There are many different types of events that can happen during a manufacturing process. E.g.

  • Built Step1
  • Build Step2
  • Test
  • Checked into repairs
  • Checkout out of repairs
  • Packaged
  • Dspatched, etc.

I see two ways to model each step:

  1. Have separate independant tables. Each table with its own timestamp field.
  2. Extract the timestamp field from the tables, and place it in a common event tables which has say 2 fields:
    • timestamp field
    • A column which links it to which type of event it is (which table has the specific details for that type of event).
    • Could also have a user field to track who did what etc.

Any reasons why not to use way 2 (event table)? It seems advantages for running reports on what events happened during a certain time frame. A way of uniting events in the factory. But my research seems to always point towards avoiding any common function tables.

1 Answer 1


Having an EVENT table sounds reasonable, particularly if there is a set of attributes common to all events. I would tend towards a more descriptive table name, perhaps MANUFACTURING_EVENT (or some terminology used by people in that industry). I would then have detail tables for specific manufacturing events with a FK relationship to the parent.

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