The American Scholar

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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What is meant by job card and route card used in production planning function?  

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Cards are a method of production control, making it easier to track and plan throughout the process. There are a variety of cards, the functions of which sometimes overlap depending upon the production and the preferences of the company producing it. Most of us are familiar with the idea of time cards or library slips; these are a decent analogy, but they tend to contain less detail than a job or route card. Cards do not necessarily have to be physical either.

Route cards are more like guides. They detail the sequence of events and necessary materials for a production, and are more useful for planning than for tracking. A route card does not necessarily mean a particular physical path or direction of travel; we might better describe them as "sequence" cards. They are essentially handed down from someone who has knowledge of the process to someone who is going to actually execute it. 

Job cards are a means of tracking what actually takes place in the production process. The job card is created for a single production, and the work and time that goes into that production is then recorded on the card. We might consider the job card to be a demonstration of one or more steps detailed in the route card. This is then used for bookkeeping, payroll, and so forth.

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Quite simply, a job card involves time to completion and a route card involves travel of a certain part.

A job card is all about timing.  There are many details involved.  What are the materials used?  What is the time allowed so that production doesn't run over?  What did the current report of inspection say?  These are all things that could be found on a job card.  A business will have the number of job cards that equal exactly the number of operations that are done in that business. 

A route card is very different and involves the "journey" of a certain part during the operations described on the job cards above.  Route cards are important in regards to sequencing.  The final product does not just magically appear!  There may be a number of job cards involved (each with a different operation) that will equal the route or "journey" of this part towards the final product.
In conclusion, it's important to note that both job cards and route cards continually change.  Instead of creating entire new sets of cards, the cards can be changed with notations in order to cut down on red tape.
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