Table of contents
In our previous article, “Efficient production schedule – what are its critical elements,” we mentioned that creating a production schedule that is a mix of different approaches is usually the best way to organize your production. After all, isn’t it more comfortable to first look at whether you should divide the work by machines, people, operations, or groups of machines and then organize manufacturing orders the way it makes the most sense for the project?
You might initially have some problems deciding which method you should use though. So to help you out, we outlined a few examples to show you how exactly you can organize things to make the production schedule nice and clear.
Option 1 – Organize manufacturing orders by different machines.
Everything is straightforward – production scheduling based on machines is one of the easiest and most popular methods.
Where production schedules organized by different machines would work well:
- machining processes: different CNC machines, saws, conventional lathes
- elastomer goods production: different hydraulic presses
- injection moulding: different moulding machines
- packaging production: initial production processes such as slotters, printing machines, and screen printing.
How to get the most of production scheduling based on machines:
- It is good to reflect the order of the machines on your production schedule with their real setting at the production hall; if you have five injection molding machines that are inset in a particular order from left to right, try to do the same in Prodio.
- Instead of complicated names, give your machines some simple markings or use numbers. When there are five similar injection molding machines, you can name them respectively: IM1, IM2, IM3, IM4, IM5, or use common names such as Arburg next to the window, large Fanuc machine, etc.
- When there are many machines in your production hall, it is good to divide them into two computers (and dashboards), with each computer at the opposite end of the production hall. The machines closer to that computer will be analogically displayed on that dashboard.
Option 2 – group machines into production cells/groups which are at the production hall
Instead of dividing the production schedule into machines, please put them in groups that take part in the given stage of the production process, ex — conventional lathes, machining centers, etc. As a result, you will use tags to suggest work at the particular machine within the working group.
This approach to production scheduling works perfectly when:
- there isn’t one fixed machine in your production technology that is used to work, which offers you more flexibility and the freedom of choice,
- the operator is the “bottleneck” of the process because he manages a few machines and decides which job is done on which particular machine,
- it would be time-consuming to divide everything into particular machines/ people, and there isn’t a need for so many details,
- you have many machines at the production hall, and this is just the beginning of your adventure with production scheduling, so it’s better to keep things simple to implement production scheduling software successfully,
- There are straightforward machines and operations. There is no need to go into many details because there are mainly manual works; for example, when next to large CNC machines, a person manually polishes things with a hand-held grinder. Instead of separate tools, it is enough to write one “polishing” operation in the system.
Option 3 – Organize manufacturing orders by operations / technological steps
There are operations visible on the production schedule instead of separate machines as we progress through the whole technological process step by step. It is the most general approach, but in many industries, it allows to introduce the essential production control over the production process and monitor what is happening in the company without breaking things up into more details.
This approach to production scheduling works perfectly when:
- In a small manufacturing company, you have many bespoke complex orders. For one customer, who is buying a new home, fit the furniture in the whole house. All you need to know is if the given kitchen furniture left cutting or assembly and progressed to varnishing operation,
- you work on half-ready elements from design programs – see the above,
- you are mainly interested in the labor intensity of the process – so how much time took each activity, to know the total work time and labor cost in the end,
- manual works performed by a larger group of people, such as manual box gluing, sorting, etc.,
- Even when you mass-produce a serial product, the whole production process always has the same steps – in reality, you can see a Kanban board with statuses.
Good practices when you divide things into steps/operations:
- Include documents preparation stage/ manufacturing engineers programming stage
- don’t make things too simple ex. in a majority of varnishing operations, it is good to divide the whole process into the preparation stage, initial varnishing process, polishing, final varnishing operation,
- include assembly teams working on locations, service teams, etc., and mark them as a stage of the production process to monitor progress and set the queue of orders,
- Don’t forget about the external operations such as galvanization or heat treatment to follow them on the production schedule and monitor each element’s progress.
Option 4 – production scheduling organized by production workers
In Prodio, but also in other manufacturing software, assigning a particular task on the machine/operation to a specific worker, regardless of the scheduling plan you decide to use. This is not what this option is about.
Here we talk about when the orders queue consists of workers (namely, John Smith) without assigned machines (or machines assigned as tags/comments under orders). Of course, this approach in a larger company might not work, but in the smaller ones, it sometimes makes sense, especially when:
- employees have unique skills or specialize in a particular area of technological process – it is necessary to group and queue orders according to their availability,
- there are experts in your company, who are the real “bottleneck” of the production process,
- other workers don’t continue the same job doing the same operations.
When you search for information about production scheduling possibilities in Prodio and want to check out the first steps – see this article:
Using Prodio, you can organize your production schedule in any way that is convenient for you – and add changes or updates to it in a flash. Do you want to see how it might work with your own schedule? Then, how about you will meet us for a demo presentation or try out our free 14-day trial? We can bet that soon, you won’t imagine creating your schedules in any other way.
So what is the best way to organize manufacturing orders inside your own facility? That all depends on your needs. For some companies, organizing it by machines is the most convenient option. Others prefer having a schedule with task groups or technological steps. And you might find out that switching between different organizing methods works best for your own team.
Whichever method you choose, you can use it together with our Prodio with ease – and switch them whenever you want. What matters it that you will have a crystal clear production schedule for you and your workers – and so the endless confusion on who is doing what right now will finally end.
How to organize manufacturing orders FAQ
What is the importance of production scheduling in optimizing manufacturing processes?
Production scheduling plays a vital role in ensuring maximum efficiency and timely delivery of goods. To name just a few benefits, it helps in coordinating various tasks, resources, and timelines to streamline the production process and meet customer demands. Implementing effective production scheduling techniques can lead to increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.
How can a manufacturing company improve production scheduling using technology?
A good way is to leverage production technology, such as manufacturing software and order management systems to enhance their production scheduling capabilities. These tools automate scheduling tasks, enable real-time monitoring of production activities, and provide accurate data for informed decision-making. By adopting advanced technology solutions, companies can achieve better control over their production schedules, optimize resource allocation, and improve overall efficiency.
What are some different approaches to organizing a production schedule?
Depending on their main needs, manufacturing facilities can organize their production schedules by machines, main tasks, or by creating groups of tasks. In some cases, organizing the schedule by workers rather than machines might also be a good idea.
How can different types of production technology enhance production scheduling?
Different types of production technology, such as manufacturing software and automation tools, can greatly enhance production scheduling. These technologies streamline and automate various aspects of the production process, including order management, resource allocation, inventory tracking, and scheduling optimization. By leveraging such technologies, companies can achieve faster turnaround times, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency in their facilities.
Ready to Streamline Your Shop Floor?
Simple to use, yet effective online manufacturing software that puts you in control.Get started today
14-day free trial - No credit card needed - Unlimited free support