The food and beverage sector faces unique demands  that make planning and scheduling particularly challenging

Unique Challenges
  • Variation in raw materials and demand –
    Seasonality and reliance on crop yields means that the quantity and quality of raw materials and demand can fluctuate a lot. The planner needs to be in a position to plan for many eventualities and respond easily to the current situation
  • Short shelf life –
    Perishable materials and produce mean that it is essential to optimise the timing of production to avoid waste
  • Strong price pressure from customers –
    In order to remain profitable in the face of pressure to reduce prices, it is necessary to ensure that the production process is running as efficiently as possible
  • Complex quality and packaging requirements –
    Often there are complex relationships between the grade of the goods and their suitability for particular customers or product lines
  • Complexity of production process –
    A mixture of discrete and process production modes can result in complex planning and scheduling requirements, often with contradicting goals for different parts of the process

Scheduling Solutions can help you address these challenges

Utilizing the Siemens Opcenter APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling) Solutions we will work with you to design and implement optimized planning and scheduling systems for your factory. 

Short shelf life

Even with careful long-term planning, it is still possible to run into issues with production of short shelf-life products if your short-term scheduling is not also set up to deal with shelf life considerations. Opcenter APS can produce schedules that prioritize short shelf-life products and also flag potential shelf life-issues to the planner. 

Opcenter APS can take shelf life into account when being used to plan production. The planner can be sure that the results that are being generated when creating a master production schedule will be tailored to minimize waste from goods exceeding their shelf life and spoiling. 

Complexity of the production process 

Opcenter APS software can be used to model complex manufacturing processes and, due to its flexibility, be set up to produce a schedule based on the reality of your production environment. It doesn’t matter if the complexity is in the process routes of products or the constraints on the manufacturing process, Opcenter APS has the functionality to deal with it. 

The Opcenter APS solution can support generating production information at multiple levels of the Bill of Materials and can work in both Make-to-Stock and Maketo-Order environments. This means it is possible to plan production for complex mixed mode processes. 

Variation in raw materials and complex quality requirements

Opcenter APS  is designed to take into consideration the availability of materials when creating the production schedule. Additionally, it is possible to define rules within the software that control the way that materials are consumed. This means that regardless of whether there are sudden changes in material availability or complex rules about the usage of different grade materials, those changes and rules can be modeled to ensure that the scheduled production is a reflection of your needs. The process of reassigning materials and creating a new schedule to reflect the changes can be carried out in minutes. 

The raw data that the Opcenter APS system uses to create the master production schedule is for long-term orders and forecasting. This means that in environments with variable demand, this information is there from the start of the process. Once the system has calculated the production required, the planner can easily visualize and interact with the result to see how the varying demand should be reflected in plans for production capacity. 

Strong Price pressure

In the current competitive environment it is essential to streamline the production process to minimize overheads. Opcenter APS can help achieve these goals by using complex scheduling algorithms and giving the Planner / Scheduler the visibility to identify and react to issues. Whatever the scheduling pain points are, be they costly changeover times, high inventory or poor due date compliance, Opcenter APS can be set up to minimize them.

Discover more about Opcenter APS

Kudo Solutions in the UK have been working with Opcenter APS for many years and have case studies and testimonials from companies in the food sector which can be found here

Lean Scheduling in the USA have been working with Opcenter APS for many years and have case studies and testimonials from companies in the food sector which can be found here