Process manufacturing is the branch of manufacturing that is associated with formulas and manufacturing recipes, and can be contrasted with discrete manufacturing, which is concerned with discrete units, bills of materials and the assembly of components.
Process manufacturing is common in the food, beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods, and biotechnology industries.
In process manufacturing, the relevant factors are ingredients, formulas, not bills of materials; and bulk materials rather than individual units.
Although there is invariably cross-over between the two branches of manufacturing, the major contents of the finished product and the majority of the resource intensity of the production process generally allow manufacturing systems to be classified as one or the other. For example, a bottle of juice is a discrete item, but juice is process manufactured. The plastic used in injection moulding is process manufactured, but the components it is shaped into are generally discrete, and subject to further assembly.