The Sequencer has a built in optimizer module. To learn more about the algorithms used by the Optimizer refer to the SequenceOptimizer macro command. The objective of the optimizer is to create an optimal sequence of operations on a single resource with respect to minimizing setup and switchover time. Order priority and order delivery dates can also be set as objectives of the optimization.
Configuration and running of the optimizer is made through a macro command called SequenceOptimizer. To run the optimizer the Macro Option must be licensed.
A common use case of the optimizer is in combination with variable setup/switchover times. The optimizer takes a list of selected operations as input and searches for the best sequence according to the parameters. When the optimization is complete operations are scheduled one after the other in the new optimized sequence.
NOTE: The sequencer does NOT guarantee optimal solutions! Given the input parameters to the algorithm it will run a certain amount of time, and return the best sequence found within the timeframe.
A basic use case is:
- Select operations with sequence dependent setup or switchover
- In the menu select Functions -> Macro -> Edit
- Create a new macro and add the “SequenceOptimizer” command to the macro.
- Setup the parameters of the macro command, see the manual
- The optimizer will put the selected operation in the best sequence found with no gap between the operations.
- Run the bottleneck sort in case the route of the optimized orders contains more than a single operation.
In the picture below 8 different orders produce 3 different products, a yellow, red and blue product. Each time the product/color changes on the resource there is a variable setup-time associated.
In the first picture the orders are mixed with 7 color-changes and a combined setup time is 28 hours and the last operation ending on the 22.
Running the sequencer ignoring Priority and only optimizing setup/switchover time will give the following result with only 2 color-changes and the combined setup-time is 6 hours instead of 28 and the last order finishes on the 19th instead of the 22. That is a 3 day improvement!!
If some orders have priority = 2 or 3, and the rest priority = 1, and the SequenceOptimizer macro command is changed to RespectPriority=true the following result will be the outcome:
Here it is seen that the two orders with priority = 2 are placed at the end of the sequence, and the combined setup-time is slightly higher since the priority was a constraint which resulted in three color-changes! The combined setup time is now 13 hours and the last operation ends on the 20. of April.