Advanced Planning & Scheduling Core Products
Preactor is the world most popular Advanced Planning & Scheduling Solution. It is important that the appropriate Preactor Core Software is correctly chosen to reflect your current and future business operations. The tabbed areas below cover the different APS core product lines for Preactor and provides information on the individual suitablity and aspects of the products.
In addition to the core products we have several Preactor Apps to complement the core product and often the solution for your particular circumstances will be a combination. Our 20 years experience saves clients from potentially making a costly mistake. To find out what would be the most suitable APS solution for your company, simply call an LSI Advanced Planning & Scheduling Consultant on 941 256 0376 or complete our inquiry form.
Preactor 200 FCS is the first of the FCS solutions that is capable of being tightly integrated with other packages as well as Preactor Viewers. The SQL database can be altered by editing a text file that is read by Preactor when it loads and automatically makes the changes to SQL. The menu system can also be changed. An event based messaging system can be used to pass data between applications. Orders can have a ‘Delivery Buffer’ defined that can be customer or product specific. This is a time period which is used to offset the due date reference when an order is backward sequenced and also provides a warning when operations are scheduled within the buffer. Operations within an order can overlap using a Transfer Batching feature. Batches can be automatically split into smaller lots and scheduled across multiple resources. The colour of bars can also be changed to reflect real-time progress. Operations can be set to ‘Hold’ so that it will not be scheduled automatically. Whereas in Preactor Expre there is only one type of resource, in Preactor 200 FCS additional resources can be defined. For example additional resources required for a process step may be operators, tooling etc. These ‘secondary resources’ are modeled as having infinite capacity in Preactor 200 FCS and the usage is available as graphs or plots. These plots can be made to change colour when a certain usage is reached so that operations can be dragged and dropped to change the usage of these secondary resources. These plots are displayed in a muti-plot window that not only shows secondary resource usage but also capacity utilisation by period for primary and secondary resources. The run speed of each resource within a resource group (workcentre) for a specific operations step for a product can be defined and setup times can be made sequence dependent rather than fixed. There is a ‘Schedule Repair’ feature that automatically moves operations into the correct sequence after updates have been entered without altering the resource allocated and without a reschedule. Preactor 200 FCS has an import/export wizard used to customise the import of data to Preactor's SQL data tables and to create files to be read by other software packages. It also has a web publishing tool that enables Gantt charts to be created that can be displayed on a web page to share schedule information for non-Preactor users.
Whereas in Preactor 200 FCS the ‘secondary resources’ are modeled as having infinite capacity, in Preactor 300 FCS these can be either modeled as infinite or finite so is a multiple constraint finite scheduling system. Hence operators, tools and any other secondary constraint can be used as a constraint in generating the schedule. The capacity of ovens, furnaces and tanks can also be modeled using secondary resources to restrict the number batch sizes within them. Attributes of orders or products can be used to restrict which orders can go together say in an oven or tank. Secondary resources can also be placed in groups and selections made within the group when scheduling. This can be useful for modeling labor that has different skill sets. More complex resource selection and routing constraints can be defined. You can define ‘preferred resources’ within a resource group (workcentre). The resource group to be used on an operation step can be changed according to the resource selected on the previous step. Operations can be restricted on when they are placed depending on the timing of previous operations to limit the delay or force a gap between them. The total duration of an operation (including suspensions due to off-shift time) can also be limited automatically. Mid batch times (quantity completed at a specific time) may be entered and end times automatically re-calculated. Hot spots grid available for tabular display of capacity usage. Schedule analysis tool to compare alternate schedules based on due date compliance, make span and other criteria. Additional reports available such as order and schedule cost. Calculation uses the usage of resources, shift pattern multipliers and materials
Preactor 400 APS has additional functionality to deal with more complex scheduling problems and in addition focuses on the restrictions imposed by materials. Many ERP systems will create orders for each level of the Bill of Materials (BoM). These could be manufacturing orders or materials that are purchased. Using an in-built tool, these orders are connected or pegged together and the materials produced netted off. These links are used as part of the scheduling process so that dependent orders are not scheduled until all the materials required are completed by the producing orders. Preactor 400 APS has many ‘material centric’ features such as the Materials Explorer, a powerful tool that provides an interactive, material-centric view of the production schedule. The Material Flow Diagram presents a graphical view of an order showing the materials involved in its manufacture as well as any related orders that are supplying or consuming materials. As the generated diagram is interactive, the planner can navigate quickly and easily through materials links from order to order to follow material flow through the production process and deal with any issues that arise such as shortages, changing priority of orders to overcome delivery problems. This is complemented by a set of material plots which show the availability of materials over the schedule horizon. As each order is selected in the Material Flow Diagram the corresponding set of materials plots are shown, one from each material consumed or produced by the selected order. The materials plots are also interactive allowing the planner to select a data point and see the corresponding order in the material flow diagram. The Materials Explorer also simplifies the task of finding and navigating to items of interest. For example, a material search facility allows orders to be found by the material consumed or produced while lists of orders with material shortages and unused production provide a good starting point for troubleshooting material issues. Preactor 400 APS also offers additional optimisations rules that can be further customised for each application. These rules can be event based (simulation forward only) or order based. Standard dispatching rules include those that attempt to Minimise Setup time, Minimise Late Orders, use a Preferred Sequence at each resource, Bottleneck Scheduling (Theory of Constraints) and Campaigning. Rules can be made to be customer, product or resource specific and virtually any logic can be built into a customised scheduling rule. These can be built using the PESP tool, a scripting language with standard building blocks, or by using a programming language such as VB.NET.
Preactor 500 APS takes materials control a step further. It has an Advanced Material Control (AMC) feature. In this, materials can be produced or consumed at any operation step within an order. This means that both by-products and co-products can be modeled in Preactor and used as constraints. Preactor 500 APS also has a BoM exploder (PBX) that can be used to carry out Bill of Material explosions during a Capable to Promise Enquiry. The PBX is not aimed at replacing an MRP module in an ERP system. It is used on an ‘ad-hoc’ basis where the user wants to find an achievable due date for an order that has one or more products (multi-line orders are supported) that has a multiple level BoM. When the enquiry is run the user enters the product, quantity, customer etc. Preactor then runs its BoM exploder. It has the details of the BoM and routing within its own data tables. Based on this it creates an order for each level of the BoM and adds the process route to each. Next each order attempts to satisfy its material requirements by linking to available components such as that in stock or already scheduled to be purchased or manufactured. If no materials are available then it will link to materials in the orders created during the enquiry process. Any of these orders that are not required (there is enough materials available already in the schedule file or in stock) then these are deleted. Finally the operations of the orders remaining are added to the schedule taking into account the current load and all constraints and the finish date of the final product displayed.
Our Planning and Scheduling solutions are built with Preactor’s powerful sequencer because Preactor International is the World Leader in Production Planning and Scheduling software. This is a packaged solution that would benefit many industries, in particular, the Food and Drink and FMCG industries. Preactor 400 GMPS uses data imported from Stocks, Sales and Forecasts, considers pack forward figures and target days to cover and proposes a production plan. Using Preactor 400 GMPS it is possible to account for shelf life of stock and propose material purchase requirements that can be exported to e.g. Excel, for action. The proposed production figures are sent to Preactor for scheduling. KEY GMPS FEATURES
- Make to stock, make to order or mix of the two
- Finite or Infinite capacity modes
- Shared capacity across product families
- User defined stock control parameters by product
- Automatic MPS calculation with manual override
- Takes shelf life into account
- Warning given on stock going out of life
- Takes account of re-order multiples
- Planning Bill of Materials
- Standard and user defined reports
- Links directly to Preactor APS products for detailed scheduling