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Challenging, but not impossible: Multi-center planning in production

For practical production sequence planning, one needs, in a nutshell, all relevant data, and an intelligent evaluation of this data.

In detail, this testifies:

What material and/or parts are needed

Which rest and buffer times must be observed

When the material/parts must be at which work center

Which orders have to be produced in the period under consideration and by when

Which manufacturing processes are upstream and downstream

The complex task requires a highly intelligent tool that can put all dependencies and restrictions into relation. The calculated, practicable detailed production plan then enables smooth, economical and resource-saving production flow.

The smart way to produce – with the ifm solution "FOX" exactly this is possible.

For the first time, companies can carry out holistic and comprehensive production sequence planning.

The support provided by the AI-based software makes it possible to continuously and sustainably optimize production processes and thus offers elementary support for every manufacturing company. The waste of precious resources is also curbed or stopped altogether.

Improved production sequence in SAP

Every production planner is familiar with the situation: if one machine is perfectly planned, there is bound to be a hitch in the upstream or downstream process. Due to numerous dependencies and variables, planning across multiple workstations remains an often unsolvable task.

In the SAP standard, it has hardly been possible to carry out valid planning across several workstations. Until now, only SAP APO offered the necessary "pegging".

Figure: Initial situation in the planning of bottlenecks.

A common starting situation when planning bottlenecks: the planning focus is concentrated on the expected bottlenecks, and all other work centers are then planned randomly (bottleneck). planned randomly (bottleneck principle).

What is Pegging?

In the pegging process, the relationships between preceding and following production runs are determined. The more orders that are included in the period under consideration, the more complicated the network of relationships becomes.

Pegging is thus a "relationship manager" and provides the basis for the optimised production plan, which is calculated in the next step.

Process graphic: How production processes and machine availabilities interlock.

Formation of logical order dependencies: the search for the right predecessor and successor relationship requires a very powerful system. In make-to-stock production, this is only possible dynamically.

How is the production sequence determined?

How does the knowledge of the relationships, restrictions and availabilities become an optimal detailed production plan?

This works in the so-called "optimizer". Behind this is an intelligence that checks all dependencies and determines the optimized production sequence. The software continuously calculates further fine production plans, compares the quality with the previous result, discards the previous result, discards the worse scenario and retains the better one.

At the end of the runtime, the best of these fine production plans is ready for implementation.

Figure: Presentation of holistic planning for the entire plant

Holistic planning for the entire plant: all restrictions and work centers are taken into account.

And this is how FOX works

The flowchart illustrates how the Supply Chain Excellence solution is used to extract and “peg” data from SAP  (pegging process). The AI-based optimization takes place outside the system

This minimizes waiting time and the optimized production plan can simply be transferred to the system at the push of a button.

Figure: Process for determining the ideal production sequence

The process of determining the ideal production sequence begins with the selection of the right production operations. Here, the time period and planning scope must be selected sensibly.

In the pegging process, the orders are related to each other. In addition, data about capacities, idle times, buffer times and overrun times are required. Furthermore, information about blocks, bundles and operation scheduling also flows into the optimiser.

As soon as all restrictions, capacities, order data and relationships are available, the data are made available to the optimiser.

The actual optimisation then takes place outside the SAP system either on-premise or in the cloud. Once the optimisation process is complete, the calculated data are checked and only imported into the SAP system if no manual changes have been made in the meantime.

Factory Optimization Excellence at a glance

What FOX can do

Manually change and simulate planning

Optimal scheduling of orders

Solve different optimization goals together

Dynamic pegging of orders

Prioritize orders

Integrated in SAP

Plan all work centers in the factory

Recalculate as desired and without a long waiting period

Minimal manual effort

What FOX manages to do

More adherence to schedules in production

Continuous utilization of production capacities

Shorten throughput times

Reduce inventories

Permanently reduce production costs

Increase delivery readiness

Reduce CO2 emissions

Request a demonstration

Would you like to learn more about our supply chain optimisation solutions in SAP? Are you looking for a solution that allows you to automatically transfer data from machines or sensors to SAP and start intelligent processes? Complete the form and request your demonstration on-site or online now.

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