Production scheduling is the process of maximizing the efficiency of production through the detailed planning of manufacturing operations in the short-term. It is aimed at preventing stock-outs, spotting bottlenecks, matching production with demand, as well as balancing inputs and outputs between workstations.
Manufacturing and economic conditions are increasingly complicated and unstable with the result being that traditional scheduling methods are becoming ineffective in the face of disruption.
An example of a traditional method of scheduling is Excel, but as processes become increasingly digital and the transition to smart factories and operations continues, this method has proven to be tedious and time consuming. In addition, with more and more information being produced, there is an increase in the risk of crashes and loss of data.
New tools outperform older manual scheduling methods as they can integrate simulation models with their IT systems and use them for production scheduling and planning. AnyLogic is such a tool that can be used in this way. It also can provide the production schedule with powerful graphical interfaces to visually optimize real time workloads. The software can automatically identify patterns and create scheduling opportunities which would have been unclear with a manual view of the data.
AnyLogic can also integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP), or manufacturing resource planning (MRP) software, so data can automatically update across all tools.
So, as we can understand, production scheduling is a crucial factor in any industry, from construction to pharmaceuticals. Let’s see how effective production scheduling, using AnyLogic, led to improvements within a business, using some cases from a number of different industries.
A large steel manufacturer carried out its production scheduling manually using spreadsheets, but this was not effective resulting in low overall productivity. To turn this around and have a good demand forecast with a balanced production schedule they hired Eurystic.
Eurystic used SAP and AnyLogic software to produce a model (which could be run in real time) that showed the interaction between all the different components in this steel manufacturing process.
As a result, the company achieved a significant 10% increase in production. The simulation results also helped the company to gain valuable insights into different areas which enabled them to optimize their existing processes.
A biotech startup wanted to conduct data-driven pharmaceutical manufacturing simulation to optimize the manufacturing process and the production schedule which was unclear.
Princeton Consultants was retained to develop a pharmaceutical manufacturing simulation model to test the future mass production manufacturing environment and identify bottlenecks.
Production scheduling was complex because several products were manufactured simultaneously with the same scarce resources that needed to be preserved to prevent processing failures.
AnyLogic software was used for model development as it has a built-in customizable experiment framework that facilitated evaluating and comparing scenarios. Simulation determined how many orders could be processed for a certain period of time, and the recommended time to complete those orders. As a result, defined scheduling policies to best use operators without excessive overtimes or overstaffing were developed.
Construction or mining is a very complicated process, and many factors have to be considered. This results in specialists facing difficulties when developing schedules.
Usually, underground construction projects are managed via Gantt charts, but as every project has uncertainties, IBCON needed to create a new scheduling method for underground mining operations using AnyLogic simulation modeling software.
As a result of experimenting with the model, the developers produced a log with the timings of events which could be used for work planning. Engineers could also update the model data as events changed, run the model again, and adjust the work schedule accordingly.
At the same time, IBCON also built a simulation model for broken rock extraction and transportation at an ore mine. This enabled the engineers to make a project schedule for the entire underground construction period, a monthly schedule with a daily work plan, and a cyclogram.
The AnyLogic model was also used to analyze how various factors affected turnaround time compared to the initial project schedule.
The ability to understand and forecast activities is a powerful support tool that helped management with production scheduling.
These are just a few highlighted cases showing how production scheduling is crucial for optimizing manufacturing process flows to ensure maximum efficiency while minimizing or eliminating delays, unnecessary wastage, or potential interruptions. By using production scheduling, organizations can allocate resources within a given timeframe in the most efficient way.
There are also many applications in other sectors such as supply chain management, the oil & gas industry, transportation, and others. If you want to know more, search for production scheduling on our website.
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