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What is Discrete Manufacturing? Definition, Benefits and Examples

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Discrete manufacturing
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The Manufacturing Industry is huge and involves complex tasks. It is not always large machinery and equipment, goods are also manufactured manually in hand by the small-scale manufacturing industry. And in the earlier days, the manufacturing industry had the most intricate task involving long assembly lines with a large number of workers coordinating together to produce a finished good. Now we have many modern solutions, one being technology to achieve operational efficiency and growth.

What is Discrete Manufacturing?

Discrete manufacturing is one of the significant and common manufacturing types. It involves in the assembling of items to create finished goods. It means that separate components are assembled into a finished product. Different components such as parts, sub-assemblies, incoming raw materials and many other elements are assembled together through a series of production steps including machining, assembling, etching, fastening, polishing, packaging etc in the discrete manufacturing process. So even after the product is manufactured into a final product, it can be broken down and brought back to its previous state. This feature is what distinguishes it from process manufacturing.

In the case of process manufacturing, goods are created in bulk. And then after the manufacturing, the materials cannot be broken down to their earlier stage.

Industries such as electronics, aerospace, consumer goods and automotive commonly use discrete manufacturing.

Discrete manufacturing is a cornerstone of modern industrial production, driving efficiency, innovation, and economic growth. By embracing technology and leveraging data-driven insights, manufacturers can continue to thrive in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. It also helps in delivering high-quality products that meet the requirements and expectations of customers worldwide.

Discrete manufacturing also fosters job creation, as it requires a skilled workforce to operate and maintain advanced manufacturing equipment and systems. It provides employment opportunities across different levels, from engineers and technicians to assembly line workers. And provides support to local economies and contributes to economic development.

Example of Discrete Manufacturing

We have learned all about discrete manufacturing, now let’s discuss some of its examples. Its examples range from nanotechnologies to airliners. Here are other examples of discrete manufacturing —

  • Computers
  • Vehicles
  • Airplanes
  • Smartphones
  • Medical devices
  • Electronic goods
  • Furniture

And the example of component parts used for the manufacturing of the above goods is listed below —

  • Bolts
  • Nuts
  • Panels

Benefits of Discrete Manufacturing

Enumerated below are some of the advantages of discrete manufacturing —

⇒Boosts productivity

Integrating the discrete manufacturing process with an ERP system will help optimise all the business functions and remove all bottlenecks. And with ADC(automated data capture) technology and ERP’s visibility feature, data regarding the suppliers, logistic costs, market trends and competitors can be analysed.

⇒Better customer service

Keeping the customers happy is the best thing for the business to flourish. It directly impacts the revenue of the business. ERP integration with discrete manufacturing is a benefit to providing better customer service. Businesses should be customer-centric if the intention is to increase revenue.

An advanced CRM system gives precise customer details, order status, merchandise details and progress reports. Plus, all the data is organised so that the exact sales forecast can be acquired.

⇒Robust supplier relationships

Suppliers are significant for any business. And every manufacturing sector expects in getting good quality materials at affordable rates. Even for discrete manufacturing, maintaining supplier relationships is crucial. ERP is the solution when searching for suppliers who can sell high-quality raw materials at a reasonable price. This database stores all the information regarding the supplier, purchase history and also the license of the supplier.

⇒Quality Assurance

If the quality is maintained, your business will attract more customers. With the help of discrete manufacturing ERP, all the criteria for maintaining the quality of the product can be done systematically. It documents all the functions of the quality like trials, testing, criteria of testing, checklists etc.

Plus, the transparency of all the quality management functions of ERP solution help in meeting compliance easily. So, the quality management module for discrete manufacturing helps in keeping the product in its best shape, with detailed verification and corrective components to prevent any defective goods.

Limitations of discrete manufacturing

Discrete manufacturing provides limited flexibility to make product changes. And it is a complex process with a need to focus on multiple details. The production lines are distinct for each component/part that is later used to create the finished product. Though it has limitations, there are multiple benefits it can offer.

What is the difference between discrete and process manufacturing?

Let’s learn more about the difference between discrete and process manufacturing. Discrete manufacturing is the process of assembling distinct parts to produce a finished product. On the contrary, process manufacturing depends on creating formulas or recipes to manufacture finished products.

In discrete manufacturing, the individual units can be differentiated before it is assembled together. While in process manufacturing, it is impossible. Both types differ completely when it comes to the MOM aspect. Discrete manufacturing is all about materials, machining and assembling. Process manufacturing is mainly matter recipes, formulas, and masterbatches.

Smartphones, cars etc are examples of discrete manufacturing. Salt, sugar, oil, chemical, food, pharma products etc are examples of process manufacturing.

How can ERP software help Discrete Manufacturing processes?

Listed below are some of the key features of the ERP for discrete manufacturing —

  • Effective integration of compliance and quality requirements into manufacturing operations.
  • It helps in synching all the supply chain operations for better visibility and function.
  • Enables real-time visibility of shop floor activity and functions.
  • Anytime access to manufacturing data.
  • Equipment and materials management for all operations.
  • Efficient management of employees including training and skill development.
  • Seamless and planned resource allocation and control.
  • Accurate documentation for fulfilling regulatory requirements.
  • Easily establish control over intricate products and supply chains.
  • Minimise production costs.
  • It provides the flexibility to manufacture goods in today’s LOT proportions.

All the advanced features will be capable to enhance the discrete manufacturing process and will ease all of its intricate functions. This will contribute to greater customer satisfaction.


Discrete manufacturing is crucial for the global economy. The ability to produce individualized, high-quality products efficiently and effectively is crucial for meeting the diverse demands of consumers across various industries. With advancements in technology and automation, discrete manufacturing has evolved significantly, enabling companies to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve overall productivity.

Moreover, integrating Internet of Things (IoT) devices and data analytics in discrete manufacturing has helped businesses to flourish in the era of smart factories. Real-time data monitoring and analysis enable manufacturers to make data-driven decisions, enhance supply chain management, and proactively identify and address issues on the shop floor. This not only improves operational efficiency but also enables predictive maintenance, reducing downtime and maximizing productivity. Implementing Sage X3 for the discrete manufacturing process will help in boosting productivity and helps in achieving business growth faster.

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