Scientific production scheduling software helps with efficient planning, control and management of complex production. Optisol offers job shops the most versatile, powerful and flexible software tool, Schedlyzer for production scheduling in high-mix, low-volume environment. Its major strengths include intelligent decision support for managers. It is affordable to most job shops.
In October 2022, a popular trade journal, The Fabricator published an interesting article, “Perfecting the job shop production schedule“. Portions of this article come from a presentation made by Dr. Prasad Velaga of Optisol LLC at FABTECH 2021 event at Chicago.
Benefits of Our Solutions
Improvement of On-Time Delivery, Throughput, Work in Process, Production Lead Times of Orders, Resource Utilization.
Reliable Work Flow Prediction, What-if Analysis, Proactive Capacity Planning, Efficient Bottleneck Management.
This is a right place if you are searching for proven solutions to optimally schedule, control and manage complex, high-mix, low-volume production in your job shop. You might find our scientific software, Schedlyzer most suitable for your needs in many respects.
Difficulty with Control and Management of High-Mix, Low-Volume Production
Control and management of order-driven, high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) production is quite challenging in many job shops. It is also true for make-to-order production and custom manufacturing. Examples include machine shops, fabrication shops, forge shops, print shops, mold makers, tool & die makers, repair shops, laboratories, woodworking units, etc. For production management, many HMLV units are far more complex than a single production line. They regularly face many difficult issues as listed on page, Job Shop Issues.
It is truly a challenge for many job shops to efficiently manage their high-variety, order-driven, production using limited resources, as mentioned on the page Scientific Management of High-Variety, Complex Production in Job Shops..
The difficulty arises mainly from a necessity to make diverse products against received orders by stipulated due dates. The large known variation in process and resource requirements of diverse orders significantly contributes to the difficulty. Multitasking machines and multi-skilled workers provide a lot of flexibility in HMLV environment. But, dependence on them also increases the complexity of production planning. Stringent due dates of orders, acceptance of rush orders and unavoidable priority changes, delays in material procurement, significant interruptions in resource availability also contribute to the difficulty.
It is not always easy and cost-effective for small and mid-sized HMLV units to simplify such systems as suggested in lean manufacturing and theory of constraints to fully eliminate the difficulty. How can those units manage the remaining difficulty in production management?
Intelligent Scheduling as an Effective Solution to Deal with Unavoidable Production Complexity
Despite the promotion of lean manufacturing, theory of constraints and other methodologies and some dissatisfaction with scheduling function in job shop world, scheduling still seems to play a predominant role in controlling and managing complex production in a vast majority of job shops.
In many factories, scheduling is mostly done for a narrow purpose, that is, for organizing workload over time without resource overloading. However, one of the ways to overcome production complexity is to adopt intelligent production scheduling which offers many benefits to HMLV units as shown below. Apart from schedule creation, it can provide intelligent decision support for efficient production management. Software-aided powerful scheduling can support fast, accurate and extensive what-if analysis to help with decision making in production. It also supports proactive capacity planning with its what-if analysis capability. It enables salespersons to quote minimal achievable lead times while negotiating with customers for new orders.
Almost all job shops develop a production schedule in HMLV environment on a regular basis for production control and management. A majority of them still use in-house, custom Excel applications for this purpose. Other job shops use scheduling modules of ERP/MRP software, project management software and powerful tools known as advanced production scheduling software (APS) or Finite Capacity Scheduling software (FCS). Some shops may still be using whiteboards or paper and pencil for scheduling purpose.
Powerful and Affordable Software for Scheduling High-Mix, Low-Volume Production
There are a few commercial APS/FCS software, which are powerful, versatile and intelligent to support reliable what-if analysis and proactive capacity planning. They can also serve as an intelligent decision support tool in managing complex, order-driven, high-mix, low-volume production.
Schedlyzer is one of such software tools and based on a highly versatile scheduling paradigm for high-variety production and scientific, powerful scheduling logic. It helps production managers to perform what-if analysis by easily simulating the complex production without any simulation knowledge. Compared to other similar software in market, its unique advantage is that the powerful scheduling software is very affordable to a majority of small and mid-sized job shops.
Schedlyzer enables managers to perform what-if analysis of production with respect to the following:
- Changes in priorities and due dates of orders
- Acceptance of a rush order
- Changes in the set of available resources
- Changes in shift times
- Significant interruptions in resource availability
- Overtime for workers
- Outsourcing of some operations to mitigate bottlenecks
- Reduction in setup times
- Delays in material procurement
PRIMARY PURPOSE OF OUR PRODUCTION SCHEDULING SOFTWARE FOR JOB SHOPS
In job shops engaged in high-variety, order-driven manufacturing, our scheduling software, Schedlyzer is very appropriate for:
- Generating meaningful, high quality production schedules instantaneously whenever needed (without resource overloading)
- Doing fast and extensive what-if analysis of schedules and proactive capacity planning
- Identifying and managing bottlenecks efficiently
- Fixing rational lead times and right start times for new orders for low WIP and high on-time delivery
- Handling rush orders and unexpected changes in order priorities
- Incorporating vendor operations and uncertainty in the schedule appropriately
- Planning raw material procurement for inventory control
- Having intelligent decision support for efficient production management.
To have a brief idea of how our production scheduling software, Schedlyzer Lite works, you may watch our 9-minute YouTube Video on Job Shop / Machine Shop Scheduling
Intended Users of Schedlyzer
- Production planner / scheduler who has to develop detailed schedules for resources on a regular basis
- Production manager who has to deal with changes in order priorities, do what-if analysis and make major decisions on production planning and capacity planning for efficient management
- Sales people who have an option to negotiate lead times for new orders
Free, fully functional, 60-day trial copies of Schedlyzer.
We offer free, fully functional, 60-day trial copies of our production scheduling software, Schedlyzer.