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Improved bottleneck management with visual production scheduling

Executive summary

Cortinas México is a manufacturer of rolling doors, metallic curtains and innovative products such as Aluvista curtains made of polycarbonate to protect the die-cuts from wind, dust, and rain. They scheduled their production with a Gantt chart that was built in Excel, but they were not able to calculate reliable due dates for their jobs. Today just plan it helps them to build a production schedule. 

Results are:

  • get exact finish dates
  • clear idea of how things are going on in the shop floor
  • better handling of bottlenecks

The production scheduling challenge

Cortinas México scheduled their production with a Gantt chart that was built in Excel. As a kind of work-around they divided the manufacturing facility into manufacturing areas, calculated an average capacity per area (as an area-specific unit of measure,) allocated jobs to these areas accordingly. Hence, Cortinas México had to consider the area-specific unit of measures when assigning jobs to the manufacturing areas.

This created a lot of issues: First, there was no universal measuring unit in the process. Second, scheduling with Excel was slow. Third this methodology was inexact as it oversimplified their production process.

Consequently, Cortinas México was not able to calculate reliable due dates for their jobs.

About Cortinas México

Cortinas México is a manufacturer of rolling doors made of aluminum, steel and other materials for the building industry. In the last decade, Cortinas México continued to manufacture safety curtains, metallic curtains, roll-up curtains and at the same time, developing innovative products such as Aluvista curtains made of polycarbonate to protect the die-cuts from wind, dust, and rain.

 

About job shop scheduling

Have look at our ultimate guide to visual job shop scheduling if you want to take a deep dive into this topic.

Production scheduling requirements

Hence, they started to search for an external production scheduling application to help deliver on time and to schedule faster and more accurately. One reason why they decided to choose just plan it is that the software also works with resource groups, which is equal to their manufacturing areas. A big plus is also, that there is only one universal measuring unit across all separate areas. Additionally, this unit of measure is minutes, which makes scheduling much more accurate

Jeronimo Alvarez, Senior Director Manufacturing at Cortinas México, says:

“just plan it gives us a much more exact finish date for our jobs."

Learning and using just plan it

Cortinas México participated in the individual on-boarding program to learn just plan it, and to make sure they use it according to their specific needs. Hence, they had a weekly meeting with a scheduling expert who led them through the process. Jeronimo Alvarez summarizes:

The on-boarding was great.

One obvious improvement of using just plan it for production scheduling is the ability to get much more exact finish dates. This helps Cortinas México with their communication with their clients. A second effect is, that they have now a clear idea of how things are going on in the shop floor. This is due to the constant feedback that they get via the “operator client” from the operators on the shop floor. The third improvement that Cortinas México achieved is a much better handling of bottleneck as Jeronimo explains:

Thanks to jpi we are also able to measure the productivity of each area and draw conclusions from the data it gives us. From there we have been able to reassign certain people to other areas and we have discovered bottlenecks that we didn't know were so important.