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Process Industries Division

What are the Process Industries?

The process industries are those industries where the primary production processes are either continuous, or occur on a batch of materials that is indistinguishable. For example, a food processing company making sauce may make the sauce in a continuous, uninterrupted flow from receipt of ingredients through packaging. Or batches may be produced depending on the cook kettle sizes but immediately combined and re-routed. In either case, there is no concept of a unit of sauce while it is being processed. Examples of the process industries include food, beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, ceramics, base metals, coal, plastics, rubber, textiles, tobacco, wood and wood products, paper and paper products, etc.

For more on the role of industrial engineering in process industries, read "Making Cereal Not Cars," a primer on process industries. This article was published in the December 2008 issue of Industrial Engineer magazine and is available only to IISE members. If you are not a member, join IISE for access to this article as well as additional member-only benefits.

What is the Process Industries Division?

Applying industrial engineering tools in the process industries can vary greatly from applying these same tools in discrete parts manufacturing. The Process Industries Division is a forum for the exchange of ideas in theory and practice of industrial engineering techniques applied to process industries; facilitating greater interactions among industry and academic professionals by organizing.

Archived webinars

Did you miss a webinar? View previously held webinars here.

Value Stream Mapping for the Process Industries

Value Stream Mapping and the Process IndustriesPete King, past president of the IISE Process Industries Division had his third book published in May 2015. The book is titled, Value Stream Mapping for the Process Industries, published by CRC Press.

Publishers summary of the book: "So far, lean initiatives in the process industry were handicapped by the fact that all good books on Value Stream Mapping refer to discrete manufacturing. Food, pharma and chemical processes are by their nature different and need an adapted approach. Building on Pete King’s deep hands-on experience, this book provides the process industry with a state of the art toolkit to eliminate waste and reach breakthrough performance. Using a process operation as an example, it describes how to create the VSM, how to analyze it to find wastes and barriers to smooth flow, and how to use future state VSMs to define a roadmap for a complete lean transformation."

Pete's other books are The Product Wheel Handbook – Creating Balanced Flow in Multi-Product Process Operations and Lean for the Process Industries: Dealing with Complexity.

PID members contributions to IE literature


  • "Reinventing the (product) wheel – Scheduling strategy makes for better flow," by Peter L. King (with Jennifer S. King) in the November 2013 issue of IE Magazine
  • "Building Long-Term Success for your Lean Initiative," by Vincent W. Howell, FSME, forthcoming in the April 2015 issue of Ceramic Industry Magazine
  • "Yokoten: Multiplying Lean Success in Ceramic and Glass Manufacturing," by Vincent W. Howell, FSME, May 2014 issue of Ceramic Industry Magazine


August 2016
April 2015

PID Personnel News

If you have an award, publication, promotion, etc., share the news with your colleagues in PID. Email to Anna Oleander.

Process Industries Division Bylaws

Process Industries Division Board