THOUGHTS

Four Basic Types of Manufacturing Processes

Jun 30, 2018

The manufacturing industry has come a long way since the industrial revolution. In fact, manufacturing jobs are no longer reserved for just the blue-collar workers, considering the current innovations and the requirement of technical expertise in this sector. The manufacturing industry plays an invaluable role in the development of both emerging economies and developed markets. Not only does this sector have immense scope in terms of technological advancements but also remains one of the most labor-intensive industries in the world. The types of manufacturing process followed varies depending on each sector and the end-products. There are multiple types of manufacturing processes that a manufacturer uses, and those can be grouped into four main categories-

Molding of products

Molding is one of the most popular types of manufacturing processes that’s being used for products that start out as liquids. Casting is one of the popular forms of molding and involves heating plastics until it turns liquid and then pouring it into a mold. The mold is designed in the desired shape of the final product. Once the plastic cools, the mold is removed, and the product is formed in the shape which was intended. Manufacturers also use such types of manufacturing processes to make plastic sheets, which has a wide variety of applications.  Some of the common types of molding include blow molding, which used to make piping and milk bottles; injection molding, which melts plastic to create 3-D materials such as butter tubs and toys; compression molding, used for large-scale products like car tires; and rotational molding, used for furniture and shipping drums.

Joining or assembling parts

The parts manufactured cannot function in isolation. This makes joining or assembling one of the integral types of manufacturing process. Joining uses processes like welding and soldering to apply heat to combine materials. Pieces can also be joined using adhesive bonding or fasteners. Welding doesn’t require overlapping materials, and so it removes excess weight brought on by other fastening methods. This eliminates the requirement of fasteners purchased and stored in stock. Welding helps reduce the costs related to extra parts, for example, angles mounted between parts.

Shearing and forming

Shearing comes handy when dealing with sheet metal. The process of shearing uses cutting blades to make straight cuts into a piece of metal. Such types of manufacturing are also often referred to as die cutting and are often used on aluminum, brass, bronze and stainless steel. Forming is another important function among the different types of manufacturing, which uses compression or another type of stress to move materials into the desired shape. Forming is often used with metal, however, it can also be used on other materials, including plastic.

Machines in manufacturing

Machines are an important element of every manufacturing process, especially in the production of products like metal parts. Today, tools like saws, sheers, and rotating wheels are being used in manufacturing units.  Innovations such as laser machines have the capability to cut a piece of metal using a high-energy light beam and plasma torches can easily turn gas into plasma using electricity.

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