Flowcharts are an important part of planning a process. They are used in many different fields of expertise and industry, and depending on the subject they can have different attributes.
Within manufacturing, flowcharts can be used to design and plan control systems. All flowcharts use the same symbols, linked with arrows to show direction of the flow. This is important, without symbols that match the flowchart will be much harder to read.
An example of a set of manufacturing flowchart symbols can include: Ovals, parallelograms, rectangles and diamonds.
Using this example, the flowchart starts and ends with the oval ‘start’ and ‘end’ symbols. Inputs and outputs are shown as parallelograms and processes as rectangles. Sometimes the process box links to a sub-routine – another flowchart with more detailed steps, which then feeds back into the main process. The diamond shape is a “decision box”, which checks an input or condition before carrying on.