Linkage between product planning and process planning


Product planning serves as an input to process design. Responsibility for product planning and development rests with marketing department and research and development (R&D) department. The perceived needs of the customers are identified and these needs are reflected in the product’s proposed quality, cost, function, reliability and appearances.

Basic process planning must begin during the product design stages where selection of materials and initial form such as casting, forging, die castings and plastic moldings take place. The minimum possible cost of producing a part or a product is established by the design of the part or the product. Hence, process planning must start at the product design stage itself. The effort to design for low manufacturing cost is referred to as production design as distinct from product design, which consists of functional design and form design.

Given the product design, the process planning for manufacture, must be carried out to specify in detail the processes required and their sequence. Production design first sets the minimum possible cost that can be achieved through the specification of materials, tolerances, basic configurations and methods of joining parts. Process planning attempts to minimize the costs of the manufacturing process and the sequence to meet the required design specifications.

The end of production design is manifested by the release of drawings which summarizes the exact specifications of what is to be made. Process planning takes over from this point and develops the broad plan of manufacture for the part or product including the basic selection of processes necessitated in the design stage.

Relationship between Process Planning and other Operations Management Activities Process planning also affects quality control, human resources requirement, job design and capacity of the plant. Process design determines the details of how products / service will be produced.

Process planning and process design describe the specific steps in the production process and the linkages among the steps that will enable the production system to produce products / services of the desired quality in the required quantity, at the time customers want them and at the budgeted cost.

Intense process planning may be required for new products / services. Process re planning may also occur as capacity needs change, business or market conditions change and technological improvements take place in materials and machinery.