Process industry manufacturing is the type of manufacturing environment that manufactures products that cannot be disassembled to their components. The products manufactured by other types of manufacturing environments—discrete and continuous—can be disassembled. Most software is designed around discrete manufacturing, and most books and consultants also speak from the perspective of discrete manufacturing. Manufacturing accounting, Manufacturing planning, manufacturing execution scheduling, and process control encompasses a large number of problems, and within this continuum, some solutions are better fits than others.

Applying Non-Process Industry Solutions to Process Industry

These areas are not a “one-size-fits-all.” Because so few consulting companies focus on process industry manufacturing or treat it differently from discrete, it is difficult for companies to get quality outside support on software selection. Manufacturing software, be it ERP, planning, MES, or process control, tend to be targeted towards discrete manufacturing, often leaving process industry manufacturing companies without software that is designed for their specific requirements.

How Many Vendors Approach Selling to Process Industries

Many software vendors fake the amount of process industry functionality they have. They frequently sell software that was designed for discrete manufacturing into process industry companies by tweaking the terminology in their marketing documentation and sometimes in the user interface elements itself to be more process industry-friendly.