DSL Systems Ltd

- Visual Production Scheduling


Plan4Feed gives the planner an ability of seeing exactly what the mill will be producing when. Orders are automatically imported (from a variety of methods) so that orders cannot be incorrectly entered, lost or forgotten. The program shows simply what orders will be produced when and colour is used to highlight orders which will be late, which require a die change, which will cause a cross contamination problem and so on. The operator uses simple drag and drop to swap orders around to optimise the mill production.

Plan4Feed gives the following key benefits:

  • Makes scheduling and planning simple and quick
  • Prevents scheduling mistakes
  • Presents scheduling information in a clear and logical manner
  • Warns of orders which are going to be late allowing you to re-schedule.
  • Minimises flush batches and die change
  • Allows scheduling to be performed by the operator

Plan4Feed has two main windows; the Order List window and the Production Programme window. When integrated with an office sales system, orders appear in the Orders List automatically as they are received and thus you can never forget an order.

Order List

All orders are displayed in this list and it is possible to add, modify and delete orders, and view a Stock Summary for each order. Orders can be listed in order of when they are required, form (pellet size) and many other ways. Where there are two orders for the same product, these are normally grouped together to make it easy to manufacture as a single run.

From time to time, as required, orders confirmed for manufacture are dragged from the Order List window to the Production Programme window below.

Production Programme

All orders to be manufactured are displayed here in graphical format.  Each column shows the production for that production (pellet) line. The top of each column refers to the time now and the blocks expand downwards depending on the expected production rates. Orders can be manipulated, e.g. moved to a different line, moved forward (or back) or declared 'made from stock', etc. simply by dragging a block from one place to another.

Items in the Production Programme are displayed in various colours depending on their current status.  If there is more than one status attached to an order, the other statuses are displayed as small coloured blocks in the order's top-right hand side.

The Production Programme is dynamic and changes as production progresses. You can see at a glance what is planned, if there are any problems, and what spare capacity is available.

Viewing product details

Moving the mouse cursor over an order and waiting for a moment displays more information about that order. This method is used throughout Plan4Feed giving you more information whenever you need it but without cluttering up the display.

Grouped Products

Orders with the same product and additive code are normally grouped together in the Order List.  A 'header' line is displayed, containing the total amount for all orders in this group.  Next to grouped order header line is a plus (+) sign. You can expand the group by clicking on this '+' sign, displaying all items of the group.

Adding, modifying, or deleting an order

Changing an order is simple. Select an order by clicking on it, and click the 'Add', 'Modify' or 'Delete' button as required.

Stock Summary

It is possible to display Stock Summary information for a particular product by selecting the order in the Order List, then clicking the 'Stock Summary' button.

The stock summary is broken down into categories, and the total available stock is displayed at the bottom.  It is then simple to decide if there is sufficient stock or if more has to be manufactured.

Moving Orders

Orders in the Production Programme can be moved by a simple drag-drop.

Mistakes are prevented by ensuring that orders are dropped onto a destination line (column) that is capable of producing that order.  Therefore an order for pelleted product cannot be dropped onto a meals destination and visa versa. Orders also cannot be dropped onto a column that does not match the product requirements, e.g. a crumbed product can only be dropped onto a line with a crumber.

Inserting and shuffling Orders

Orders can be quickly moved about, and the order status colour changes immediately depending on its new status.  For example, 'die change' and 'cross contamination' states depend on the order before it on the same column.

Manually entering an order

A manual order can be quickly created at any time on the Production Programme, without having the need to create an order in the Order List.  For example, this is very useful for quickly inserting a Flushing Batch or manufacturing for stock.

Kanban Production

Kanban scheduling allows you to configure high volume products that will automatically be added into production when the amount of orders shipped exceeds a threshold. Kanban comes from a Japanese production scheduling technique. The Kanban Production screen lets you view how Kanban in progressing. The Kanban Production shows each Kanban Line, and each group within each Kanban line.  It is possible to have many product orders in a single group.

At the top of the chart is the Run Line. When a product reaches this line, it triggers some production.  The products are displayed in green, or in red if there is not enough stock available in the bins to make it. When a product displayed reaches the Run Line, the entire group's products are automatically transferred into the Day Programme for production to start.

You can have up to 5 groups of products per production line. These are displayed in green or as a grey box if not configured. Under the group headers are details of the number of Specials and Emergencies for each Kanban Line.  You can configure a maximum number of Special orders (and Emergencies) that can be made in a single day

View Specials / Emergencies

By clicking on the 'View Specials / Emergencies' button next to the 'Stock Summary' button (see above), you can display a list of all Specials or Emergencies in the system. Emergencies appear highlighted in pink, while Specials are displayed in yellow.

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