Challenges in mass production and high-mix, low-volume industry
Production planning and scheduling can be a time consuming, tedious task especially in high-mix low-volume industry. As work is completed, as new orders are introduced, and as other changes (e.g. machine breakdowns) occur, the schedule needs to be modified and / or regenerated.
Nowadays, most of the production planners make use of software such as spreadsheets (i.e. Excel) to essentially automate manual scheduling . While spreadsheets sped up scheduling, they did little to effective scheduling due to lack of flexibility to handle dynamic changes in production shop floor. Furthermore, it can’t provide instant information on what happening in the shop floor that allow management to take immediate actions.
Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) System provides an easy to use tool for planners to visualise and sequence the schedule as required. It is a considerable step up from a spreadsheet but without the burden of a heavy finite capacity scheduling system. It also improves the communication of the plan to the production lines. With this solution let you can:
- Create orders manually, download orders from the ERP system or import from Excel
- Schedule orders to lines, with rules that ensure that certain products are restricted to certain lines
- View orders with common features, e.g. products that share a common attribute (colour, size, material) – which is often how schedules are built up to minimise change-over time.
- Predict order completion dates to ensure delivery deadlines can be met.
- Visualise as an order list or as a Gantt chart.
- Reschedule orders to run on different lines or a different machine in the sequence, after which the effect on the schedule is instantly recalculated.
- The schedule is live; any changes to the schedule are immediately reflected at the line, so operators always know what should be running next.
- Online production output performance and delivery performance.
- Save time – It helps you to generate production schedules easily, with instant feedback on the consequences of the schedule and impact on deadlines
- Better job scheduling decisions – planners have the tools to see the impact of rescheduling
- Faster reaction times – to respond to unplanned events and be able to reconfigure the plan
- Communication – everyone sees the latest copy of the plan automatically – whenever it changes
- Avoid mistakes – allow planners to send special instructions to operatives on a job by job basis
- Live update of progress – as production achievement is fed in, see if any jobs in the queue will miss deadlines