Setup Time

Key Concepts

Setup Time is the amount of time required to prepare the resource for a production run. Accurately modeling setup time is crucial to the manufacturer's success as it can vary from one operation to another. The Setup Time of each operation is determined in PlanetTogether with the use of Setup Tables.

Setup Time can be established at the Resource level and the Operation level.

The Resource can be used to determine when setup time will be incurred, whether Setup is always incurred regardless of other factors, and how much setup time is inescapable. These can be specified in the "Setup / Changeover" tab of the Resource Options dialog.

Double click an operation to open the Job dialog and go to the "Batching/Setups" tab. Select the operation you want to edit and change the Setup Code, Setup Number, and Setup Color from the Operations grid.

  • Setup Code: The Setup Code can be something like the color of the paint on a paint line. For example, switching from yellow to blue will incur a setup time, but switching from yellow to yellow will have zero setup. Note: The Setup Code can also be edited from the operation row of the Operations grid. Look for the column "SetupCode."
    • When you enter a code, the system will look at the Setup Code Table and assign a setup time based on what ran on the resource before.
  • Setup Number: The Setup Number can be used instead of the setup code when assigning setup times based on things like temperature.
    • This will also assign a Setup time based on a table as well.
  • Setup Color: You can assign a color label to different types of Setups for easy viewing in the Gantt. 

The Operations will have attributes that can reference different possible Setup Tables. Three different types of tables are available:

  • Setup Code Tables: If these tables are used, PlanetTogether will match the Setup Code values (i.e., color) of each operation to the values in this table to calculate the operation setup time. Note: When using the drag-and-drop feature to move to this table from Excel, the PlanetTogether and Excel must be running under the same level of security (i.e., both Admins or neither) for Windows to allow the cross-application drag-and-drop.
  • Attribute Code TablesAttribute Code tables provide additional control and options. PlanetTogether takes the operation attribute information and compares values with this table to decide how much setup time.
  • Attribute Number Range Tables: These tables allow you to specify a setup time for a range of values. The attribute numbers are tied to operations. 

To use these tables, each table needs to be assigned to the appropriate resource, and the "SetupIncluded" field of each resource must be set to the appropriate value.

Operation Attributes

The Operation's Attributes can be used to provide additional flexibility in calculating the Setup Times. For example, from the "Attributes" tab of the Job dialog, you can specify when to use the Setup Time or which table to use under the "IncurSetupWhen" column.

  • Always: This uses the SetupHours specified, no matter what.
  • Code changes: This uses the SetupHours whenever the code changes under this attribute. For example, when the color changes from black to white.
  • Number changes: This uses the SetupHours whenever the number changes under this attribute. For example, when temperature switches from 100 to 200 degrees.
  • Next Number is higher: This uses the SetupHours when switching from a lower to a higher number.
  • Next Number is lower: This uses the SetupHours when switching from a higher to a lower number.
  • Lookup in Attribute Code Table: Uses a table to determine the setup time. This overrides the SetupHours.
  • Never: Setup time is never incurred.
  • Lookup by Attribute Number Range: Uses a table to determine setup time and overrides SetupHours. 

Setup on First Activities:

There are two ways that the first activities can have setup scheduled. Often, manufacturers perform setup on resources or work centers as the last order of business the previous night or previous shift. When the work centers have already been set up, there is no need to perform the first run on the next day or shift. Setup can be omitted in two ways:

  • Omit Setup on First Activity: If true, then the setup time on the first activity scheduled on the resource is always zero.
  • Omit Setup on Fist Activity in Shift: If true, then the setup time on the scheduled capacity interval is always zero.

Note: This is a setting specific to each resource. 

Consecutive Setup

By default, Setup Time is set to be concurrent, which means that all of the setups are occurring at once for all of the different attributes that might be incurring the setup. However, when setup must be consecutive, one attribute's full setup time must elapse before the next one begins. In this case, "Consecutive Setup" can be triggered at the operation level, where consecutive setup will be determined operation by operation, or at the resource level where all operations will abide by consecutive setup rules.

  • Consecutive Setup at the Operation level can be set up by checking the "Consecutive Setup" box in the "Attributes" tab of the job dialog. 

  • Consecutive Setup at the Resource level can be set up by checking the "Consecutive Setup Times" box in the "Setup / Changeover" tab of the resource options dialog. 

Variable Setup Time

As the sequence of operations scheduled on a resource is subject to change, the setup times between operations should change as well based on the attributes of the products being made. Similar products produced sequentially should incur minimal setup times compared to situations where vastly different products are being produced sequentially. 

You can create a matrix that specifies the Setup time between different Attributes. This way, the Setup/changeover time will automatically be calculated based on the sequence of the scheduled operations. 

In addition, the production schedule can be optimized based on the Operation Attributes to prioritize scheduling together operations with the same Attribute Code or Number. This can be configured in the Settings | Scenario Data | Optimize Rules. 

Eligibility Constraint

Operation attributes used in an Attribute Number Range Table can serve as additional eligibility constraints. This is particularly useful when similar resources can handle different ranges of materials. For example, in steel manufacturing, you may have several similar machines that can cut steel plates, but one may be able to cut through steel from 1-6 inches, and a different machine could be able to cut through 1-12 inches. To set up this constraint:

  1. Create operation attributes with attribute names that match the Setup Table and have the appropriate Attribute Number values.
  2. Specify the valid Attribute Number ranges in the Setup Table. Note: The operation's Attribute Number must fall in a valid range for the resource to be eligible.
  3. Connect the Setup Table to the resources that the attributes should limit.
  4. Set the "Eligibility Constraint" to 'true' so that the attributes are used to determine whether a resource is eligible to operate.


  • This does not affect the setup values that can be calculated using the same setup tables.
  • For an attribute to be an eligibility constraint, there is no need to specify the "To Ranges" in the Attribute Setup Table To-Range Table. 
  • If an operation has multiple attributes that are eligibility constraints, they must ALL be valid for a resource to be considered eligible.
  • These rules are in addition to other eligibility calculations (e.g., capabilities and min/max resource limits).

Wildcard Enhancement for Setup Code Tables

The wildcard enhancement to Setup Code tables allows the use of a wildcard character for changeover calculations. Whenever the “Wildcard Code” is specified, the setup is calculated based on the matching Setup Code Table value, depending on “Precedence”—previous or next operation. 


  1. Allow the use of wild code string to reduce the number of setup code values required.
  2. Prioritize the use of matching wildcard setup code values when multiple are found.


When creating a Setup Code Setup Table, placing a value in the ‘‘Wildcard Code" field will trigger wildcard matching. The "Precedence" value will determine which non-exact wildcard match will be used to calculate setup when both types of wildcard matches exist—previous and next operation.

Wildcard Code

The Wildcard Code is a character (or string) used for pattern matching support to changeover calculations by code. The Wildcard Code value is searched for within the “Table Values” data of the Setup Table for occurrences within the “PreviousOpSetupCode” or "NextOpSetupCode” fields. Thus, any operation setup code (even no code) will match the Wildcard Code. 


The "Previous Precedence" means that the SetupCode Table value that has the "Wildcard Code" in the "PreviousOpSetupCode" field will be used to calculate the setup.


Using table data below

PreviousOpSetupCode NextOpSetupCode SetupMinutes
Item230 Item179 360
* Item179 120
Item230 * 60

For a changeover from Item230 to Item179: 

When an Exact Match is found (Row 1), the changeover is calculated as the specified value in the table, 360 minutes—regardless of the ‘Precedence’ setting.

If no exact match is found (assume. Row 1 is not present), a Wildcard Match is searched for within the table. When multiple wildcard matches are found, the ‘Precedence’ setting is taken into account, and the following setup calculations would result:

  • Previous’ precedence - 120 minutes
  • Next’ precedence - 60 minutes

For a changeover from ItemX to Item179: 

There is no exact match in the table, but it will match a row with the wild code. In this case, the precedence does not apply because only one row is a match

  • Previous’ precedence - 120 minutes
  • Next’ precedence - 120 minutes