Discrete Manufacturing vs Process Manufacturing: The Differences


If you have decided to start or expand your business, you must learn the correct terminology. For example, the world of manufacturing alone divides into four categories.

In hiring workers, you should know the differences between discrete and process manufacturing.

There are a few differences between the two. Knowing them could help you hire the right workers for your business. Read on to learn the differences between discrete manufacturing vs process manufacturing.

What is Discrete Manufacturing?

Discrete manufacturing is generally done on a production line. Where each unit is identical and moves through the process at the same speed. They are often used for consumer products, such as cars or appliances.

It is the process of making individual items, usually with well-defined specifications.

What is Process Manufacturing?

Process manufacturing can be more flexible and adjust for changes in demand. The ingredients and processes vary to produce different products.

It is often used for food, beverage, and pharmaceutical production. It combines raw materials and ingredients to produce finished goods.

Difference between Discrete Manufacturing vs Process Manufacturing

In many ways, they are similar. They both involve the production of goods and the use of machinery and labor to create those goods. Check out Wilco Manufacturing for reference.


Discrete manufacturing is best for products that need a lot of customization. Each product can be individually made. This means that there is no need to set up and change production lines for each product.

Process manufacturing is best for products that are similar, as they can be made in batches. This means that production lines can be set up for each product. The manufacturing process is smooth.

Inventory Management

One key difference is in the way of inventory management. In discrete manufacturing, inventory is usually tracked at the individual part level. Removing from inventory when used part in the production of a product.

Generally, process manufacturing uses inventory management techniques. One that tracks stock at the level of the finished product. Inventory stores the raw materials and finished products until needed.

Process of Production

Discrete manufacturing is more flexible, producing each part and then assembling. In contrast, process manufacturing combines raw materials and chemicals to create products.

Focus or Goal

Discrete manufacturing focuses on the assembly of products. While process manufacturing focuses on the chemical transformation of raw materials.


Discrete manufacturing is more efficient and less expensive than process manufacturing. But process manufacturing can be more flexible and adaptable to change.

Consider the Needs of Your Business

Discrete manufacturing is the process of making individual parts or products. Process manufacturing is the continuous production of chemicals and other items.

There are several key differences between these two types of manufacturing. It includes production, the types of products, and the use of equipment.

In choosing between these two, discrete manufacturing vs process manufacturing, it is foremost to consider the specific needs of your business and the type of products you hope to produce.

Do you need more information on the subject? Check out our other guides today!