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Production Planning in an Industrial Machine JOB SHOP



We design and assemble industrial machines. Most of the component and parts are purchased from outside, but some "special custom" parts/components are produced inside. Each machine is a project in itself, even if they do not always differ so much from each other. Various customizations make each machine as a "new" product from production point of view. This makes it hard to do production schedule in a simple way. It leads often to not have time to build complete machine in time. The company promise a delivery time of 10-12 weeks. It´s needed ca 160 -250 man-hours to assemble a machine and about 4-6 people working / installing these machines!

Now to my question, is there anyone who has similar type of business and has a good suggestion on how to schedule/plan this type of production, for example capacity utilization, the production schedule, status, deadline, etc? How does your planning system look like? Should I run one machine at a time, or? Today, up to four machines can be assembled at the same time sometimes.


Quick and dirty overview on how we achieve scheduling to meet deadlines:

We use a job tracking system, where by all jobs issued are allocated a job number, a budgeted number of hours and a expected completion date.

What we then do is have job fabrication cards issued to the allocated workforce they enter the number of hours worked and our QC floor staff enter progress on a daily basis, form this we can calculate estimated completion time via hours burnt and percentage complete, this gives us some flexibility where we can add more staff if required to meet the desired completion date. Our main driver is the completion date if more hours are burnt than budgeted for then we do a analysis in regard to why, and feed the actuals back to our estimating department to fine tune the processes.:whip:
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