In production, acoustic priorisation means that who is making the biggest noise is the first to receive attention. This results in some other job getting delayed and in work queue disruptions that have at least an indirect effect on the business of the entire company.
”When something pushes its way into the queue, the result is an uncontrolled situation that leads to unnecessary disruptions. To keep production flowing smoothly, the production situation must be reevaluated continuously,” Olli Kanerva from Roima says.
There is too much fragmented data in the enterprise resource planning system for real-time planning: a tool that can quickly provide a sense of the situation is needed.
”Works Balancer (Advanced Planning and Scheduling, APS) displays the detail-level data in graphic form. This makes it a perfect tool for the workshop: it quickly shows what is happening now in production and what should happen in future. If something is not being done now, it should be rescheduled to a appropriate place in the work queue,” Kanerva says.
Works Balancer is a visual workbench that supports planners in scheduling and workload balancing. Work schedule plans can be easily changed with a mouse and the effects of the changes are immediately visible.
In real life, the exception is the rule
Typically production orders are scheduled only once, and planners do not replan these schedules later. If there is a disruption in production, problems with materials, broken machines or sick leaves – all of which, however, can be regarded as part of the normal flow of business –this leads to a situation where production plan does not represent real life. In this kind of situation the supervisors start to suboptimize production order schedule.
Is the order in which production orders are produced then determined by how loud someone is expressing himself or by some other factor?
Olli Kanerva notes that exceptions happen every day in every business, so corrective actions must be easy to do and part of the routine.
”If work is scheduled once and never touched again, then enterprise resource planning doesn’t have a clue about what is happening in production. When production order has incorrect schedule, then the work queue is wrong, so other control methods are easily adopted,” Kanerva says.
The time axis can be viewed at the monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly levels if necessary.
Production plans must be updated regularly
Although shop floor activities are immediately visible in Works Balancer, also all other changes in the production environment must be taken into account in production plans. Update needs may stem from production itself, sales operations or even machine breakdowns or sick leaves.
The idea behind continuous planning is that production plans are reviewed and updated regularly.
”Production cells must work on tasks according to the work queue made in the production planning, so that the desired result comes out from the production. Up-to-date data allows, for example, loads to be balanced by switching production orders from one machine to another and allows companies to get more out of the production line with overall planning,” Kanerva says.
”We have a practical example of how the workshop’s delivery reliability improved by 30 percent because Balancer allowed the user to give the customer a realistic delivery time promise,” Olli Kanerva says.
Continuous planning leads to more precise information
The logic of continuous planning often leads to more precise routing. ”In companies that have not adapted continuous planning, the routing is clearly rougher and estimates of operation duration and load are often erroneous,” Olli Kanerva says.
Incorrect routing data particularly accumulates in long series. Kanerva stress that there is no need to go into details in monitoring. Production planners do not need individual-level data or measurements, only a reliable general picture as a basis for resource allocation.
“Although the benefits of graphical tools in planning are indeed clear, it is more a question of continuous optimization of the process than adopting new software. There is much to be gained by adopting the ideology of continuous planning,” Olli Kanerva notes.
Lean System Works Balancer
Lean System’s Balancer Suite consists of tools for industrial manufacturers. These tools are designed for the continuous planning of production, purchases, and projects in ever changing operating environments. Balancer turns the massive, detail-level data of enterprise resource planning systems into clear, multidimensional graphics. This enables quick visual overview to be made of the situation.
The load report displays the development of the capacity and load of the selected resource.