Since 1985 FDS has been closely associated with purely Made to Order (or Project type) companies. This includes companies manufacturing Moulds/Dies and made to order capital equipments (Boilers, Machine Tools, Pumps). The peculiarities of this type of manufacture are:
- Each customer order is for a different and unique product configuration,
- Material is specifically procured for each Order. Thus there are no common parts across orders and the schedule must drive material procurement,
- The ability to quote a realistic (yet tight) delivery commitment and meet it with high certainty is critical,
- Need to simultaneously consider machine, manpower and tool constraints and their interrelationships,
- The demand pattern changes constantly (new customer orders are received, priorities of existing customer orders changes and orders get partially and fully completed),
- Apart from capacity limits on machines/manpower/tools, the Scheduling system must consider a host of other constraints: Shop calendars (Shift Times, Weekly Offs, Holidays), Machine/Tool breakdowns, non-working shifts for individual Machines, interrelations across parts of each sub-assembly/product for scheduling, interrelations of operations within the Route Sheet for each part, detailed production timings broken down into setup, operation and cleanup times, clubbing of similar operations and so on.
- Need to know the precise status of each Order on the shop floor. This is a basic input for generating future schedules.
The critical issue here is not to maximize resource usage but to use available resources to meet delivery commitment of each Customer Order in the best possible fashion.
Our Job Shop scheduling algorithm meets above requirements to generate effective and realistic schedules for Job Shops. It has also been used in areas such as Press Shops and Machine Shops where input materials are not a major constraint. Our scheduling solution for Job Shops has following important features:
- A forward pass/ rule based finite capacity scheduling solution that simultaneously considers machine, manpower and tool availability,
- Unique single pass algorithm that makes it one of the fastest scheduler in its class.
- Highly configurable, rich and simple GUI, minimum need for customization.
- In addition to its rich and powerful scheduling capabilities it boasts of features that make it a complete manufacturing management system. These include:
- What if analysis : You can model the effect of deploying different rules, changing order quantity, order due dates, blocking and freeing of resources, splitting and grouping of orders, freeing or blocking shifts/ holidays/ weekly offs and so on. The simulation thus created can be compared with “as is” schedule before zeroing in on the best possible alternative.
- Manufacturing updates : Facilities for updates of manufacturing orders, resource availability changes (machine/skill/tool resources) and their use as input to generate schedules that are realistic, up to the minute.