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Help required - defining a 'batch'

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    Grade - MIFSQN

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 07:42 AM

Dear All,

Let me introduce myself, I’m new to this forum, I guess I’m after a bit of help. We recently had a audit on site, one of the questions the auditor asked, was how we define a ‘batch’ regarding weight control. Our production batches can be as big or as small as the SKU we are making. However, I understand average weight suggests a batch should be 10,000 units. Am I right in thinking that?


To let you have some information, we operate on the average weight system from Sartorius checkweighers. However, we currently don’t have a electronic system for capturing the data, therefore we record the average weight and T1-T2 every half hour.


Generally, production batches start at 7am and finish at 7pm. An average batch size can equal 77,000 units.


I guess the question I’m asking, do I declare my batch as half-hour intervals? Or do I work to the 10,000 units, or do I work to 7am to 7pm?


I look forward to your response,


Kind Regards,



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Posted 05 June 2013 - 03:05 PM

It depends on your operation. Basically it is the quantity of material prepared or required for one operation; specifically : a mixture of raw materials that are traceable.


If the items at 8:00 am have the same raw materials, with the same date codes, as the ones at 10:00 am, that would only be one batch.  If they overlap, then you may have to make your batch be the daily run. 


This is why 'breaking the chain' is so important.  If you don't physically throw everything way at some point, you have no proof that a tiny bit of what you made on Janurary 1st isn't still floating around on July 30th. 


I hope I addressed your question.

Best regards,


Edited by Setanta, 05 June 2013 - 03:18 PM.





Mr. Incognito

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 05:41 PM

Setanta is right.  It's really very dependent on what you make and how.


At a pasta plant I worked at a batch was the run of pasta and if it went past 7am it became a new batch. So if we ran 5 hours from 11:00 to 16:00 that was one batch.  If we ran 5 hours from 03:00 to 08:00 the last hour would have been a 2nd batch.


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Posted 09 June 2013 - 11:39 AM

Dear all,


basis for the coding requirements is our overall risk assessment. We have defined from the risk point of view (PrPs/HACCP -> tracebility -> recall etc.) that 1 day covers 1 Lot if we are producing one product (defined by article number) as worst case. Change of coding is defined with shift change at 23h each day. Restart of plants after weeking (with deep cleaning) are in most cases on Sunday 23h. Products identified by product name/article number, lot-number and self life date. Where ever possible we are printing time stamp of coding time on box/films to select and perhaps separate product during day.

We are a biscuit manufacturer. Our systems is related to the fact that bulk raw marterials (sugar, flour, chocolate etc.) go into most of the products manufactured on more than 10 lines per plant. Delivery of these bulk materials is in many cases on day by day basis.

Our systems now runs for more than 10 years (time coding started from 2005 step by step) without major problems.






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Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:32 AM

Hi Mr Steveyp!


Welcome to IFSQN.


You said that "Our production batches can be as big or as small as the SKU we are making" - then that is exactly your batch. You don't need to standardize it to the '10,000 units' just for the sake of standardization. 


But you can break down your batch to the smaller lots - the 10,000 units will do. So your 1 batch of 77,000 can have 7 lots of 10,000 and 1 lot of 7,000.


Cheers  :smile: 

Edited by MCIAN, 10 June 2013 - 01:32 AM.


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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:43 AM


if you are producing continously, it is not easy to define a batch. There the way woulld be perhaps a filling of a tank or something else. If you run semi- or discontinously, usually one tank/silo can be your batch. The bigger you define a batch, the more product you have to recall in case of problems. But if you use bulk raw materials, and have different mixing steps or not totally empting tanks, also small lots may end up in big amaount of products recalled.



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