Accurate scheduling for ‘lights-out’ manufacturing

Posted on 14 Apr 2019 and read 953 times
Accurate scheduling for ‘lights-out’ manufacturingBerkshire-based PSL Datatrack (www.psldata track.com) offers a flexible modular production control software system designed for both small and medium-size manufacturing businesses.

The system helps companies to manufacture parts right first time, sell them at the right price and deliver on time; it also provides vital information to management and the shopfloor, with users being able to bolt on modules as required to the core software programme.

A new development in the software’s Scheduler module allows users to take into account ‘lights out’ running and varying shift patterns and to plan and maximise the production flow throughout a factory, by ensuring that jobs on the shopfloor are correctly prioritised and the required materials are always available.

The Scheduler automatically sets out each operation to provide a realistic representation of the production work-flow, with dates for each process step calculated on either the target date for an order to be despatched or the available production capacity.

If calculated by target date, the system will report the latest start and end dates for each required operation to complete the job on time.

If calculated by capacity, the system will tell the user the earliest available start and end dates.

An estimated date for the completion of the final operation can then be compared to the target date, providing an early warning of jobs that could potentially be late.

Reports on real-time production status can be generated, and the entire schedule can be instantly recalculated after any action has been taken.

Reports generated through the Scheduler are available in the form of lists and graphs and offer many benefits both to a company’s management team (and also to their customers).

For example, the ‘Work-To-List’ shows the sequence in which operations should be performed within a given cost centre, while graphical reports help with early identification of production bottlenecks and make management aware of potential problems before they arise, enabling informed decisions to be made.

The Scheduler Listing Screen provides fast flexible filtering of production operation records and shows information such as outstanding quantity and hours remaining, while the Shop Floor Data Collection module provides a record of the progress made throughout each operation of a process.

It collects production information from the shopfloor to automatically update the Scheduler without manually retyping any information.

Data from the Scheduler can also be shown around a factory on Status Boards, which show shopfloor operatives which works orders are scheduled and when for.

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