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Production ( Latin producere , to lead out), in particular for objects also production , fabrication or processing , processing , in legal parlance production , are the processes of transformation brought about by workers ( producers ) through labor , which are made from natural as well as already produced raw materials ( Materials) using energy and certain means of production to produce storable economic or consumer goods ( economic good ).

In his contributions to political economy defined Karl Marx , the production philosophy in the context of social systems as economic process in addition to the distribution , the distribution / appropriation and consumption .

From the point of view of business administration , production as part of the business process is an operational function in companies . A comprehensive consideration of production extends not only to organizational and technological aspects, but also to more general sociocultural and ethical-normative values about work , to which it is subject as one of the fundamental processes for meeting human needs .

Definition of terms Production, manufacture, processing, machining

The term production refers to the manufacture of goods in general. Production takes place in industry , in craft , in agriculture and forestry , in mining , or in the artistic field. This production is generally divided into primary production (primary sector of the economy), i.e. the production of economic goods from natural resources, and the production of goods . In this regard, the terms production and processing are fluid, for example, in terms of the economic system, a distinction is made between metal manufacturers (mining and smelting) and metal processors (goods production), the intermediate production of semi-finished products (such as sheet metal), in and of itself also merchandise, is usually still the Assigned to manufacturers, even though raw metal has already been processed in terms of production technology. The terms manufacturing or fabrication are limited to handicraft and industrial goods and goods.

Machining refers to changing the external shape of a workpiece; During processing , the raw part is consumed and is in a chemically different form, for example burned in the case of fuels or melted out during the processing of ores into metals.

In agriculture, for example, in fruit growing, the commodities for table fruit are produced directly without any processing, while the food production sector primarily comprises the processing of animals and plants.

Services can also be produced , but they produce and consume at the same time. In publishing houses , the traditional designation of production remains as a large work area, responsible for paper and online organization, typesetting, etc. Economic goods that cannot be stored, such as electricity or compressed air, are provided .

Production in various sciences

Production engineering

In industrial production technology , a distinction is made between production (of piece goods), process technology (of flow goods / from raw materials to goods) and energy technology .

  • Under manufacturing means the manufacturing and assembly of countable fixed parts with a geometrically defined shape (so-called unit loads). The manufacturing technology describes the manufacturing processes such as casting, forging, milling or welding.
  • The energy technology deals with extraction, conversion, transport, storage and use of energy in all its forms.
  • In process engineering , the processing of raw materials into a product is primarily considered , using chemical-physical or biological processes. It stands between the extraction of raw materials and the completion of products. A distinction is made between continuous and discontinuous processes. Here, the freight emissions are usually measured mass or volume-oriented, as it is difficult or impossible countable is about flour, salt, iron, or medication pills. Areas of application are v. a. the chemical and food industries, raw material extraction as well as fluid and bulk materials such as cement.

Business administration

Business administration conducts production as one of the classic functions in the company ( procurement , production, sales ). Production can still be related to development , construction , work preparation , manufacturing and assembly . These processes need to be coordinated and managed. Production management and industrial management are primarily concerned with it . The consideration of production is partly oriented towards industrial production, partly also manual and other production methods are included. Some scientists only consider the production of material goods as production, others explicitly include services. Since it is not clear in the case of “production” whether services are included, some scientists use the term “ provision of services ” to make it clear that services and material goods are meant. Similarly, the utilization of services for sales is also spoken of. The background to this is that more and more material goods are being sold together with services, for example in the case of a manufacturer of a complex machine who takes on the training of employees in the customer company, as well as the programming, maintenance and delivery of spare parts.

There are several definitions of production

  • Production as a combination of factors . The production factors labor, operating resources and materials are combined to produce products. This definition goes back to Erich Gutenberg, who only looked at the production of material goods.
  • Production as a phase in the company that lies between procurement and sales. This definition is narrower because factors are also combined in procurement, sales and all other areas of the company. It is emphasized here that a transformation takes place in production and not just a transfer such as B. in transport, or a change of ownership such as in procurement and sales.
  • Production as added value. This definition sees itself primarily as a demarcation from consumption, in which values ​​are destroyed. But it also includes processes in which z. B. Waste is destroyed (waste incineration plant), since the products are also worth more than the raw materials. While material goods can be stored, i.e. consumed or used after production, this is not the case with services. “They are produced and consumed at the same time. In this context, the terms manufacturing, manufacturing or fabrication are used synonymously. "

From a business point of view, the various production processes are differentiated according to the number of manufactured parts as a classification criterion (individual, series, mass production) and the production organization (workshop or series production).

National economy

Economically , terms such as manufacturing industry and production value are used. In economics , production theory describes the derivation of the supply curve ( supply (economics) ) in the market model. Starting from a technology that describes all technically feasible combinations of input factors, the most efficient combination of factors - for given prices - can be derived (so-called profit maximization ). The factor demand and the supply of goods can be derived from this.


  • H.-J. Hoitsch: Production economy . Basics of industrial business administration. 2nd Edition. Vahlen 1993.
  • H. Corsten: Production Management . 10th edition. Munich / Vienna 2003.
  • H. Dyckhoff: Production Theory . 5th edition. Berlin 2006.
  • B. Ebel: Production Management. 8th edition. Ludwigshafen 2003.
  • G. Fandel: Production 1. 6th edition. Berlin 2005.
  • E. Gutenberg: Fundamentals of business administration, first volume: The production. 24th edition. Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 1983.
  • Th. Nebl: Production economy . 6th edition. Munich / Vienna 2007.
  • Alfred Herbert Fritz, Günter Schulze (ed.): Manufacturing technology. 10., rework. Edition. Springer, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-642-29785-4 .
  • Hans Günther Hirschberg: Handbook of process engineering and plant construction. Chemistry, technology, economy . Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 1999, ISBN 3-540-60623-8 .

Web links

Wiktionary: manufacture  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Manufacturing  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: to produce  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: production  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Production  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Producer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: produce  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Production - Duden , Bibliographisches Institut ; 2016
  2. ^ Production - Duden , Bibliographisches Institut ; 2016
  3. ^ Fabrication - Duden , Bibliographisches Institut ; 2016
  4. ^ Production - Duden , Bibliographisches Institut ; 2016
  5. ^ Günther Gäpfel: Production Management: Operative Production Management. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1982, ISBN 3-11-007450-8 , p. 5.
  6. ^ H. Corsten: Production economy . 10th edition. Munich / Vienna 2003, p. 1.
  7. Erich Zahn, Uwe Schmidt: Production Management. Volume 1: Basics and operational production management . UTB, Stuttgart, ISBN 978-3-8252-8126-7 , p. 65.