Manufacturers consistently improve and try to become smarter than their competitors. Improving customer satisfaction in terms of delivery performance is one of their biggest challenges, but do they have the information needed to make decisions about what they can and cannot promise to their customers?
The purpose of scheduling in manufacturing is to tell a production facility when they need each resource to be available, in order to meet business objectives like utilization, delivery performance and efficiency.
It is generally used by manufacturers that need to schedule machines and other resources, but it is also used for scheduling manual labour such as assembly, service or value added logistics.
SIMATIC IT Preactor is a software solution for companies which want to start digitalizing their processes, but it is also used to complement already installed MES systems.
It is part of a family of products at different price levels
Scalable and easy to upgrade
Available in multiple languages
The software has the richest “Out of The Box” functionality available
Has the largest installed base in the world
It is easy to maintain, interface and use
Supported worldwide by local ATS divisions
What do we do?
We understand the need of companies to have more insight into their day-to-day schedule, but also realize that most of them are not used to semi-automatic scheduling systems. Reducing the manual work and creating visual insight is the first step to be accomplished. Together with the planning department we will make sure this goal is reached in the very first weeks of the project.
At this point the system provides a feasible schedule which considers the finite capacity of resources and can be executed by the shop floor. The planning department is able to visualize the planning and see the impact of changes like rush orders and breakdowns and can recalculate the complete schedule in a matter of seconds.
Your planning department will save a lot of time every day. Instead of entering data into Excel sheets and chasing orders all day, the planning department is now in control and has the insight needed to make better decisions.
This is a huge step forwards and turns your company into a controlled environment. Less stress, more insight, better decisions! For some companies this is the end of their Advanced Scheduling journey, but most of our customers become even more enthusiastic and will continue their continuous improvement strategy by adding more functionality to the system. This will enable them to create more sophisticated schedules, improve production efficiency, lower inventory levels and improve delivery performance with shorter lead times and increased OTIF.
ATS Engineers are trained and can fully adapt to help you to get the best out of your plant.
How do we do it?
SIMATIC IT Preactor Advanced Scheduling enables you to generate detailed and accurate schedules in a matter of seconds. It visualizes the production schedule in a Gantt Chart and the drag and drop functionality allows you to easily manipulate it. ATS follows a structured work package method to ensure a successful implementation of your Advanced Scheduling solution.
To make sure the schedule is accurate, a clear understanding of your manufacturing environment is needed. The ATS engineer will model the system in a way that reflects the outline of your plant. Therefore, data is needed, which is mostly supplied by various data sources such as ERP, Excel and MES. The intuitive, out-of-the-box data interface of SIMATIC IT Preactor allows you to easily connect data from different data sources. If the required data is not available in other systems, the data can be entered into the SIMATIC IT Preactor database itself.
Training on the job
Once the data is loaded into SIMATIC IT Preactor, the users can operate the system and will be trained to use it. Next step is to get familiar with the new way of working. The ATS engineer will assist the users in their task generating and updating the schedule. The hands-on, training-on-the-job approach is considered very useful and essential for the adoption process.
The planner is now able to generate the day-to-day schedules and can distribute the work-to-lists to the shop floor with just one mouse click. By use of (digital) reports or displays, the operators are instructed which orders they need to produce. Having this insight means a major improvement in productivity. Operators do not need to sort the work orders based on due date or priority anymore or to ensure that a previous work center will finish on time – this has already been done upfront, with the release of the schedule. Starting from the top of the work-to-list will result in an organized and structured way of working and an enormous increase in productivity.
Shop floor data collection and feedback
As in every company, distortions such as machine breakdowns, late material deliveries, rush orders or operators going home sick will occur. No matter how frequently the schedule is updated, it is important to keep it current. Some companies update their schedule once a day, others like to update their schedule multiple times a day. Using SIMATIC IT Preactor enables you to update and reschedule whenever you want.
Depending on your processes there are various ways to collect the shop floor data, from manual entry to fully automated controls. ATS has multiple solutions at different price levels available. The ATS Engineer will help you to implement the solution which best fits your organizational systems and processes and realize a fast return on investment.
Using SIMATIC IT Preactor saves you a lot of time every day, enables you to become smarter and faster than your competitors and helps to better utilize your resources and equipment.
- Creates schedules that synchronize orders and operations in seconds
- Management can identify potential problems and fix them before they actually happen
- What-if scenario modelling
- Considers multiple constraints and business rules to create feasible plans
- Improved Customer Service
- Inventory Reduction
- Cycle Time Reduction
- Productivity Increase