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What is Routing ? | Meaning, Definition & Activities in Routing

Routing


What is Routing ?


Routing is the foremost and one of the most significant and challenging aspects of the production control. It may be described as the selection of path for each and every component of a product, which needs to be followed by it in the process of its conversion from raw-material to the finished good. This path of the product would also define the sequence of operation to be implemented during the entire manufacturing process. Routing may, therefore, be defined as the establishment of most beneficial path to be followed from department to department and machine to machine till the raw material is transformed into the final product.

Definition of Routing 


According to Bethel, Walter, Smith and Stackman :
"Fundamentally, routing determines what work will be done on a product or part as well as where and how it will be done".

According to Kimball and Kimball :
"Routing is the selection of path or rouse over which each piece is to travel in being transformed from raw material into fin shed product".

Activities in Routing


Following activities are involved in the routing exercise :

1) Determination of What to Make and What to Buy : 
The final product proposed to be manufactured is subjected to detailed analysis with regard to its various components, and on the basis of such analysis a view is taken by the management whether all the components should be manufactured in house or some components should be manufactured in the factory itself and remaining should be procured from outside, or all the components should be procured from outside.

2) Determination of Manufacturing Operations and their Sequence : 
The functions of 'routing section' include analysis of each product with a view to determining the operations associated with the manufacturing of its various components and assemblies / sub-assemblies involved therewith. Further analysis is undertaken in respect of each operation to determine whether all of them may be performed simultaneously or some of them may be performed simultaneously and others in a sequential manner; the order of such sequence is also determined.

3) Determination of Materials Requirements : 
Every item of the product line is broken-down to ascertain its components, which are necessary for the production of that particular product. This facilitates assessment of the actual quality of those components required for production. Route sheets prepared in this regard contain necessary data in respect of each product and components thereof in the form of 'master bill of materials'.

4) Determination of Lot Sizes : 
Routing section is also responsible for taking a decision with regard to the lot-size, i.e. number of product units to be manufactured in a lot. This is not warranted in those cases, where the customers themselves indicate the 'lot-size' in their order. However, if the manufacturing exercise is being undertaken for the purpose of stocking, e.g. items of standardized and mass production, the basis for determining the lot-size is economic order quantity.

5) Organization of Production Control Forms : 
The form of control carried over the production process depends up on the type of manufacturing. In case of mass-manufacturing, the best form of control may revolve around 'schedule form'. However, in case of job-order manufacturing, different forms of control may be exercised, e.g. work order, factory order or production order. For monitoring and reporting of operations, small tools in the form of documents, like job tickets, move tickets, tool tickets, inspection cards, material cards, labour cards, etc. may also be used.

6) Determination of Scrap Factors : 
One of the by-products, of manufacturing any product, is scrap or defective pieces. Scraps are the result of (0) manufacturing defects, or (i) the product / part thereof being not up to the desired level of quality standards Scrap factor is an important aspect, which needs to be taken into consideration by the routing section, while deciding the lot sizes of various components. sub-assembly and final assembly. This is done by stipulating a standard scrap factor at every stage involved in the manufacturing.

7) Determination of Cost : 
The determinants of the costs of final products and their respective components are men and materials associated with the manufacturing process. As the determination of components and materials requirements is responsibility of routing section, it shares the responsibility of cost analysis along with the accounting department.

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