1. What is process (formula based) manufacturing and how does it differ from discrete manufacturing?               

There are two basic categories of manufacturing software, discrete and process. Discrete manufacturing systems are generally designed around a bill of material containing whole, or discrete quantities of materials such as 1 axle, 2 tires, etc.Process manufacturing systems are driven by formulas such as 90% water, 5% flavoring, etc. Process manufacturers usually blend or mix materials rather than cutting, shaping, or assembling hard goods.Hybrid manufacturers combine process and discrete components. A good example would be a cosmetic company that mixes a batch of lip stick bulk and fills the bulk into a base container (process manufacturing), then assembles this into a finished product with a packaging and label bill of material (discrete manufacturing).


2. What vertical industries are best served by a process or hybrid manufacturing solution?

While many industries can benefit from process-centric solutions, here are a few key industries that commonly come up when dealing with process manufacturing:

  • SIC 20 – Food and beverage / Flavors
  • SIC 21 – Tobacco
  • SIC 2611 to 2631 – Paper / Pulp Mills
  • SIC 28 – Chemicals / Fragrances
  • SIC 29 – Petroleum
  • SIC 30 – Rubber / Plastics (usually hybrid)
  • SIC 32 – Stone / Clay / Glass (process-centric requirements; Concrete manufacturing is a good process manufacturing environment.)
  • SIC 33 – Primary Metals (sometimes hybrid; process-centric requirements)


3. What are some common issues that are specific to process and hybrid manufactures? 

  • Weight to Volume conversions with Specific Gravity calculations
  • Formulas (recipes) as opposed to Bill of Material
  • Production batch loss / gain (moisture / boiloff etc)
  • Full featured bi-directional lot recall (see Bioterrorism Act)
  • Elevated auditing and security requirements for formulas, production and regulations such as 21 CFR 11b
  • Full featured Quality Control (QC) and Certificate of Analysis (C of A) requirements
  • Customer specific QC and C of A requirements
  • Nutritional property calculations for produced goods
  • Lot strength and potency considerations in production
  • High decimal availability and precision in production
  • Co-products and by-products
  • FDA reporting requirements
  • Compliance reporting (HACCP, SARA, HAPS, MSDS etc) Weight to Volume conversions with Specific Gravity calculations


4. Why Can’t I use a discrete manufacturing system for my process environment?

Many ERP vendors are doing just that because they don’t have the solution. It is just like putting a square peg in a round hole. The users will encounter many difficulties in their entire process, from sourcing, distributing to the manufacturing.

In a discrete environment, it’s either a disk drive or it’s not a disk drive, whereas in a process environment, inventory can have a set of attributes, and then the values for those attributes can vary from batch to batch and lot to lot. Likewise, he says attribute  specification is also beginning to show up in purchasing systems, so manufacturers can note to their suppliers: Supply me inventory with these sets of attributes within these ranges. And for the many differences that was highlighted in question no. 1.


5. Why did Careware Systems choose Sage X3 Process Manufacturing Suite instead of working with multiple ERP systems or creating a whole ERP system from the ground up?

The simple answer: suitability to task as Sage X3 Process is designed ground up as a process manufacturing software. It is the industry leader in the mid-market space with its reliability, robustness and seamlessly integration to Financial.Sage X3 ERP is the flagship product of the undisputed leader in mid-market ERP software from Sage Software.

Sage X3 ERP can be used in a mixed mode manufacturing environment that take care of the existing process and existing discrete manufacturing functions to provide a truly comprehensive hybrid manufacturing solution.


6. Why should I choose Careware as my solution provider?

Careware Systems is the leading Malaysia Sage Business Solutions specialist and Sage ERP is our main focus.
Careware with her years of industry domain experiences in the various chemicals, pharmaceuticals and Food & beverages is most qualified to help you. We understand your process requirements and poised to provide the right solution to the end users.