die Stapelverarbeitung (pl. -en) / die Batchverarbeitung – batch processing
Stapel means “batch” (more on that later).
Any guesses for what Verarbeitung means…?
If you guessed “processing”, then you’d be 100% correct! (It also means “workmanship”.)
Verarbeiten was once in the past bearbeiten (“to process”, “to work”).
Literally, it meant to eliminate or remove something by working at it (“durch Arbeit beseitigen”).
That is certainly a valid way of looking at it.
Now, what of Stapel? It comes from Middle Low German stapel, a place for stacked goods. (Stapel also means “stack” or “pile”.)
It’s equivalent to the Middle High German Staffel, and originally meant a kind of post, block or column.
I’m not too sure how the meaning of batch came to be associated with a word that originally referred to a stack.
Perhaps it had to do with how batch can also mean the amount of bread that is baked at a single time. After baking, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that the bread would be kept in stacks, and the same word would be used to apply to both.
This is just my guess. Who knows for sure? I couldn’t find any more at this point, but maybe there is a story buried somewhere.