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.