|Job shops are mostly make-to-order production units which try to meet a variety of customer needs with minimal lead times. A common feature of many job shops is order-driven, high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) production with very limited resources. Some job shops may have project-based production. Custom manufacturing units belong to the class of job shops. Control and management of production is tough in many job shops due to some of the difficult issues listed on page, Job Shop Issues.
An important objective of job shop management is to extract the best plant-level production performance from finite capacity resources subject to those issues. This can be done by reducing rejections and rework, improving resource efficiency in individual operations and improving operations synchronization through production scheduling. Operations synchronization is more appropriate than flow (of lean manufacturing) in high variety production systems where several work orders with different routings and due dates simultaneously progress on shop floor competing for limited multi-functional machines and multi-skilled workers.
Scientific scheduling can help achieve the required operations synchronization and predict workflow in a realistic manner in such shops. For improving job shop productivity, we focus on operation synchronization in HMLV systems. We offer best-of-breed software, Schedlyzer for operation synchronization through scientific production scheduling in high-variety manufacturing systems. Its development is based on the premise:
The salient features of Schedlyzer include the following.
Control and management of job shop production will be more efficient with the help of (1) prediction of workflow, bottleneck occurrence and job completion times, (2) what-if analysis of production schedules and (3) proactive capacity planning.
Optimal Utilization of Multi-Functional Machines and Multi-Skilled Workers
Nowadays, in many job shops there is a shortage of skilled workers and many workers have multiple skills (to perform a variety of operations). Lean manufacturing philosophy promotes multi-skilled workers for capacity balancing at work stations. An operation may need only a machine or only a skilled worker or both and in some production cells a worker may be able to run two or more machines simultaneously. Therefore, there is a need to schedule operations taking into account the availability of both machines and workers. Schedlyzer is very efficient to schedule limited multi-functional machines and multi-skilled workers for achieving the best shop production performance. The software automatically assigns a right machine and a right worker to each operation if resource requirements are specified for each operation in job routings in terms of machine function and worker skill. The synchronization enabled by the software will enhance shop productivity, overall resource utilization, WIP, job lead times and on-time delivery.
Handling Vendor Operations and Material Available Times
Schedlyzer efficiently incorporates vendor operations and material available times into production schedule.
Fixing Rational Lead Times for New Orders
In many HMLV job shops where bottlenecks keep moving over time, it is a challenge to fix an appropriate due date (or lead time) for each new order. Shorter lead time quotation can cause anxiety and firefighting while longer quotation can disappoint customers. Balancing both risks, Schedlyzer will find a right lead time for each new order based on the existing workload and resource capabilities and capacities (avoiding guesswork and standard, time-invariant quotation of lead times).
Finding Optimal Start Times for Jobs
One of the most difficult decisions to be made in HMLV job shops is to find a right start time for each job. Early job start times can result in higher WIP and longer lead times (as shown on the page, Lean Job Shop Production) whereas late start may result in the reduction of shop productivity, resource utilization and on-time delivery. Schedlyzer finds right job start times balancing both risks by taking into account process and resource requirements of jobs, due dates and resource capacities.
Prediction of Workflow, Bottlenecks and Job Completion Times
A reliable prediction of workflow, bottleneck formation and job completion times offers great confidence to people who manage high-variety production. Control and management by reliable workflow prediction is efficient in high-variety production. Schedlyzer offers such prediction in the form of schedule by taking into account both resource availability and natural variation in the system.
What-If Analysis of Schedules
Production people develop a schedule mostly for controlling production on shop floor. However, if a simple and powerful solution is available for quickly generating a meaningful schedule with minimal effort, then it can be used for fast and extensive what-if analysis of schedules. Proper what-if analysis greatly helps in evaluating and comparing various alternative decisions for efficient management of high-variety production. As indicated in its name, Schedlyzer is developed with special emphasis on what-if analysis for high-variety production.
Proactive Capacity Planning
This is very relevant to a high-variety production system which does not have steady demand for many types of products. The varying product mix necessitates dynamic capacity adjustments at work stations. Schedlyzer enables planners to foresee the need for such adjustments and make appropriate decisions.
Generation of Dispatch Lists for Resources and Display of Job Status
For day-to-day production control, shop floor people need a display of job status and a dispatch list (a sequence of jobs) for each resource. Schedlyzer generates both of them as part of the scheduling exercise. It can revise them instantaneously whenever required if fresh job status information is available to it. Such revision may be necessary for unexpected changes like machine breakdown and worker absenteeism.
Study and Analysis of Dynamic Nature of High-Variety Production
Schedlyzer can also be used for studying and analyzing the dynamic nature of high-variety production systems.
The ultimate benefits from our software are (1) significant improvements in on-time delivery, job lead times, customer satisfaction, WIP, shop throughput, and resource utilization and (2) ability to generate a quick, reliable, flexible and meaningful production schedule without exceeding resource capacity.
A Free 60-Day Trial Copy:
Contact us for a free, fully functional, 60-day trial copy of the software. Before giving the free trial copy, we would first present a live web demo of Schedlyzer and configure the trial copy in the underlying database as required for your system. We would also offer you sufficient help during trial runs.