Spreadsheets are probably one of the most useful applications for computers. They were also the “killer app” that allowed computers to take off to the masses. So we have relied more and more on them for every day tasks. One area they are playing a role is in the prioritization of production work orders. It is not uncommon to have to determine which of hundreds of work orders each week needs to go down which PCB assembly line and in which order. Spreadsheets can do a reasonable task with a single line and a handful of work orders but it quickly becomes limited with multiple lines and as the number of work orders increases.
The Valor Division recently introduced a new product to address the needs of this area, MSS Production Planning. It has the ability to analyze hundreds or even thousands of work orders across multiple lines and based on various criteria determine the optimum assignment to each line and order in which they should run. High level work order information coupled with the Bill Of Material (BOM) information of each product and the machine/line configurations are all that is needed, the Valor MSS Production Planning solution will do the rest.
This solution can work stand-alone with some simple up front configuration and then just read in your existing programs which will then be used to extract the BOM data. Create Work Orders within the tool and determine priorities and away you go. We have seen examples of existing tools taking a number of days to work out a product sequence now taking an hour or two.
Then it is possible to really take a huge step forward when Product Planning is combined with the other MSS modules such as Process Preparation and Material Management. Here line configuration can be shared across the tools and static setups can be transferred quickly from Production Planning to Setup Sessions within Process Preparation. Also the exact part quantity information held within the Material Management system can be continuously shared with Production Planning to ensure that the necessary part quantities are available in advance of work orders starting. In the case where future part quantity issues are predicted, the sequence can be quickly reordered to push the affected work orders out and replace them with work orders that have all necessary parts.
You can get more information from the following link on the whole Valor MSS suite and in particular the Production Planning module.