Before starting to enter master data into ROB-EX Scheduler, it is important to gain an overview of the production area you intend to plan for. As an inspiration you can follow the steps outlined below.

Define planning scope

Limit the area of the production you want to schedule. As you gain more insight into the tool, then you can expand the model into other areas.
It can be a single department or a special production line. Pick an area with well defined processes and with a single flow of materials. I.e. save more complex parallel flows to later when you know the tool better.

Resources

Resources can be both machines, personnel, sub contractors, meeting rooms etc.

Decide at what level of detail you want to schedule. Are the resources named persons and machines (high level of detail). Alternatively a resource could be a man-power group or an entire department (low level of detail). Note that you can mix both levels as needed. Keep in mind that more detail typically requires more effort in both master data creation/maintenance as well as in time used to plan and execute the schedule.

As a general rule of thumb

  • avoid going too deep into detail – unless it provides significant value for you as a planner or for the users going to execute the schedule
  • keep in mind that it only makes sense to schedule with a level of detail that operators in production is capable of executing.

Operations

Define the master operations applicable for the planning domain, i.e. welding, drilling, grinding, packaging, engineering etc.

Master operations are used to model the capability matrix of each resource. I.e. which resource is capable of performing which operation.

Routes

Typically you will have a route for each semi-finished good or product that you produce. In rare cases you may be able to re-use the same route for similar products.

The route defines the activities (operations) needed in order to produce a semi-finished good or product. As an example your product 1001 is produced in three steps: Cutting, Welding and Packaging

In ROB-EX you will create a route named 1001 and

  1. Assign the three operations to the route.
  2. For each operation you
    1. choose a default resource
    2. models the execution times for each operation (i.e. it may consist of a fixed setup time and a variable processing time)
  3. Model how each operation relates to the previous and following operations. As an example you may allow Cutting and Welding to run with a certain overlap. I.e. Welding may start as soon as the first 100 pieces has been cut.

Document your route and operation model

For the sake of this chapter, we will create a model of a metal production, producing two different products 101 and 102. The product routings are quite similar, i.e. both routings contain 4 operations: Sawing, Grinding, Painting and Packaging. The only difference between the two routings are the initially selected resource and some variances in setup and production rates.

We recommend that you document your scheduling problem in Excel or the like following this simple template.

Route name Route description Selected resource Resource group Operation name Setup time Production rate
101 Part 1 Saw 1 Cutting Sawing 0.5 5
101 Part 1 Grinder 1 Grinders Grinding 1 3.0
101 Part 1 Paint line 1 Painting Painting 0 6
101 Part 1 Packaging line 1 Packaging Packaging 0 10
102 Part 2 Saw 2 Cutting Sawing 0.5 6
102 Part 2 Grinder 2 Grinders Grinding 1 4.0
102 Part 2 Paint line 2 Painting Painting 0.5 6
102 Part 2 Packaging line 2 Packaging Packaging 0 10

The unit of the production rate column is parts produced per hour.

Ready made scripts exists for importing master data from Excel following the above template (see description and script files located in <sch_client_dir>\data\scripts\excel\masterRouteImportExport\custom). However for a new user, we recommend that you follow the next pages, entering the data manually.

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