A campaign can be used in discontinuous process and batch industry. A campaign is a grouping of productions orders producing similar products. The reasons for producing in campaigns can be many including reduction of cost (less setup and switchover time) and for some industries to improve quality since the highest quality is only reached after a certain running-in period of the process.

From the planning perspective the purpose and goals of a campaign are

  • Reduce setup and cleaning time by producing similar products after each other.
  • Reserve capacity on dedicated resources before actual customer orders has been received

How to use Campaigns

The campaign features of ROB-EX are available as part of the license to the BOM module. With campaigns it is possible in advance to reserve capacity for a particular product family on a resource, even before actual customer orders have been received. A new production order which on the BOM produces a product of the requested product family can be assigned to the campaign, thus ensuring that orders producing the same or similar product are produced one after another. This is a list of typical steps to follow in order to create and use a campaign

Product families are created in the Edit->Materials dialog. Assign different materials to a certain product family.

A campaign is created and edited from the Edit->Campaigns menu. To create a new campaign with an associated resource reservation, click the “Create” button and fill in the required information. Please notice the following:

Campaign name: a descriptive text – e.g. “Week 17”

Product family: select a previous defined product family, only production orders producing a material belonging to the selected product family may be added to this reservation. If product family is left blank it will be possible to assign any production order to the reservation.

Resource: Select among all resources or filter what resources are listed by enabling the “Use in campaigns” flag available in the “Detail” tab of the Edit->Resource window.

Please observe that once a resource is selected the capacity (production rate) field of the form is filled out with the capacity specified on the resource. Possibly further edit the capacity value. The unit of the capacity field is pieces/hour or whatever setting has been selected in the general settings. The capacity is used together with the quantity entered to calculate how many workload hours the reservation will reserve on the selected resource.

Edit the start/end dates of the reservation by selecting desired values. Notice that changing the end date will increase the quantity that can be produced. And vice versa changing the value of quantity will cause the end date of the reservation to be recalculated

Notice that changing the capacity will affect the quantity produced.

On start/end change: This setting controls what happens when the campaign start or end time changes. There are two settings, update workload/qty or update start/end.

  • Selecting update workload/qty has the effect, that if the campaign start/end time or the campaign resource calendar is changed, the workload/qty will adjust accordingly to keep the end/start time (respectively) static.
  • Selecting the update start/end has the effect, that it the campaign start/end time or the campaign resource calendar is changed, the end/start time (respectively) will adjust accordingly to keep the workload/qty static.

After the campaign has been created it can be further edited. This typically involves changing the color and status (open/closed). A campaign with status closed cannot be dragged/dropped in the Gantt chart.

When making changes to a resource reservation please observe that changing e.g. the capacity will change the quantity of the reservation. Please refer to above description of creating the campaign to understand more about how the fields interact with each other.

Assign order/operation to a campaign.

  • Either manually assign a production order to a Campaign (in the Gantt chart right click the order and select Campaigns->Add)
  • Schedule an order while enabling the “Campaign scheduling” option in the planning strategy dialog.
  • Or have ROB-EX automatically assign the order to campaign using a strategy of first come first serve when importing from ERP to ROB-EX (notice this is currently only supported for Direct SQL interfaces).

Drag and drop of campaigns directly in the Gantt chart is supported. Operations in a campaign will automatically move when a campaign is moved.
After moving a campaign realign operations. To do this in the Gantt chart right click the campaign or one of the operations in the campaign and select “Campaign->Optimize->Pack operations”.

Operations within a campaign can be sequence optimized for lowest possible change over time. To do this in the Gantt chart right click the campaign or one of the operations in the campaign and select “Campaign->Optimize->Minimize setup/switchover time”.

A new color mode “Color by product family” has been added.

Double clicking on the campaign in the Gantt chart will open the Campaign management window.
Keep in mind that a production order going to be part of a campaign for product family X must somewhere on the BOM produce a material that belongs to the product family X.
A reservation for a campaign has a status e.g. Open/Closed. When the campaign is closed then it cannot any longer be moved in time in the Gantt chart.
The “Add” and “Delete” resource reservation buttons are always disabled. They are place holders for future expansion of the campaign feature allowing multiple reservations to be added to a single campaign.

Campaigns and integration

Automatic assignment of an imported order has been added as an option to the Direct SQL connector by using the findCampaignForOrder flag. With this flag turned on the importer will search for first campaign with available capacity on a first come first serve basis.


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