CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart


  • Kosmas AlexopoulosEmail author
  • George Chryssolouris
Reference work entry



A process can be defined as a set of one or more tasks that work together in order to transform inputs into outputs. These tasks may be carried out by people or machines using resources such as energy or material.

Extended Definition

In business and engineering, a process is a collection of tasks designed to produce specific outputs for specific inputs. An output may be a physical object (such as a product), a service (such as transportation of an object), or an overall business result such as completing a customer order. The process consumes resources and has a specific ordering of work activities across time and place, with a beginning and an end. In most cases, it is designed and operates in order to create value of some kind for the business.

A manufacturing processis a special class of processes and is defined as the use of one or more physical mechanisms to transform the shape of a material’s shape and/or form and/or...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (LMS), Department of Mechanical Engineering and AeronauticsUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece