SMB Production Scheduling Blog

Product update: pause a task

The last, but not least product update of the year finally rounds up what we introduced earlier this year as Execute Mode. Operators (and also planners acting as operators) now can also pause an already started task. We call this "set on hold". With this new functionality, an operator can virtually split a task into a part that is already done and into a part that needs to get scheduled again (and hence executed at a later point of time). When setting a task on hold, users of a PRO plan can specify the remaining runtime, while users of an ENTERPRISE plan can specify the remaining quantity. 

How to set a task on hold

Execute Mode - Set on Hold - New ButtonIf you want to set a task on hold, you need to make sure that one prerequisite is met: the task needs to be started. Seems trivial, but is obvious - you only can pause something that is running.

Here is how to set a started task on hold.

  1. Enter the Execute Mode - either via the Execute tab in the just plan it application, or by logging into the Operator Client (if your user role is operator).
  2. Select the Task that you want to set on hold (pause)
  3. Click the orange "set on hold" button that appears in the right-hand side dialogue in the application and also in the Operator Client main dialog.
  4. Then a new dialog opens in which you can provide multiple details about the task that you want to pause. The main information to provide is the remaining runtime from now (PRO users), resp. the remaining quantity to produce (ENTERPRISE users).
  5. If you want to give the planner some more details about why you put this task on hold, you can also provide an operator note here.

This what the operator should do. The planner then can just approve this "on hold" information provided by the operator. When being in the approval mode, the on hold task is flagged with a red circle. When hovering with the mouse over this task, the planner sees the remaining runtime (quantity) in the info window plus he also sees the comment that the operator gave via the operator note.

Execute Mode - Set on Hold - Tooltip and Flagged Task

What happens with a paused (on hold) task

Let's go back one step from the above situation. Look at the first job: the third task (sawing on CNC Saw #1) is started (green). It was supposed to finish, but is not yet reported as finished due to some issues. You can see that is was supposed to already finish because the end of this task's bar is left of the vertical green "date time now" line.On Hold - What Happens - Step 1

Now the operator presses the "on hold" button and gives the information that the remaining runtime from now should be another 90 minutes. Please note: "from now" means from the point in time that the operator provides this information (not from the point in time that the planner will approve the information). As consequence, the yellow "pulse-to" line moves and equals the green "date time now" line. This means that the latest information provided from the shopfloor is now. On Hold - What Happens - Step 2

In case the planner approves this shopfloor information, the following happens:

  • The "original" task 30 (sawing on CNC Saw #1) is set to finished
  • The finish date then equals the new planning start (yellow pulse-to line as of above)
  • A new sub-task 30-1 (sawing on CNC Saw #1) is created and added into the job - after task 30 and before task 40.
  • This new task has the status "planned" and the runtime 90 (as reported "remaining runtime runtime from now" by the operator) 

On Hold - What Happens - Step 3

By the way: this new task can be scheduled and dragged & dropped again ... as its status is planned. This means, the planner now can move the this residual task to a future time by setting a time constraint.On Hold - What Happens - Step 4

That's it how we rounded the Execute Mode. The new function had already been rolled out into all user accounts. As always: I would appreciate if you share with me your thoughts in the comments section below, and also let us know what you want us to work in 2019. I promise: I will share my views on this with you shortly as well ;-)

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Topics: Product news