WorldCLASS:: APS Scheduler



"At Last - World-Class Decision Support"

In today's manufacturing environment, the company's production planner is at the forefront of efforts to deliver products on time, at least cost, using existing resources.

To achieve maximum throughput, the planner must correctly sequence the order flow through the system.
Paper and pencil scheduling is too slow and cumbersome to cope with modern production pressures. Spreadsheets or project planners tend simply to 'computerise' paper methods.

Recognising these problems the WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler has been designed to cater for rapidly changing circumstances on the shopfloor; the WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler is one of the few software systems available to concurrently reconcile work orders with actual resource availability and shopfloor status.

To produce an optimised sequence - an achievable work to list - it uses powerful constraint based reasoning techniques which
  • Obeys manufacturing constraints, durations, set ups, tools
  • Determines simultaneous activities across multiple work centres
  • Schedules alternatives
  • Uses business objectives as the objective function optimised


  • Bringing world class decision-support capability to customer-driven manufacturers, the WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler is the most effective finite scheduling system currently available today.

    APS is especially well-suited to environments where simpler scheduling methods can not adequately address complex trade-off's between competing priorities.

    Unlike previous systems, APS simultaneously schedules production based on available materials and capacity. This usually results in a more realistic production plan.

    The WorldCLASS::Operator Interface "Clear, Accurate Schedule Displays"

    The WorldCLASS::Operator Interface provides a Gantt chart display of the current or proposed schedule. The Operator Interface differentiates between set-up tasks, clean downs, production tasks and planned maintenance and displays them in different colours. The user can select the timescale and time horizon simply by using the arrow keys.

    Drill down to provide more detailed information is accomplished simply by clicking the mouse on a task.

    Editing

    The WorldCLASS::Operator Interface editing facility allows the user to make manual adjustments to the schedule to take account of 'black-art' rules. Using the mouse, a task can be 'dragged and dropped' on the screen and the work-to lists will be updated automatically. However, the user is warned if any scheduling rules are infringed, such as operations in reverse sequence.

    Chaining

    Chaining highlights the route of a component, batch or order as it passes from one work group to another right through the factory.

    Closed Loop Scheduling

    By manual input of production data, or by integrating with WorldCLASS SFDC, actual progress on the shop floor can be displayed as a comparison line beneath the schedule line for each work group.




    The Schedule Assessor - "Transforming Manufacturing Data Into Powerful Information"

    It is vital for manufacturing managers to be able to measure the performance - and potential performance - of schedules produced by the WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler. This function is provided by the Schedule Assessor, a powerful decision support tool ideal for off-line experimental scheduling and post production analysis.

    The Schedule Assessor interrogates the database to draw upon planned, scheduled and actual manufacturing data. These figures are displayed as a series of high quality graphic images and tables arranged as individual graph books.

    Planned Performance

    Used to illustrate the likely demand on machine time, specialist skills, critical tools and raw materials prior to re-planning the workload. The true planned cost of manufacture can now be consolidated for business analysis.

    Scheduled Performance

    Showing where time and resources are to be allocated taking into account all relevant production constraints. The Assessor will predict to the minute the completion date of each planned operation, giving total due date analysis.

    Actual Performance

    Using actual data to describe the effectiveness of the schedule and the effect of unplanned events on throughput, resources and costings.

    Used from any compatible networked computer attached to the system, the Schedule Assessor provides crucial decision support.

    With the WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler, management's decision support is improved, customer service is enhanced and 'guesstimating' is all but eliminated.




    THE WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler - How It Works

    What and When To Make

    The WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler's inputs are production orders, and associated delivery dates. Priorities may be included. New orders are added to those already known to the Scheduler.

    How To Make

    The WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler holds a database with information on each product, its method of manufacture and the resources needed to make it. Method information is related to product families , thereby rationalising set-up/strip/clean down activities.

    Production Constraints

    The limitations of the production facility are described by a series of constraints held by the WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler.
  • Part A must follow Part B
  • Part A must NOT follow Part B
  • Part A cannot be earlier than XXX
  • minimum manufacturing quantity
  • Process A must link to Process B


  • An example of product sequence scheduling - say white to black - is when product contamination is a constraint. The WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler handles recursive processes. Parameters such as throughput speed, manning levels, shift patterns and yield/scrap rates can be set or modified for each batch/method/operation, providing exceptional flexibility. Manual adjustments to the standard plan can be incorporated using an on-screen edit (drag and drop) facility.

    Scheduling Algorithms

    Built-in algorithms employing constraint based propogation techniques enable the WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler to create an optimized sequence which takes the facility's production constraints into account. This optimization is business driven. Choice of business drivers include:
  • minimize manufacturing elapsed time
  • minimize on time delivery
  • minimize set ups


  • What-If ?

    The Scheduler can be used in 'what-if' mode to predict the consequences of critical factors such as
  • rush orders
  • seasonal peak workload
  • extras shifts
  • add new work center
  • change resource efficiencies
  • reduce set-up durations
  • trial planned maintenance.


  • Results

    A finite schedule is produced that provides a production plan as a series of achievable tasks. The plan is displayed as a Gantt chart within the WorldCLASS::Operator Interface for easy assimilation. A conventional printout of job instructions can be generated.

    The Schedule Assessor is used to analyse live and historical production data.


    Integration and Benefits

    The WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler can be used on its own or integrated with existing ERP (or MRP), or bespoke sales order processing, stock control and financial systems. Input of actuals from the WorldCLASS SFDC system can be displayed on the Schedule Gantt chart for direct comparison of scheduled and actual production.

    By integrating the WorldCLASS::APS Scheduler with other modules from the WorldCLASS suite; in particular the WorldCLASS::Capacity Planner, significant manufacturing performance improvements can be achieved:
  • Improved due date adherence - an accurate Available To Promise date (higher on time delivery) - combined with -
  • A reduction in work in progress - one customer has improved stock-turn fourfold!
  • Improved visibility of plans and schedules
  • Reduced manufacturing elapsed time - optimised makespan using APS
  • Shorter lead times
  • Increased throughput



  • Please contact the WorldCLASS sales office for further information, on:
    +44 1386 871904

    or e-mail us