Integration is the art of harmonizing hardware, software, and equipment systems in order to optimize, visualize, and automate manufacturing processes.

Automation is the art of transforming manually performed business activities into processes that are orchestrated and controlled through software solutions.

Optimization is the art of maximizing manufacturing efficiency, throughput, OEE, yield, and quality by monitoring, analyzing, and iteratively tuning manufacturing processes.

Visualization is the art of providing transparency into manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain operations in order to enable continuous optimization.

Migration is the art of exchanging critical business processes and IT systems without disrupting manufacturing operations.

A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter.

Best practices documents describe manufacturing IT solutions which are accepted within the manufacturing industry as being correct or most effective.

Previously recorded webinars provide in-depth discussion regarding specific manufacturing topics and solutions.

Demos are brief videos that showcase a specific aspect of a manufacturing topic or solution.

Presentations and recordings from past events hosted or attended by SYSTEMA are available to view or download.

Case studies are up-close and detailed examinations of challenges faced within a real-world manufacturing environment along with proven solutions.

Data sheets provide critical pieces of information, such as features and technical details, related to SYSTEMA’s products and services.

Blogs are informal discussions or informational pieces related to manufacturing optimization topics, solutions, and SYSTEMA-related news.

Event-Driven Dispatching

Event-Driven Dispatching

For Smart Manufacturing

When is Event-Driven Dispatching needed?

To achieve production targets in today’s complex manufacturing environments, it is critical to efficiently and accurately process work-in-progress (WIP) from the point of executing the production order all the way through to fulfillment and delivery of the product. Issues that disrupt these efforts commonly center around events which occur during the execution of even the most carefully designed production plan. These events can include:

  • Scheduled and unscheduled maintenance tasks
  • Equipment failures
  • Variations in staffing levels (short staffing due to illness or other reasons)
  • Execution/misprocessing errors
  • Unavailability of equipment
  • Equipment doesn’t offer capabilities necessary for processing a given lot
  • Processing delays due to variable recipe run times and setup conditions
  • Bottlenecks and starvations
  • Changes in manufacturing priorities

Event-driven dispatching responds to these situations in real-time, evaluating events and resources in order to keep production flowing optimally and without delay.

Phases of Production Planning & Execution

Event-driven dispatching is a critical component of production execution alongside production management efforts related to resource scheduling, and production, capacity, and demand planning. The phases of production planning and execution for the purposes of this discussion can be characterized as follows:

Phase 1: Production, capacity and demand planning 

Production planning is the process used to define, plan, and control long-term plans. A production plan incorporates manufacturing capacity, sales forecasts and orders, and raw material requirements. These planning processes lay the foundation to ensure manufacturing is scheduled and staffed with sufficient capacity to build finished goods and meet forecasted as well as confirmed orders.

Phase 2: Scheduling

Scheduling is the process used to define, plan and control near- to mid-term production plans, typically at a daily or shift level (4, 8, 12-hour increments). Scheduling has its limitations but is effective for planning ahead to calculate expected resource loading depending on number of tasks, how resources are expected to be utilized, and any known constraints.

Scheduling becomes inefficient as a tool at the moment when scheduled events are unable to be executed as planned and there is a real-time need to determine sequencing of tasks and resources.

Events including maintenance tasks, equipment failures, fluctuation in staffing levels, execution misprocessing errors, bottlenecks, starvations, and changes in management priorities invariably upend the most thoughtfully crafted production plan. In these cases, event-driven dispatching has proven to be invaluable.

Phase 3: Event-driven dispatching

Event-driven dispatching keeps equipment operators (or transport systems) informed at all times of the right material to process, in the right order, at the right equipment. This ensures production is free of  misprocessing or excess tool wait times which are common in the absence of automated dispatching systems.

Production floors achieve improved equipment utilization, maximum manufacturing capacity, and reduced labor costs by consistently applying processing rules and automating lot-prioritization evaluation factors such as batching requirements, timer conditions, equipment capability, equipment availability and management priorities. 

Whitepaper Dispatching Explained

Production targets are the pulse of the manufacturing floor. Although everyone is 100% committed to them, month after month, the actual numbers fall short. Yield and quality are not currently an issue. Production tools and processes are stable. The factory is staffed and trained. So why are the targets so hard to consistently hit?  

Now imagine that every time an operator (or automated material handling system) is preparing to start material to process, they simply check their constantly up-to-date, prioritized WIP list that is optimized to enable the overall manufacturing line to hit targets. Would knowing the right material to process, right now, on the right piece of equipment help meet production targets? We think so.

Efficient, automated dispatching of WIP is a fundamental enabler toward achieving production targets in today’s complex manufacturing environments.

What is Event-Driven Dispatching?

Evaluation of the most efficient material for processing in a production line is error prone. It doesn’t have to be. Event-driven dispatching solves this problem by providing equipment operators with a prioritized, real-time dispatch list indicating the right material to process, on the right equipment, right now. A properly implemented, event-driven dispatching system relies on customizable, management-defined rules along with data regarding lot and equipment states, equipment capabilities, management priorities, and constraints in order to accurately and efficiently keep WIP flowing from one process step to the next.

Equipment-specific dispatching lists for all queued lots are presented to equipment operators at each piece of equipment. The lists are presented and adjusted in real-time as events occur such as material track-in/track-out, lot hold/release, equipment state or capability changes, or accommodations for batch reservations.

Event-driven dispatch lists ensure that only the lots capable of being processed on a piece of equipment are available for selection. Just because equipment is “up” doesn’t mean it offers the recipe, process chemicals, tooling, or other requirements necessary to process a lot. Event-driven dispatch lists make important details regarding the recommended processing of lots visible to equipment operators. For instance, if a lot at the highest priority position for a tool isn’t runnable because the tool doesn’t offer the required process capability, then the operator can immediately see “why” this is the case. Or, perhaps, a lot has just completed processing in a furnace and needs to cool before further processing. In this case, a minimum timer would block the lot from proceeding to the next step and timer restriction details would be visible to the operator. To read several more examples of real-world manufacturing challenges and how they can be solved with event-driven dispatching, read more in “Dispatching Detailed”.

Get Whitepaper

If deviations from the recommendations of an event-driven dispatching system become common, it’s likely that floor operators have information that is not available to the dispatching system for some reason. That information should be used to create new rules which will improve the event-driven dispatcher’s recommendations. Compliance monitoring is encouraged to support the ongoing incorporation of human processing intelligence into event-driven dispatching logic.

Key Benefits

WIP Management

Reduce misprocessing by keeping equipment operators up-to-date on the right material to process, on the right equipment, right now

WIP Management

Improve cycle time by automating the synthesis and evaluation of data required for efficient dispatching of material from one process step to the next

WIP Management

Maximize manufacturing capacity without increasing labor cost by automating manual processes

WIP Management

Ensure unanticipated events don't disrupt  your ability to efficiently move WIP through the factory

Whitepaper Dispatching Detailed

SYSTEMA recently solicited real-world scenarios from manufacturers who were facing specific challenges in their factories as it relates to dispatching. To be clear, dispatching is defined as:

“the determination of the right material to process, on the right equipment, right now.”

In exchange, we took these very detailed scenarios, summarized them, and offered our approach to resolving each issue using an automated, event-driven dispatching solution. We are happy to share these automated dispatching use cases with you today.

SYSTEMA’s Approach – The Art of Automation

SYSTEMA goes beyond providing software licensing. We are solutions consultants who partner with and advise our clients as they explore the art of automation. We begin by gaining a comprehensive understanding of your business. During on-site workshops, working together we will identify, gather, and prioritize requirements, determine ROI, formulate KPIs, and align the vision and objectives with stakeholders (management, production, IT, enterprise management, etc.). From there, we typically strive to first develop and provide a proof-of-concept as a basis for further iteration and development into a final product for testing and future deployment. Our teams are present across the globe including locations in the EU, US, India, SEA, and Israel. We are prepared to support your initiatives, large and small, to efficiently realize the benefits of a digital transformation of manufacturing.

EDDi: Event-Driven Dispatcher

SYSTEMA’s Event-Driven Dispatcher (EDDi) provides sophisticated control over the evaluation of each unique dispatching scenario in your manufacturing environment. EDDi delivers constantly up-to-date, prioritized lot lists that equipment operators can rely on. Your equipment operators will always know the right lot to process, right now, on the right piece of equipment.

Prepare to say goodbye to the headaches, spreadsheets, sticky notes and constant phone calls associated with manual dispatching solutions. Read more about EDDi

SYSTEMA's Event-Driven Dispatcher EDDi Logo