There have been many issues over the years in the manufacturing sector, which have made it difficult to maximise the output. Not least of these issues is maintaining the work that has to be done, and fitting this work into a timely order.
With tight deadlines being the normal circumstance in many instances, there is always a necessity not to take up crucial employee time looking after the paper work required. So the main purpose in giving business wide visibility to a computerised Finite Capacity Schedule is to maximise the time spent on the work itself and not on the paperwork.
It stops the problem of not getting a paper copy of the work order on time, or of losing a vital report at the wrong time. With the ability to control the importing of new data, updates and changes to a Finite Capacity Schedule Viewing System, one can update the work orders daily, or even have it updated by the minute for the recent information.
While in a perfect manufacturing environment, there would be only one machine that would do all tasks needed to complete a Work Order, this is not the usual circumstance. Typically each work order is a team exercise with several machines involved with the process.
One of the key functions of a Finite Capacity Schedule Viewing System is to cater for these situations by allowing staff at each machine, with access to a network enabled computer terminal, to view a work order as it goes along the chain, and prepare accordingly.
The feature can be widened further, by having wide area networks etc, to view work orders in other divisions of the business. These divisions could be in other premises, even other countries, and the ability still holds that information can be easily shared between multiple entities.
As in a fully featured business reporting system, a fully optioned Finite Capacity Schedule Viewing System is able to display just the relevant data, for example, to a customer service person responsible for a selection of customers, hence, they are able to have customer delivery information at their fingertips.
This functionality can be provided directly from the Finite Capacity Schedule Viewing System or by having it tightly integrated into the host system. At factory level, there is much information that could be passed along the chain for each work order, and the Finite Capacity Schedule Viewing System caters for this by taking the information from the Scheduler.
Just a fraction of this information passed including for example:- How much work is coming up for a machine, so planning for downtime can be organised; Considering the priority of a work order, so that less important tasks are not put in front of urgent ones; What the next work order is, so that planning can be done for it.
There are a number of tools available that are used to give this information in a Finite Capacity Schedule. The main ones are the Gantt Chart Board and Data Lists. The Lists are, as the name suggests, a list of work order information that fills the specified criteria. For a quick overview of what is happening though, the tool is the Work Order Gantt Chart Board.
Graphical Scheduling software and business wide viewing software has been the focus of business for Keyvak, with The Planner software first released in 1991. Users in the USA, Australia and New Zealand have benefited corporate wide visibility of their manufacturing schedules using The Planner software for Production Planning and Scheduling. The Planner integrates with Access, Foxpro, SQL Server and Oracle databases.