Machine Shop Scheduling

Machine shops are typical job shops which have to simultaneously process a They are variety of customer orders (with different process and resource requirements) using limited resources and finish them by respective due dates. mostly make-to-order production units dealing with numerous low-quantity orders and see often a need to accept rush orders and changes in due dates, priorities, quantities and process requirements of received orders. Bottlenecks may keep changing in the system due to the varying product mix. Processing may even include some external operations like heat treatment, electro plating, etc. management of machine shop production is really tough due to many features of machine shops which include:

  • Most of the work orders (jobs) are created only after receiving orders from customers
  • A shop sometimes procures expensive raw material only after receiving customer orders
  • A shop simultaneously processes many jobs which have different routings, quantities, due dates and priorities
  • Process time at any work center may vary with job
  • Some machines may be multi-functional having the capability for doing a variety of operations
  • Workers may have different skill sets for doing various operations
  • An operation may need a machine or at least one worker or both
  • For an operation on a machine, setup may require a skilled worker and the actual operation may require a general worker or no worker
  • Some operations of a job may be done simultaneously if resources are available for them
  • Workers with multiple skills may move from work center to work center for performing different operations as required for meeting job due dates
  • Even though a work center may have more than one machine, a job may have to be loaded on a specific machine (or one of a subset of machines) there due to technical reasons
  • An operation of a job requiring a skill may have to be done only by one of the workers with a high level of that skill
  • Jobs may need be sequenced at a machine to reduce the number of setups on the machine
  • Workers may be more easily available than machines at a work center while machines may be more easily available than workers at some other work centers
  • An end product may result from production and assembly of a few components.

As described in our article, “Scientific management of job shop production”, our article,powerful scheduling software can generate dependable schedules for resources, facilitate fast and extensive what-if analysis of workflow and support proactive capacity planning and provide intelligent decision support for efficient management of machine shop production. Our software, Schedlyzer is one of the most powerful tools for these purposes. The summary of its output is as illustrated on our page, Lean Production.

Even Schedlyzer Lite, a lighter and low-cost version of Schedlyzer is very helpful for the same purposes. A brief YouTube video of this tool without details is also available through our web page, Optisol Demos. For more details of Schedlyzer and Schedlyzer Lite, you may read the page 1 and 2, respectively.

A Free, Fully Functional, 60-day Trial Copy:

Practical utility of a scheduling tool for any specific production unit can be correctly evaluated by using it with real data for some days. For this reason, we freely offer duly configured, fully functional, 60-day trial copy of Schedlyzer or Schedlyzer Lite. Contact us for a free trial copy. Before giving the free trial copy, we would first present a live web demo of Schedlyzer Lite and configure the copy as required for your system. We would also offer you free help during trial runs.