PlannerOne Production Scheduler is a very powerful scheduling tool and makes a great addition to your Dynamics NAV and Manufacturing Plus software, but are you getting the most out of your new purchase?
You may have only been only using Work Centers for your resources and wondered, “What’s the point of setting up Machine Centers?” or “Why should I go through all of the trouble to set up Machine Centers?” Production Scheduler has a very powerful “Scheduling Engine” behind it that will take a lot of the manual process out of managing your schedule. Production Scheduler can “level load” your resources for you if you are using Work Centers and Machine Centers and your item Routings are set up correctly.
If you have multiple machines that do the same job, you should create a Work Center for them and each machine should be a Machine Center that is tied to that Work Center. A great example of this setup would be if you have multiple drill presses. You would create a “Drill Press Work Center” and each individual drill press would be a separate Machine Center.
The next step is to set up your Routings to work with your new Work Centers and Machine Centers. If you have a routing step that requires drilling, you can now set that routing step to your “Drill Press Work Center”. When you run the “Schedule” function in Production Scheduler, you are giving the software the ability to level load this drilling work between your new “Drill Press Machine Centers”. This takes away a lot of the manual process that schedulers typically do to level load their machines; however, you can still manually move the operation to a specific drill press.
You may say, “Wow; that’s great, but what if I have some routing steps that have to go to a specific machine due to size restrictions?” That’s not a problem at all; you just need to set that routing step to that specific Machine Center. In this example; all of your drill presses are able to handle most of the work, but one of them is larger than the others. I may produce a few items that use a larger material that need to go to the larger press, so I want to “hard wire” that routing step to that Machine Center so that it doesn’t end up on any of the smaller drill presses.
There is some initial setup to this, but you are going to get so much more out of your software when your Work Centers and Machine Centers are set up correctly. Equally important, you want to have routings with the correct Work Center/Machine Center assignments and realistic Setup and Run Times.