Why is Production Scheduling Necessary?

Flickr © David Goehring
Flickr © David Goehring

Production scheduling is an important tool in helping the company provide accurate, real-time schedules, decision support and available-to-promise date and quantities. It is a manufacturing planning tool that is used to represent what the company plans to produce expressed in specific configurations, quantities and dates. It takes into account the forecast, the production plan, and other important considerations such as backlog, availability of material, availability of capacity, and management policies and goals. Some of the scheduling techniques available are:

  • Finite and Infinite Capacity Scheduling – Finite Capacity scheduling is a detailed scheduling strategy that considers resource load capacity versus Infinite Capacity that doesn’t. For example, if there is an order of 1,000 pieces on August 30, through finite capacity planning, the system will schedule this based on available capacity and will adjust production start dates as necessary, whereas infinite capacity planning will schedule all the orders at the same time assuming that sufficient capacity is available.
  • Backward and Forward Scheduling  – This is a technique used for calculating production start and due dates. Backward schedule is computed starting with the due date and working backwards to determine the required start date based on the set lead time. Forward schedule is computed starting on the first possible date the product is available and schedules the remaining activities from that point. For example, an order is released with a due date of Sep 30. Assuming a total of 20 days lead time from setup, to production, to delivery, through backward scheduling, the order will start processing on Sep 10. On the other hand, through forward scheduling, the system looks for the first possible date the product can start processing, for example, it is available for processing on Aug 25, the product will be ready as early as Sep 15.
  • Just-In-Time Scheduling  – “A philosophy of manufacturing based on planned elimination of all waste and continuous improvement of productivity.” It is designed to have the product available just-in-time by having the required inventory only as needed and shortening lead times through reduction of setup or queue time.

Now, imagine all of these techniques being done manually or through Excel, coupled with sudden changes in the production line – increase in order quantity, change in due date, machine breakdown etc. It is going to be very difficult for the employee to keep up. Asprova Production Scheduling is designed to assist the scheduler in arriving at a realistic production plan through a series of adjustment and simulation process in the system.

Asprova APS can help evaluate and revise plan based on available inventory and capacity constraints. It uses Heuristic rules to perform optimization and simulation that will allow a company to quickly respond to sudden changes. It will also help in maintaining desired level of customer service, making best use of resources, keeping inventories at desired level resulting to production efficiency and reduced costs.

For a detailed example on how Asprova APS works, you may visit our official e-Learning website HERE.



Source: APICS Dictionary, 12th Edition


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