Production Scheduling in the Industrial Equipment Sector
The Industrial Equipment sector faces unique demands that make planning and scheduling particularly challenging
Some of the Unique Challenges
- Mixture of orders for OEM / Refurbishment / Emergency Repairs / Spares –
- The types of production demand that an industrial equipment manufacturer may need to deal with can be any of the above.
- Quotes required –
- Customers require a quote to be provided, esp. for refurbishment jobs, and accepted, prior to the factory being able to start work on a job.
- Time Estimates and Additional Tasks –
- The time to complete a task is often an estimate with actual times being shorter or longer than estimated.
- It may be necessary to add extra tasks to the job as a result of issues encountered during production or late engineering changes made to the job.
- Often minor subtasks are not defined in detail within the system, with progress being measured as a % of work completed or still outstanding irrespective of actual time completed to that point.
- The system needs to take these changes into account when due date projections are made.
- Subcontract Control –
- A number of tasks required to complete the job may need to be sub-contracted, requiring management of these sub-contractor tasks and relationships.
- Ordering of input materials –
- No materials can be ordered until a purchase order has been received from the customer.
- Complexity of production process –
- Industrial equipment manufacturers could often be dealing with products that contain multiple BOM levels requiring correct sequencing of tasks to ensure that the job is completed when promised.
- Priority changes
- The arrival of emergency work, the need for spares and short duration refurbishment jobs can result in the need to constantly recalculate expected completion dates to determine if promised delivery dates of existing orders are being compromised.
Scheduling Solutions can help you address these challenges
Utilizing the Siemens Opcenter APS (Advanced Production Scheduling solution) together with a production tracking solution, we will work with you to design and implement a solution that addresses the business needs while taking all the unique challenges into account.
The key capabilities of this solution will be
- The ability to only schedule jobs that should be scheduled e.g. not schedule jobs waiting for a customer order.
- The ability to consider the availability of materials and projected due date of purchase orders, when loading jobs into the schedule.
- Schedule all tasks in the correct sequence to ensure job completion.
- Allow What-ifs to explore alternate schedules to understand the consequences of changes to the schedule.
- Consider the progress of jobs in production when developing new schedules.
- Provide work schedules by resource area or for subcontractors to ensure all departments are coordinated.
Benefits reported by Industrial Equipment providers are amongst others
- Significant improvements in customer service e.g.
- Meeting due dates promised
- Providing accurate in progress feedback
- Being able to accommodate priority changes
- Reductions in WIP as a result of
- Starting work when materials are available.
- Working on the correct task sequences.
- Major increases in productivity as a result of
- Ensuring all staff are aware of work to be completed
- Activity tracking
- Reductions in unnecessary overtime.
- Significant reductions in scheduling effort
- ROI measured in months
Case studies report numbers such as
- Productivity increased by 45% in one year plus significant reduction in WIP and improvements in customer service
- Industrial Equipment OEM
- +/-80 Factory operators
- We increased our throughput by 300% over a couple of years without increasing our manpower
- Industrial equipment
- +/-30 staff in total
- We grew our business 500% over 8 as a result of implementing a production scheduling solution and have moved to larger premises twice
- Focus on original equipment and refurbishment
- +/- 50 factory operators