Global competition necessitates manufacturers find ways to optimize production operations by reducing or eliminating non-value-added activities. Innovative technology continues to aid in this process, with various degrees of complexity in integrating that technology into the manufacturing operations workflow. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software offers dramatic opportunity for efficiencies, with little disruption to operations, offering the perfect starting point for manufacturers ready to see what digitalization can do for them.
APS leverages algorithms to analyze and calculate achievable production schedules, considering a broad range of constraints and business rules, allowing manufacturing planners to generate and evaluate all possible scenarios – quickly – to make strategic, fully informed business decisions.
So, what’s the difference between planning and scheduling?
Planning helps you
- Decide what, when, where, and how much to make
- Understand materials and resources required
- Plan work in the long term (days, weeks, months ahead)
Scheduling helps you
- Choose the best way to execute against your plan
- Sequence and synchronize
- Understand priorities, constraints and conflicts
- Monitor execution and manage change
- Plan work in the short term (minutes, hours, days ahead)
APS isn’t just a nice to have – in today’s competitive market, it’s critical. Without APS, planners could never efficiently consider all the possible sequence combinations for their resources. Let’s look at the numbers: Scheduling 10 operations on 1 resource would result in 10! (3.6 million) possible sequence combinations. Simply adding one more operation increases the number of combinations 1000%. Since none of us have 8 quadrillion years – the amount of time it would take to compute the optimal solution for 30 operations at 1 billion combinations per second – relying on a scheduling tool just makes sense.
SIMATIC IT Preactor APS has been developed to highlight potential problems to allow proactive decision making to balance demand and capacity. SIMATIC IT Preactor APS is versatile, and has compelling benefits for a wide range of manufacturers. From SMBs to large enterprises in any industry, SIMATIC IT Preactor APS
- reduces WIP
- improves delivery performance
- reduces inventory
- shortens cycle times
- and leads to rapid ROI.
Learn more about how APS kickstarts your digitalization journey in our latest infographic.