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Get more scheduling "horse power" to your easy production scheduling software. Add two resources to one task. Apply send-ahead quantity to start a successor before the predecessor finishes. Work with resources with a capacity larger than 1 and apply what we call the hybrid scheduling.

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The modular concept

just plan it is a modular production scheduling software. It allows you to "configure" your easy and visual production scheduling experience by your own, and tailor "your" software to your needs. That way, you always just pay to us what you need and use. The smallest paid version is called STARTER. Once on the STARTER plan, you can add functional modules to enhance your production scheduling capabilities. 

The Advanced Scheduling II module: what is in it?

The Advanced Scheduling II module as of now consists of three additional scheduling capabilities:

  • Add two resources to one task at the same time (e.g. machine and machine operator).
  • Send-ahead quantity which enables you to schedule a successor task before the predecessor is finished. 
  • The capacity level that you can define for each resource.
  • Hybrid scheduling, which allows you to schedule some jobs manually although you have the general setting of an automatic scheduling. The manually scheduled and thus pinned jobs won't then be impacted by any automatic scheduling update.

More details about two resources for one task

In a high mix low volume business, a core characteristic is that both categories of resources – machines and staff – are essentially needed to fulfill a task at the same time and with the fact that both categories can potentially be a bottleneck. Hence you have no other option as to simultaneously consider this double availability constraint. Let´s have a look at one example:

Job 14 is consisting out of four tasks: Preparation, Molding, Cutting and Finishing. For Molding, both a molding machine and mold is required to operate the task. Analogously this is the case for Cutting. Here a machine and one person is needed. This 2-Resource group-constraint can be inserted either via the Job Details dialog by selecting multiple resource groups or in the Task Details dialog by creating two resource group lines (see below). For Task 20 (Molding) there are two resource groups defined: „Molding_Machines“ and „Molding_Molds“. The „Resource Constraints“ field shows all group members by default. But as explained above in #2, this can be individually adjusted to any subsets of usable resources.

Enhanced job shop scheduling capabilities - blog - 06

The scheduling engine was enhanced accordingly to deal with this double availability constraints. Consequently, it automatically finds the best combination based on the determined resource capacities. In our example this leads to the following Resource Group View:

Enhanced job shop scheduling capabilities - blog - 07

The „double tasks“ are visualized by (animated) dotted lines in the Resource Group View if you select the respective job. In the Job View, we added another hierarchy that enables you to expand „double tasks“ to see both resource lines (see below).

Enhanced job shop scheduling capabilities - blog - 08


More details about send-ahead quantity

Send-ahead is defined as the movement of a portion of units of a batch to a subsequent task before completion of the current task for all units of the batch. The next task can be started when the send-ahead quantity is produced. The purpose of sending units ahead is to reduce the throughput time of the respective job.

Let´s have a look at one example.

2019-12-04 Bild 5 - job dialogue gleiche zeit

Here you can see how the overlap is automatically considered by the scheduling engine. In this example – as the production time per unit is the same in all three steps – there is a consistent overlap during the entire process.

2019-12-04 Bild 6 - overlap gleiche Zeit

If we modify the sample data and reduce the production time per unit of T011 to the half value, then this leads to following schedule.

2019-12-04 Bild 7 - job dialogue ungleiche zeit

Here you can see that the overlap is automatically considered by the scheduling engine again, but in a (slightly) different way. As the production time per unit of task T010 is longer than the production time per unit of task T011, it does not make much sense to directly start task T011 after completion of the first unit within task T010. The duration of task T011 would then be 180mins as well but include 90mins of unproductive waiting times. The just plan it scheduling engine automatically considers this and plans the starting date of task T011 at that point where the minimum duration of process time and machine occupation (which is 3*30 = 90mins) for T011 is achieved. Therefore the overlap is “shifted rightwards” accordingly.

2019-12-04 Bild 8 - overlap ungleiche Zeit


More details about the capacity level

The capacity level is a new attribute for a resource. The capacity level can be defined as an integer value only. In essence, a resource with a higher capacity level can complete the same task faster than a resource with a lower capacity level.

Example: you have a task with a runtime of 240 minutes.

  • Resource 1 with capacity level = 1 needs 240 minutes to complete it.
  • Resource 2 with capacity level = 2 needs 120 minutes to complete it.
  • Resource 3 with capacity level = 4 needs 60 minutes to complete it.

Capacity Level

Have a look at the animated image above: the resources named team #2 and team #3 have a dedicated capacity level. The capacity level for team #2 is 2, and the capacity level for team #3 is 4. The capacity level is displayed in the white box in the left-hand table. When the task 20 is re-assigned from team #1 (capacity level of 1) to team #2 or team #3, the runtime for the task gets shortened accordingly.

As such, the capacity level follows the idea, that de facto you do not need to schedule down to a single resource, but than you can cluster some resources into teams.