Process manufacturing is the branch of manufacturing that is associated with formulas and manufacturing recipes, and can be contrasted with discrete manufacturing, which is concerned with bills of material and routing.
The simplest and easiest way to grasp the definition of process manufacturing is to recognize that, once an output is produced by this process, it cannot be distilled back to its basic components. In other words, “once you put it together, you cannot take it apart”. A can of soda cannot be returned to its basic components such as carbonated water, citric acid, potassium benzoate, aspartame, and other ingredients. Juice cannot be put back into an orange.A plastic card manufactured cannot be returned to its basic components like PVR sheets, transparent sheets. A car or computer, on the other hand, can be disassembled and its components, to a large extent, returned to stock. Process manufacturing is common in the food, beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods, and biotechnology industries. In process manufacturing, the relevant factors are ingredients, not parts; formulas, not bill of materials; and bulk, not individual units. This is more than a subtle difference in terminology; the terms characterize distinct manufacturing approaches.