The primary characteristic of batch production is that all components are completed at a workstation before they move to the next one. Batch production is popular in bakeries and in the manufacture of sports shoes, pharmaceutical ingredients, inks, paints and adhesives. In the manufacture of inks and paints, a technique called a colour-run is used. A colour-run is where one manufactures the lightest color first, such as light yellow followed by the next increasingly darker colour such as orange, then red and so on until reaching black and then starts over again. This minimizes the cleanup and reconfiguring of the machinery between each batch. White (by which is meant opaque paint, not transparent ink) is the only colour that cannot be used in a colour run due to the fact that a small amount of white pigment can adversely affect the medium colours.
There are inefficiencies associated with batch production. The production equipment must be stopped, re-configured, and its output tested before the next batch can be produced. Time between batches is known as 'down time'.
Batch production is useful for a factory that makes seasonal items or products for which it is difficult to forecast demand.
Batch production has many "pros" and "cons" but is effective and used worldwide, mainly by larger businesses on higher profit margins.
There are several advantages of batch production; it can reduce initial capital outlay because a single production line can be used to produce several products. As shown in the example, batch production can be useful for small businesses who cannot afford to run continuous production lines. Also, companies can use batch production as a trial run. If a retailer buys a batch of a product that does not sell then the producer can cease production without having to sustain huge losses.