Good Production Schedule
A good production schedule helps manufacturing organizations lower cost, reduce inventory, and improve customer service over all applicable time horizons. Regardless of the time frame, a good production schedule gives visibility into when work should start and finish. This visibility requires Finite Capacity Scheduling, and must consider all applicable constraints, including machine, tooling, labor, and material constraints.
Good Production Schedule – Short Term
In the short term, a good production schedule should generate detailed dispatch lists for labor and machines. These lists should show scheduled operations listed in start date order, with precise start and finish times.
Depending upon business goals, a number of different algorithms could / should be used to generate the dispatch lists. In general, these algorithms should look to satisfy customer delivery requirements, while minimizing lead time, inventory, and costs. In many environments the algorithms also have to consider sequence dependent set ups. Unproductive set up time, and therefore cost, can be minimized by scheduling together work with like, or similar, set up characteristics. However, if too much similar work is scheduled together, lead times will lengthen and delivery will suffer.
Good Production Schedule – Medium Term
In the medium term, a good production schedule should synchronize material and capacity, reducing inventory and cost. If material is not available, production should be delayed. If material is available, its receipt should be delayed to coincide with the start of the operation requiring it.
A good production schedule should pick machines and resources in a way that reduces lead times, maximizes throughput, and improves delivery. The schedule should be easy to change when the unforeseen occurs such machine break downs, labor call offs, material delays, and quality problems. Better management of outsourcing, overtime, and maintenance should also...