Abstract: Manufacturers are constantly looking for a competitive advantage in order to survive. The trend in the 80’s was to achieve “World Class Manufacturing” status based on better quality, continuous improvement on customer service and lower costs. One way to reach this goal is by synchronising the flow of work through the factory, so that excessive in-process stocks do not build up.
The research has led to the development of a tool kit called Interactive Production Planning and Scheduling Advice System (IPPASAS), which helps companies to eliminate the main barrier to synchronise manufacturing, capacity constraints. It assists in the definition of a preferred product mix and permits and evaluation of possible scheduling techniques. Two of the most famous scheduling algorithms, Manufacturing Resource Planning and Theory of Constraints, are emulated by the tool kit. Appendix I contains a visual interactive program that explains the logic and main modules of this system.
This approach has been tested in three real plants. These experiences also provided some extra insights about scheduling techniques and guide-lines for defining scheduling parameters.
Author: Luis Henrique Rodrigues