Explain the purpose of a route sheet in the manufacturing process.

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In industry, there are rules and regulations which surround the manufacturing process. There are strict laws governing certain processes, and in the United States the Census Bureau provides an outline for industry-specific procedures. Obviously, health and safety and fair labor practices are major concerns in manufacturing. 

Those manufacturing processes which appear to take place seamlessly do so because of structured planning and good organization. The order in which certain functions should be performed for maximum benefit also ensures that regulations are complied with and any issues appropriately managed. To ensure the effectiveness of this plan, this necessitates a definition of the goals and the manner in which those goals will be achieved; in other words, the "route" which the processes should take in order to be most successful. Accordingly, to avoid random decision-making, a route sheet is designed for each part that is to be manufactured to ensure that at every step of the process there is "buy-in" and conformity which ensures that standards are maintained throughout the industry. 

A route sheet serves a a checklist and a timeline so that deadlines can be met and it assists floor staff and management. Although it is an instruction document and its main purpose is in the actual manufacturing process, it can even reveal flaws when targets are not met so that employment and equipment needs can be addressed in time, ensuring  a smooth operation. On analysis, it can expose problems and reveal areas of efficiency so that processes can be improved on an ongoing basis, based on objectives and without interrupting production. It is therefore an essential component in the manufacturing process. 

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gsenviro's profile pic

gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Route sheet is a term commonly associated with manufacturing. It is a document that details the sequence of operations in a manufacturing process. A typical route sheet contains information about work order, production size or volume, required operation/s, sequence of operations, equipment needed to carry out the operations, time required for manufacturing, etc. This document shows the worker output, helps in calculation of worker wages and helps in supervision of the manufacturing process. A different route sheet is required for each part. Simply speaking, a route sheet contains information about the route necessary for manufacturing of a certain part. It is used in both serial production as well as individual production of components and is very useful in automatic production and scheduling of operations and machines.

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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In order to track a specific set of steps or a sequence in the manufacturing process, a route sheet is used to note a number of things. Route sheets identify and number a work order, and generally include a symbol or another concrete way to identify a part. The number of pieces in each production lot is estimated and recorded, as is the total number of pieces to be produced. The procedures and sequence of each operation on a given part is noted. All of the machines and necessary equipment to perform the operation are listed on a route sheet. Finally, you would find that a prediction of set-up and production time for each piece would be included.

Route sheets can be applied in different ways. They may be used as planning tools, and for quality control purposes. When used as planning tools, a routing sheet may be used by different departments as they set up the step by step production of an item. Different supervisors and managers are able to monitor progress, production time, equipment use, and operator history throughout the production process using the routing sheet.

Therefore, a route sheet can be used during planning, production, monitoring, and quality control for an item or items during the manufacturing process.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Route sheet is a term used in many different ways with only common feature among them being that it identifies sequence of different places or people involved in a process. However perhaps the this term is used most often for a document in manufacturing operations that describes sequence of different operations in a manufacture of a part identifying the different work centers at which the part needs to be processed.

A typical manufacturing process route sheet includes information of  components or part to be manufactured, and a sequential listing of all the operation to be performed on the part with identification of the work center where the operation is to be performed. The route sheet is usually contains additional details such as special tooling required and process timings.

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gsarora17 | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Route sheet is the map or the blueprint of the manufacturing process in a production unit, providing the precise route or sequence to be followed. A route sheet describes the series of actions to be performed to achieve a particular task in the manufacturing or production process. Thus, a route sheet is a document which has information and instructions for converting raw materials into finished components or specific assembly; containing details such as material requirement, date and time, remarks, log in/out, etc.

Route sheets are essential for efficient planning to perform manufacturing sequences in an economical way. Different route sheets are prepared for different parts keeping in requirement of the components, equipment availability; their capacity and run time, number of skilled work force available, etc.

A typical route sheet contains the following information :

  • Identification and sequence of work arrangement.
  • Drawing of part, assemblies or sub assemblies of the product
  • Estimated number of units to be produced.
  • Machines, tools, jigs and fixtures used in the operation, their run time, efficiency and capacity.
  • Operations needed on the given part.
  • Sequence in which these operations are performed.
  • Inspection and quality assurance requirements.
  • Packing and handling instructions during movement of components through the operation stages.

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