This article is a review of the webinar, “Production Scheduling: An explanation of what production scheduling could mean for you and a demonstration of a scheduling system.” The webinar covers four main areas: an overview of planning levels; market leading technologies, the benefits and functions of production scheduling; and finally, a demo case of the manufacturing of a paper bags.
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Real-Time Production Scheduling
In Supply Chain Planning, Production Scheduling defines what machines on the shop floor should do as well as which operations they should carry out at certain times and in certain sequences. It is very detailed scheduling. It creates optimized demand-driven schedules, taking all constraints and parameters into account. It delivers work orders on time in full and automatically allocates raw materials.
Once you have generated a production schedule and it is being executed, last minute orders, process disruptions, out-of-stock raw materials or other unexpected events require immediate rescheduling of the production process in real-time. Local rescheduling often causes production or capacity issues further down the chain, while full and automated rescheduling takes all possible consequences into account and derives an adjusted schedule that minimizes disruptions.
Benefits and Functions of Production Scheduling
Production scheduling seeks to help production companies organize several manufacturing operations to achieve business objectives. Let’s take a look at the benefits that production scheduling can bring to these companies:
- Increase productivity. It is simply producing more with the same resources. Using an intelligent production scheduler, a production company can increase its productivity between 2-15% with the same resources. This means that with the same machines, it can produce 2-15% more. This is because the initial schedule that is generated is more efficient, but also because the real-time rescheduling capability generates a new schedule automatically in case of a disturbance. No time is lost by trying to create a new schedule because a new schedule is created instantly. Therefore, there are no disruptions in production.
- Increase delivery performance. Make sure orders are produced on time by scheduling operations according to their due dates. Delivering the orders on time to customers is essential for production companies.
- Decrease inventories and waste. Decrease waste by allocating the right material to the right orders. Decrease inventories by producing the right amount at the right time. Decrease WIP by scheduling multiple steps ahead.
By using an intelligent production scheduler, you can put different weights on different business goals. Thus, if delivery performance is more important than productivity, you can put some more weight on delivery performance and a little less weight on productivity. The platform will generate a schedule according to those different weights.
Now, let’s look at some of the most common functions of production scheduling.
- Sequencing. Determining the sequence of production steps on machines.
- Material flow. Sequencing multiple successive production steps of an order.
- Creating batches. Combining different operations to be processed simultaneously.
- Campaigns. Grouping similar operations in the sequence, always taking into account delivery performance. If campaigns are too large, they can conflict with delivery performance.
- Material allocation. Assigning components or raw materials in an efficient and optimal way to the orders.
Demonstration of a Scheduling System: Paper bags Demo
In the webinar, you can learn about a demo case called “the paper bags Demo”. The use case focuses on a company that produces paper bags with different colors and different sizes. The paper bags production process has 3 operations or production steps:
- Printing: Large rolls of paper go to the printing machine, and then different designs and logos are printed. There is some setting time in the printing machines caused by color changes.
- Casing: The roll of paper is cut into big pieces. Those pieces, which are in a tube shaped form, are then glued together.
- Inserting bottom: A bottom is inserted into that tube shaped form. And then the bag is ready to be delivered.
The business goals are: maximizing delivery performance to make sure that the customers get their products on time, and maximizing productivity and being efficient.
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