Digitalization in production scheduling for plant engineering
For some years now the topics Industry 4.0, Smart Factory, AI etc. have been discussed, but in reality almost all medium and large companies in Germany still plan their production with Excel. Many thought that supplementing their ERP system with an MES system would be the solution for lean production, but many realize that they cannot do without manual planning with Excel.
Production planning is the brain or backbone of a factory, and all the organs of the company are geared towards carrying out their respective activities just-in-time. If the production planning is flawed, expensive wastes are the result.
Most suppliers of planning software have a “fragmented” portfolio of functionally independent applications rather than seamlessly integrated applications. However, what is essential for Industry 4.0 is fully automated APS/SCP software to “orchestrate” horizontal, end-to-end and cross-functional processes. Asprova software is an algorithmic planning system that meets these requirements and gives you more added value.
Initial situation GEBHARDT Company
The ERP system of the GEBHARDT GmbH is SAP. Until the introduction of Asprova APS software 2016, they were forced to plan and control their processes with Excel, i.e. manually. The in-house production depth is very high. With complex manufacturing processes (e.g. laser cutting, punching, bending, turning, milling, welding, pre-/final assembly, electrical assembly, etc.) including external production for galvanising and painting, it is impossible for a human brain (using Excel) to create an optimal sequence planning. The challenges at GEBHARDT company were
- The planning know-how was almost exclusively in the head of the production manager.
- The complexity of the planning processes increased continuously as the product portfolio and the number of projects grew.
- The start date for production orders was determined by experience and corresponded to a push production. Start dates were constantly re-scheduled on demand.
- The non-synchronous production of the individual components led to long lead times.
- The high stagnation caused high inventories, especially semi-finished products.
The GEBHARDT GmbH enjoys constant growth. Due to the increase of the planning complexity, caused by the enormously increased order situation, an optimisation of the processes was necessary. The resulting requirements require a considerable increase in effectiveness and efficiency.