Signing the Contract, Creating Data, Starting Operation and Maintenance

When your company formally decides to implement the system with Asprova, purchase the licenses for the required modules. You may refer to the “Modules and options” about the details for the modules. See table below.

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Make sure that a project team has been formed for Asprova implementation. The team should consist of one person, responsible for the whole project, and 2 or more responsible for the implementation.

For the people in charge of the actual implementation, please assign one or more people from your manufacturing site as they know well about the scheduling requirement and one or more people from your information systems department as they are well-experienced in system requirements.

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To ensure a smooth and successful implementation, it is very important to share the professional backgrounds and knowledge between the team members.

Estimated timeline of a project is usually 3-6 months – from kick off to project implementation.
It is an example of the required work during the implementation of a scheduling system for specific production.

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The very first step of implementing a project is to define the requirements together with the system coverage they provide. Please refine the requirements definition and make a “Fit&Gap analysis” for the scheduling requirements for each operation.

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The purpose is to sort out the priorities and corresponding actions. To be able to visualize your expectations with respect to the scheduling requirements, it is recommended to make a graphical representation for the assignment results. See sample below.

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The next step is the Data Preparation. This step makes up most of the implementation, in most cases. Delays may occur as it takes a lot of time for preparing, if the accuracy of parameters measuring is low, for example, for the production capacities. In such cases, it is recommend to ensure the accuracy of your data and improve it further during implementation. In addition, when constructing the “Scheduling parameters” and implementing the scheduling logic, it is recommend that you start with a small amount of data.

If you start it with all the data at the very beginning, it will take a lot of time not only for preparing all the data, but also for identifying the bottle necks. Please start with the data from the prototype first, and add to the amount gradually by 30%, 70%, and 100% of the total.

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Next, let’s consider the manufacturing and operation processes together with the study of related documentation, such as the various technology-related instructions.

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It is necessary to cooperate with external program systems with regards to data communications. To proceed with development of such new software, please specify the interfaces with them.

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Summarize the manufacturing methods in an operation manual.

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Check each table to confirm whether we can smoothly input/output the data during testing.

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Then prepare the test samples for the system test and test the parallel operation.

Besides the testing of the implementation of defined requirements, please test your specific scenarios, such as sudden changes of orders, etc.

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In particular, in most cases re-scheduling will be performed on daily basis, so to simulate this, let’s not forget to perform the transaction tests for the whole system. Make sure that problems do not occur in such cases as irregular changes of orders and master data, and also consider an execution time of scheduling.

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You also have to provide training for your staff, based on a study of the operation manuals. Check the operation manuals and update as necessary. Upon completion of the tests, stop the old system and officially launch the new system, based on the “Asprova” scheduler. After official launch, maintenance of the system is necessary in order to add or change the production items, manufacturing equipment, etc. Because of this, conclude a maintenance contract with the “Asprova” company in order to use Asprova for a long period time.

There are many specifics in every project implemented with Asprova, therefore only the common procedures are explained. The scheduler is just a tool and its essential task is to make a schedule fast. The effect will be different depending on the manner of implementation.

To succeed in implementation, make sure that you have the correct definition of the requirements, the relevant prototype and the proper test procedures.

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To learn more about Asprova specific to this sample demonstration, you may visit Asprova’s online help and its e-Learning videos at http://lib.asprova.com/ (see 26.How to plan and conduct the introduction project.).

 

Creating a Prototype and Investigating Systematization

In this article, we will continue to use the details regarding the definition of the current situation and goals.

To gather proper requirements for planning, we need to specify the requirements e.g. define the periods, processes and cycles of the scheduling objectives.

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Since the items above are too broad, add or change them according to your needs.
Then define the requirements for the system.

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To have more clarity on roles, define also the relationships with the external systems. At this stage, it is also often difficult to make final decisions. In such cases, please take one step further and verify the prototype.

The analysis also becomes easier if the necessary data and input/output are specified.
In addition, we need to define the requirements for the orders, master data and the results.

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Make sure to align them with the contents of the “Diagnostic sheet” and their influence to future results.

If there is a need to define requirement for other items, you may just add a new sheet and define them.

Now, we create the prototype.

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We will be needing the data about the BOM of each item, manufacturing processes, working shifts and calendars, orders and inventories.

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You may refer to the Diagnostic sheet for the items which production is to be scheduled.

To make the verification process smoothly running, we suggest to start with a small amount of data.

To study how to create prototypes and input the data into Asprova, please refer to the previous articles: “How to make a prototype” and “User interface”.

After the prototype is created and the data is specified, check them for their conformance to the requirements.

  • Whether or not orders were registered as thought.
  • Whether or not operations are displayed as wanted.
  • Whether or not the mesh of the operations is too narrow.
  • Whether or not the scheduling results are the same as expected.
  • Whether or not the actual results can be reflected as thought.
  • Whether or not system cooperation works as expected.

Pay special attention to the mesh of the operations because it affects the complexity of scheduling and the whole system, so the mesh must not be too fine. The appropriate mesh of the processes is the target processes of the work instructions.

If it is not possible to implement with standard features, you can opt to do manual adjustments or the development of additional programs. Otherwise, avoid it.

To learn more about Asprova specific to this sample demonstration, you may visit Asprova’s online help and its e-Learning videos at http://lib.asprova.com/ (see 26.How to plan and conduct the introduction project.).

 

 

Understanding the Current Situation and Setting Goals

First, let us analyze the current situation and the goals. You can further clarify them with the help of filling out the “Diagnostic sheet”.

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Here is a sample of the Diagnostic sheet – which covers all pertinent information to assess whether Asprova will be suitable for you or not.

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First step is to specify your tasks and goals. When setting up the concrete values and priorities, make sure that the goals are not ambiguous.

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In cases with ambiguous goals, it will become difficult to define concrete requirements later.
As a result, the system will not operate properly and the benefits of implementation may not be seen.

Specify a production scheduling method, and define the scheduling objectives and describe problems causing bottle-necks.

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Roughly enumerate all production processes to cover all the operations and the scheduling objectives.

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Consider the proper units for the production processes when creating the prototype.

In addition, provide the relevant information about the working shifts and the manufacturing equipment capacities, etc.

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Consider the orders to be handled, the statuses of the operations and the inventory status.

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Finally, check the status of the production management system.

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All the data filled in the Diagnostic Sheet will be used in the next step for scoping

To learn more about Asprova specific to this sample demonstration, you may visit Asprova’s online help and its e-Learning videos at http://lib.asprova.com/ (see 26.How to plan and conduct the introduction project.).

 

Scenario 5 – Export Purchase Requisition

In this scenario, we will export the “Purchase requisition”:

  • We will figure out the required quantities of purchasing items and auto-replenish the manufacturing orders
  • We will schedule the time to place an order and the due date.
  • We will export to the external file the scheduled due dates and quantities of purchasing items.

We will start with the last state of Scenario 4.Using the purchase item “X”, switch the Auto-replenish flag to “Yes” in the Item table. Set “Prefer to purchase” as Obtain method and “10000” as Purchase lot size MIN/MAX.

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Go to the Data I/O table and select the Field mapping of “Purchase requisition (Export)”.

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This is the format of the TSV file for purchase requisition.

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The due date is connected with the end time of the order.

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Let’s export the due date as the end time.

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Click on the Export filter expression to set the Export filter expression. Switch the Export to “Yes (all)” and set “Type==P” as [Export filter expression].

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Switch to the Order table and run the Reschedule button.

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You will then see that the purchase order has been auto-replenished with 10000 items of Item “X”.

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Go to the Resource Gantt chart to check on the purchase order.

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The lead time for purchasing is 24hours where the start time means the time to place an order and the end time means the due date. The due date for this purchase order is 10:40 on June 10th as stated in the box above.

Let’s export this. The file “25.07 Purchase Requisite (Export)” will be created and the data of the purchase order will be the output. It is the plan that will purchase 10000 items of “X” at 10:40 on June 10th.

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To learn more about Asprova specific to this sample demonstration, you may visit Asprova’s online help and its e-Learning videos at http://lib.asprova.com/ (see 25. ERP Interface).

 

Scenario 3 – Import planned independent requirements and customer requirements

In this scenario, Asprova implements the MRP (Material requirements planning) system
by importing data such as Planned Independent Requirement and Customer Requirement from external systems. Thus, making it possible to schedule sales orders.

In Asprova, both Planned Independent Requirement and Customer Requirement are called a Sales order.

Let us open the file 25.05 Scenario 3 – Import planned independent requirements and customer requirements.

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This is the Data I/O table – the data setting for Planned Independent Requirement.

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Click on the Field mapping to see the details. The format of the TSV file for Planned Independent Requirement is on the right side.

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The contents are as follows: The Item name is “AX” and the quantity is 500. The due date is June 11th. The contents of the TSV file for Customer Requirement is as follows:

The order code is SalesOrder2. The due date is June 12th. This will be considered as the sales order.

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Go to the Item table and set the auto-replenishment. Switch the Auto-replenish flag for “AX” to “Yes” and set “1000” as Production lot size MIN/MAX.

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Do the same for item A, adjust the Auto-replenish flag to “Yes” and set “5000” as Production lot size MIN/MAX.

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To run the MRP, we need the inventory data of the items “A” and “AX”. The file below is the TSV file of the inventory: The order code is “Inventory1”. The item is “A” and the quantity is 500. Another order code is “Inventory2”. The item is “AX” and the quantity is 100.

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Go to the Order table and import the inventory TSV files.

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Press the [Reschedule] button.

You will see in the Order table that the manufacturing order will be replenished automatically to produce 1000 items of “AX” and 5000 items of “A”.

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Go to the Resource Gantt chart and see the result. You will see that the Sales Order1 uses the inventory of item “AX”, and then the auto-replenishment manufacturing order to prevent a shortage. AT the bottom part of the chart, you will see also the result of Sales Order2.

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Asprova implements the MRP (Material requirements planning) system by importing such data as [Planned Independent Requirement] and [Customer Requirement] from external systems. Thus, Asprova makes possible the scheduling of sales orders.

To learn more about Asprova specific to this sample demonstration, you may visit Asprova’s online help and its e-Learning videos at http://lib.asprova.com/ (see 25. ERP Interface).

 

Branched Process

Branching process function in Asprova allows you to branch a process in the middle of the production process. Some samples of this function are as follows:

  • For by-products that are produced in the chemical reaction of raw materials separately from the production process of the final item.
  • For car parts that are produced together up to a certain process and then branched into separate processes in the final stage.

Branching operations will be assigned when you enter a branch process in the Integrated Master Editor of an item.

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The first step to branching a process is to enter an output instruction at the process where branching will take place. Let’s do this in the Reacting/Extracting process of item “P”. The instruction code of an output instruction is set as “Out” by default. However, you can also use another arbitrary code.

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Make sure when entering a branch process to specify a different instruction code for each output.

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Set Instruction code to Out2 and Item/Resource to P-10-Sub. Set the Previous process numbers to the appropriate output instructions and input instructions so that the Reacting/Extracting process will create a branch into two processes. For the previous process numbers, register the process numbers of the branch destinations that input the items specified by the output instructions.

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If an output item is an item that is an input to the following process, the previous process number doesn’t need be entered. Next, enter the branch destination process Preparation by-product. Enter an Input instruction, Use instruction, and Output instruction as shown in the table below.

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If there are items in a branched process that are not loaded into another process, specify -1 in the previous process number.

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You can also enter the Time constraint method and Time constraint MIN in the input instruction of branch processes.

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Run the reschedule button to see that the operation of each process will be assigned.

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By looking at the operations assigned to resource Reactor, you will see that the process has been branched into two: PreparationMachine and MoldingMachine.

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In this way, you will be able to easily create production schedules that branch in the middle of the production of a given item, by entering output instructions.

To learn more about Asprova specific to this sample demonstration, you may visit Asprova’s online help and its e-Learning videos at http://lib.asprova.com/ (see 24. Scheduling Logic).

 

Safety Stock Inventory MIN

Safety stock can be registered using the auto-replenishment function. If safety stock is applied, orders will be generated automatically to prevent inventory from falling below a certain level.

For example, let us set safety stock at 500. Input 500 into the Inventory MIN at the Item table.

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You will see a red line displayed in the Inventory graph – this indicates the value of the Inventory MIN a.k.a. the level of the safety stock.

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Run the reschedule button, you will see that the inventory will be automatically replenished in order to not fall below the 500 level.

As the inventory is 0 at the scheduling basis time, the planning will be done while ensuring the safety stock level is met from the very beginning.

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However, please note that this does not work when the Auto-replenished flag is set to Yes (one-to-one production) or Yes (inventory+one-to-one production). Automatic replenishment of safety stock is only done when set to Yes. So, please ensure to register the right settings.

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When the initial inventory is larger than the safety stock, in order to prevent unnecessary stock, the replenishment production will be delayed automatically, until it becomes necessary.

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There is no need to worry about when to start manufacturing. As an advanced setting, it is possible to specify the safety stock levels by time periods. To learn more about Asprova specific to this sample demonstration, you may visit Asprova’s online help and search Operation Split or its e-Learning videos at http://lib.asprova.com/ (see 24. Scheduling Logic).