Every production company has a production plan in play, which it more or less successfully pursues. If production planning isn’t effective, this can result in time-consuming and unproductive work, which comes with many negative consequences for both employees and the company's operations. And since production planning is an extremely important task that determines the success of all further activities, we’ll discuss it in today's blog.
In doing so, we’ll focus on the example of management and planning in prototype production, where there’s no serial production, while planning is very similar to project management, which means that one product goes through several different sequential and parallel phases. The key activity that the company wishes to achieve at this stage is to have control over which stage the project is currently at and if it’s really reaching the planned performance (both from a temporal and financial point of view).
During the digital transformation process with Tom PIT.connected, each company can gain insight into a plan graph, that’s equipped with real-time data. This means that operators can monitor the implementation of the project during the operations themselves, and all the necessary resources that are essential for the creation of the project/process in production (e.g., material, machine resources, energy sources, additional human resources) are also calculated on the fly.
Absence of project planning can lead to a delay in planned operations
If production processes don’t use such planning, the probability that planned operations will be delayed is high, operators and/or workers will not be informed about this in time. What does this mean for production efficiency itself? Certainly nothing good. Deviations and delays can always occur and are not unusual in production, but if employees don’t have insight into how to react in further steps and phases, it can happen that production suddenly stands still: material deliveries are late, employees are out of work, machines stand still or in other words: there can be huge losses that require enormous financial costs.
A key benefit of planning the project between the different stages of (prototype) production is the reduction of losses that can occur in case of downtime
Losses can be prevented in (prototype) production by automatic planning of various production phases. If the superior receives a timely notification that the material is late, he can reassign his employees and assign them other work tasks. And if, based on real-time data, the superior determines that there will be a downtime at 2 p.m. that day, he can reorganize the work among the employees in advance so that it runs as optimally as possible and with as few losses as possible.
The point of such a production planning system is that the system will automatically notify if planning deviates from the set goals in any way. And what’s most important: the system itself will provide the solution that it thinks is the most optimal at that moment.
Figure 2: Production timeline display on the production line. With the help of the timeline, we get an insight into the order in which the various products or production orders were arranged. We can see the downtime at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Some products can be made in parallel, which can be seen at 4 p.m.