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Continuous production

A variation of flow production is continuous production. Here materials flow continuously through a process, and the product is produced continuously. Good examples are oil refining, the manufacture of detergents and the manufacture and printing of newsprint.

All these production techniques can be summarised as follows:

Job production Batch production Flow production
Output potential Low Intermediate High
Capital requirement Low Intermediate High
Product quality High Intermediate Lower
Flexibility of product High Intermediate Low
Unit cost High Intermediate Low
Labour skill requirement High Intermediate Low
Labour productivity Low Intermediate High

Observe the trade-off between productivity and flexibility.

Much work has been done on flow production to increase its flexibility and quality. Computer organisation and control, for example, has revolutionised car assembly

Job production can generally be considered as being labour intensive.
Flow production can generally be considered as being capital intensive.