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The Schedule Module is responsible for developing a production plan for processing work orders through your manufacturing facility.

The scheduler is extremely fast and can process hundreds of work orders and thousands of operation steps per minute. A Trial Schedule permits you to run the scheduler and fine tune it whenever needed. The starting date and time of the day can be set each time the scheduler is run and it can handle up to 999 days in the future.

The estimated completion date for unreleased work orders can be found by optionally including them in the schedule. Acceptable Trial Schedules can be quickly released for production use. Implemented schedules can automatically update the work orders with their new estimated completion dates.

Jobs that are in process are scheduled from their last completed operation and take into consideration the number of pieces reported completed on each step. Each work order can be set to

  • Use only the work centers on the route.
  • Seek an alternate work center if the one on the route is not available within a specified period of time.
  • Automatically use the work center on the route or an alternate based on which will most quickly finish the job.

The single constraint scheduler uses work centers to define factory capacity. Dates the factory is closed and work centers that are unavailable are automatically taken into consideration each time the schedule is run. A technique called finite loading is used to schedule. Finite loading means putting no more work into a work center than the work center can be expected to handle.

Work centers can be optionally marked as infinite capacity. This means that the choice can be made to selectively treat work centers as if they had no capacity limits. This permits

  • Orders to be concurrently processed at a work center instead of sequentially.
  • Work centers that are set up for outside vendors to handle more than one order at a time.

The scheduler can be run at either one hour or one minute resolution. This means that when an operation step is scheduled to end, the next step

  • Starts at the next whole hour when one hour resolution is selected.
  • Starts at the next whole minute when one minute resolution is selected.

Both forward and backward scheduling are supported. Forward scheduling involves a technique whereby the schedule proceeds from a known start date for a work order and sequentially processes the operations from first to last. Dates generated this way are generally the earliest start dates for operations.

Backward scheduling will give the required start date to meet the required due date. On each work order you can choose whether it is to be scheduled using forward or backward techniques. When a work order is marked for backward scheduling, the Start/Restart date is ignored and the Needed By date becomes the date from which the schedule is calculated.

Work orders can be assigned different level of scheduling priorities. Work orders can be made inactive and taken out of the schedule temporarily. The scheduler uses the Start/Restart date on the work order header as the beginning point for scheduling. This accomplishes two purposes:

  • Without loss of priority, a work order’s production release date can be set in the future so that its scheduled completion date can be made to match the Needed By date.
  • When a schedule is planned, it compares the next available operation start date to the Start/Restart date and uses the latest one. Therefore, by changing a work order’s Start/Restart date, it is possible to pause a job, then automatically restart it at a pre-planned time without any loss of priority.

The scheduler traps problems and provides a detailed warnings and errors report. The Schedule Inquiry option uses the TIW Treevision technology to provide an Explorer-like method of viewing scheduling information on four topics

  • Usage by Work Center
  • Usage by Part Number
  • Usage by Work Order
  • Usage by Customer

Each topic allows you to drill down to detailed information on the loads in your shop, the schedule of individual jobs, the number and status of customer orders, and the quantity and projected completion dates of finished goods being manufactured.

All of this information is tied to 3D charts that are dynamically updated to graphically display the information you are viewing. Click on the bars on the chart to pop up a window with further details.

Examine either the Trial or Implemented schedule starting with any date you set. The Order report shows how each work order is scheduled through the shop on a step-by-step basis. A Work Center report shows the daily list of jobs for each work center and orders them in the priority in which they are to be done.

A Completion report lists all the work orders, the dates they are need by and their scheduled completion dates. Orders that miss their needed by dates are clearly flagged.

Other Applications

The following applications are designed to work hand-in-hand with Schedule:

"Schedule" is part of the ALERE Manufacturing line of products, developed by TIW Technology.

Related Products

The following software product lines are also offered by TIW Technology: