and plastic ERP system, it is important to know the difference between process and discrete manufacturing ERP. To determine which type of ERP system your company requires, you must first identify and focus on your manufacturing method.

Process vs. Discrete

Discrete manufacturers produce distinct items that can easily be counted and seen, such as plastic containers or rubber tires.  Discrete products can be broken down after the manufacturing process is complete, which is not true for process manufactured products. Process manufacturers create products through the use of formulas or recipes. These products are typically produced by mixing, blending, or the creation of a chemical reaction and cannot be broken down after the process is complete.

Much like there are many differences between process and discrete manufacturing, there are many differences between ERP software designed for each process.  Before making a final decision on a rubber and plastic ERP system, it is important to understand the differences between ERP designed for each process so you can select the right system for your business.

How They Differ:

  • Bill of Materials (BOMs) vs. Recipes/Formulas

One of the main differences between process and discrete manufacturing and ERP is the difference between the bill of materials and tools to manage recipes/formulas.

In discrete manufacturing, manufacturers rely on a BOM, which lists everything that will be needed to reach the final product.  A BOM must be extremely accurate due to the number of companies involved in the manufacturing of a specific product.  Thus, when looking for discrete manufacturing ERP, be sure it has an efficient BOM functionality.

In process manufacturing, recipes and formulas are used to specify the ingredients and amount of each required to reach the end product rather than a BOM.  In process manufacturing ERP, recipe/formula scalability must be provided to ensure the proportions of these ingredients are accurate.

  • Serial Numbers vs. Lot Numbers

In discrete manufacturing ERP, products are tracked by a specific serial number.  Each product manufactured is tracked in the system separately with its own number.

In process manufacturing ERP, products are assigned a lot number, a number assigned to a specific quantity or lot of material from a single manufacturer.  In process ERP, it can be easy to track these numbers through the use of a lot traceability functionality.

This functionality allows for a number of benefits for process manufacturers, including bi-directional tracking and the ability to track which lot controlled items were used to manufacture a specific product.

  • Raw Material Tracking

Process manufacturers may wish to add different quantities of raw materials to alter the chemical composition of the finished goods they are manufacturing.  These raw material quantities are largely dependent on the properties of other raw materials and additives used in the manufacturing process.

This differs from discrete manufacturing, where it is much easier to track where raw materials are cut, formed, assembled, or otherwise transformed into common discrete products such as electronics or plastic containers.

Because of these differences, it is important to closely examine your own processes and needs to ensure the system you select has everything you need to run an efficiet and effective proces.

Learn more about selecting the right rubber and plastics ERP system in the white paper below.

 Rubber and Plastic Manufacturing ERP

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