Production planning is the process of creating a plan for future production within a manufacturing organization. This technique is essential for modern-day manufacturing operations as it establishes the groundwork for how production should be running and identifying areas where productivity is lacking.
Without production planning, manufacturing facilities are unable to schedule their production processes efficiently which limits the entire production output. When mistakes are made during the planning process, the result is an inaccurate schedule leading to late orders, internal chaos, unhappy customers, and lost business.
The creation of a production plan encompasses many different areas that must come together to create a single plan and set the targets of production. One of the main goals of the production plan is to use all available resources and materials efficiently. By looking at your available inventory when creating your plan to purchase materials, you will ensure that you only need to buy what you do not currently have on-hand to supply your jobs.
In addition, the production plan will ensure that you are not overloading your resources by only planning work on resources that have additional capacity. This will also allow you to identify areas where resources or workers are not used as efficiently as they can.
Five Types of Planning in Production
The following section defines five types of production and planning methods:
1) Job-Based Planning
Job-Based or Project-Based production focuses on manufacturing a single product and is either handled by a single worker or by a group of people. The type of jobs that fall under this type of production planning can be on a small scale, such as creating a customized piece of jewelry. Larger, more complex production projects, such as building customized houses, also fall into this category.
Production planning for small-scale jobs that require very little specialized equipment is relatively easy to execute. This allows products to be made according to their customer’s requests and can usually be included at any time during the production process without altering its progress.
2) Batch Method
Batch production is used when items are produced in groups, rather than individually or through continuous production. For example, cookies are produced in batches which means that each production step occurs at the same time on the batch of cookies. You will start by measuring the ingredients for the entire batch, then mix them together, and finally bake them together so that the entire production process for the batch of cookies starts and ends at the same time.
The challenge that can occur when using Batch Production planning is accounting for the constraints at each operation step to ensure that you maximize your resource capacity without going over the maximum limit allowed. For example, if your dough mixer can fit a batch of 100 cookies, but you can only bake 300 at a time, you may encounter bottlenecks in production.
3) Flow Method
Flow manufacturing is a demand-driven method that is characterized by the continuous flow of units through the production line. This technique is commonly used in the production of televisions and household appliances where the product is manufactured by a number of collective operations in which materials move from one stage to another without time lags or interruptions.
The benefits of the flow method of production are that manufacturers can minimize the number of work-in-process and finished goods items they hold in inventory, reduce costs, and reduce manufacturing lead times.
4) Mass Production Method
Mass Production is very similar to Flow Production. This technique is highly beneficial when producing a large number of the same items in a short period of time.
This type of production is usually automated, which reduces the costs of labor required for production. Some manufacturing facilities have assembly lines dedicated to a specific type of item which reduces the changeover time required and increases the overall production output. This allows manufacturers to increase their profits as the cost of production is greatly reduced.
With this method, operations are scheduled based on the available resource capacity and the production time required at each operation.
5) Process Manufacturing Method
Process Production is a type of continuous process similar to Mass Production and Flow Production but is characterized by the continuous flow of materials through the production line. Usually, the finished goods produced in this type of production are not counted as discrete units. For example, the production and processing of liquids, gases, or chemicals where the product is being produced in a uniform and standardized sequence.
The Process Method uses specific and sophisticated machinery to process materials at each operation step. There is little room for error in this type of manufacturing as changing from one item type to another will require a long changeover period. It is also common to have by-products or waste that result from this type of manufacturing.
Production Planning Technology
Understanding the different types of production is essential before implementing a method of planning that fits your operation. There are many benefits that come with creating a production plan for your manufacturing facility. However, it can be challenging to account for every machine, resource, material, and shift schedule. This is why many manufacturers are turning towards Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) systems such as PlanetTogether APS.
With PlanetTogether, we now have a consistent tool for our planning and scheduling that is used by most of the departments, including supervisors, production planners, purchasing, IT staff, and management.
BRUCE HAYS, DIRECTOR OF MANUFACTURING, J&J SYNTHES
PlanetTogether is an extremely beneficial tool for manufacturers as it allows for concurrent planning and scheduling. Too often, manufacturing companies have production plans that get disconnected from the materials and capacity scheduling processes of the work centers. This leads to the creation of an inaccurate and often not feasible production schedule. By planning and scheduling your production at the same time, you will be able to commit quickly to delivery dates and be able to meet those promised dates.
Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software
Advanced Planning and Scheduling Softwares have become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations as customer demand for increased product assortment, fast delivery, and downward cost pressures become prevalent. These systems help planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans. APS Systems can be quickly integrated with an ERP/MRP software to fill the gaps where these systems lack planning and scheduling flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency.
With PlanetTogether APS you can:
- Create optimized schedules that balance production efficiency and delivery performance
- Maximize throughput on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
- Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
- Provide company-wide visibility to resource capacity
- Enable scenario data-driven decision making
The implementation of an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency by taking advantage of the operational data you already possess in your ERP system. APS is a step in the right direction of efficiency and lean manufacturing production enhancement. Try out a free trial or demo!
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Topics: production planning and control