Production control challenges
Avalign was experiencing challenges inherent to a high capex, made-to-order manufacturer, including customer dissatisfaction, equipment productivity issues, cycle-time increases, line imbalances, and increases in manufacturing costs.
- Lack of a robust finite and optimal production schedule
- No comprehensive mid-term and long-term capacity planning
- Limited “what-if” analysis capabilities to support continuous improvement
- Long time required to re-plan and re-schedule in coordination with pull-in and push-out requests
- Non-standard data across multiple sites that requires long data mining processes
Improving KPIs with SmartFactory Production Control Solution
To overcome these challenges, Avalign implemented the SmartFactory Production Control Solution, which enabled Avalign to simulate the factory operations and foresee the roadblocks in the production schedule.They were also able to integrate output from Production Control Solution with dispatching and scheduling solutions to generate a finite production plan. This allowed them to move from weekly planning, taking two to three days, to scheduling that takes less than one hour daily. This improved planner productivity by approximately 75%, allowing them to focus on multiple what-if scenarios and other planner activities.
Detailed reports and graphs helped identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies to optimize the plan before execution. This enabled them to achieve a more efficient work in process management and work order releasing mechanism. Whereas work orders previously were released in a fixed cadence, the process is now more dynamic and as needed with a more balanced WIP level.
They also achieved detailed mid- to long-term capacity planning by implementing Production Control solution, which uses AutoSched®, a robust simulation tool designed for complex planning.
Other significant improvements Avalign realized by using SmartFactory Production Control Solution are shown in figure 1, below.