Batch production is where the manufacturing process is split into a number of different operations; each of which is carried out on the whole batch before it is moved on and another batch received. The batch is moved on from one stage of production to the next until all the manufacturing processes are completed. Batch production involves the manufacture of a group of identical items and is normally used when the demand for the product is relatively constant.
Batch production involves the production of identical products made in groups (batches). The group remains together as it passes through each stage of production until all processes are complete. Changes may be made between batches. For example, clothing may be produced in batches of different sizes and colours. The process, therefore, includes a delay between batches while equipment is changed or recalibrated; this is known as downtime.
Production is less personal in that products are not individualised to customer requirement; the focus is on making high quality products at an affordable price. Workers specialise and are less likely to be highly skilled or multi-skilled. Specialised equipment is probably used since it is possible to get higher capital utilisation. Products are cheaper, but capital cost is significantly higher than for job production.
Typical products produced in batches include bakery products, clothing, 'fast-food', shoes and pharmaceuticals.
For the advantages and disadvantages of each production method, see the advantages and disadvantages summary interaction (page C7).