Hot Rolled and Bright Steel

The most important problems related to this industry are high changeover time losses and scrapped raw material due to sub-optimal raw material batch allocations to customer orders. Furthermore, there are several different processes to be applied to the raw materials to manufacture the end products. This implies that managing the relationship between subsequent processes as well as choosing the appropriate workstation among many alternatives available for a single process is of utmost importance to ensure the lost time, too, is minimized and orders are delivered on-time. The identification of the problems immediately makes it clear that a factory operations scheduling system managing the relationships between alternative workbenches and subsequent processes coupled with raw material batch allocation functionality keeping the scrap rates in check can provide significant benefits for this industry.

High changeover times may be avoided by careful sequencing and grouping of similar jobs provided that the planner defines the characteristics important for detecting similarity for each process. Starting from this information, factory operations scheduling module can group and sequence jobs for each workstation to decrease losses due to changeovers while solving the complex predecessor and successor relationships between workstations belonging to subsequent processes.

Scrap rates can be kept in check with careful allocation of raw material batches to customer orders. However, just the number of different types of raw materials and batches with different dimensional and metallurgical characteristics makes this a very challenging task. Furthermore, the dynamic nature of the customer orders implies that batch allocations must be revised frequently. And because certain workstations may or may not be able to process some customer orders depending on the characteristics of the raw material batches allocated to them, there certainly is a strong interaction between the batch allocation process and factory operations scheduling process. Given that even a single percentage improvement in scrap rates is very important in terms of profitability for this industry and the strong interaction between batch allocation and scheduling processes, it follows that a factory operations scheduling system with a strong batch allocation functionality is a must.

The output of factory operations scheduling can sometimes be difficult interpret with all its implications. For the case of this industry, the output is further complicated by the assignment of batches to customer orders. NovaLab’s planning software, xS Planner, provides interactive raw material requirements plan view including batch assignments in addition to warnings related to various aspects of the plan such as late orders and a dashboard for KPIs.

Capacity Requirements Planning

Capacity requirements planning module is used to determine the sufficiency of the available capacity of each restricted resource such as machines and molds over a dynamically generated scenario.
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Factory Operations Scheduling

The factory operations scheduling module of NovaLab’s planning software, xS Planner, offers the interactive planning framework coupled with the fully automated or semi-automated optimization...
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