Manufacturing Process | Definition, Types, Advantages, Disadvantages

By | August 19, 2018

What is a manufacturing process?

It can be defined as

Manufacturing is the process of converting raw materials into finished goods

The branch of engineering which deals with the manufacturing is known as manufacturing engineering (or science). Manufacturing is also taught as a subject in Mechanical engineering.

There are many types of manufacturing processes but they can be broadly divide them into four parts.

Types Of manufacturing processes

Casting process

It is a liquid state manufacturing process. In casting process we put molten metal into a die of desired shape and obtain our product when the metal become solid.

Types of casting processes

  • Sand casting
  • Shell mould casting
  • Precision investment casting
  • Plaster mould casting
  • Permanent mould casting
  • Die casting
  • Centrifugal casting

Advantages of casting process

  • Tooling required for casting process is relatively cheap and in expensive
  • Cost of final product is low compared to other processes
  • Almost any metal can be used in this method
  • Any component even with a complex shape can be cast
  • There is no limit on the size of component

Disadvantages of casting process

  • It is not possible to achieve close dimensional accuracy hence further machining is required
  • Components manufactured by this process have a rough surface finish
  • Long and thin sections are not possible for cast components

Forming process

This is a solid state manufacturing process. In forming process we change shape of material with the help of external power or force.

Types of metal forming process

  • Rolling
  • Drop forging
  • Press forging
  • Upset forging
  • Extrusion
  • Wire drawing
  • Sheet metal operations

Advantages of forming process

  • They are inherently tough and have a good strength
  • Optimum utilization of raw material
  • Thin sections can be produced without reducing strength
  • It is possible to achieve close dimensional accuracy
  • It has high production rates

Disadvantages of forming process

  • It is a costly process
  • It is only economical when parts formed on a large scale

Fabrication process

It is a secondary manufacturing process. In fabrication process we join two or more metal or non metal parts together. Fabrication is done with the help of heat and (or) pressure.

Types of fabrication process

  • Gas welding
  • Electric arc welding
  • Electric resistance welding
  • Thermal welding
  • Cold welding
  • Thermit welding
  • Cold welding
  • Brazing
  • Soldering

Advantages of fabrication process

  • It can be performed ether manually or by automation
  • It can be performed even at construction site
  • It provides leak proof joints
  • It can be performed remotely in hazardous environment using robots
  • It has reasonable cost

Disadvantages of fabrication process

  • Base material can be deformed due to heat produced
  • Skilled operator is required to do welding or other fabrication
  • Impossible to dismantle parts without destruction

Material Removal

This is a secondary manufacturing process. Generally dimensions of the products obtained by casting processes are not perfect so we have to remove extra metal from the casting with the help of material removal processes.

Material removal processes are also used to make holes and other complex shapes which are difficult to make with the help of other manufacturing processes.

Types of material removal processes

  • Turning
  • Drilling
  • Shaping and planning
  • Milling
  • Grinding
  • Broaching
  • Sawing
Broached workpiece

Broached workpiece

Advantages of material removal process

  • Almost any material can be machined
  • It is possible to achieve close denominational accuracy
  • Parts manufactured by material removal process have good surface finish

Disadvantages of material removal process

  • This is a costly process
  • Production rate is low compared to casting or forging
  • It is not possible to machine thin sections and projections
  • There is wastage of material in this process

Also read:

What are cutting fluids?

What is extrusion process?

What is powder metallurgy?

Image (also featured) attribution: By Dirk Gräfe – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4201857