Scheduling Non-Production Time to Streamline Manufacturing Processes

When running a manufacturing operation, it is important to account for both production and non-production time. Shop floor staff can not always allocate their time to a specific production order. For example:

  • Maintenance: This includes activities such as cleaning, repairing, and inspecting equipment.
  • Quality Control: This includes testing products and materials to ensure they meet quality standards.
  • Shipping and receiving: This includes receiving raw materials and shipping finished products.
  • Training: This includes providing new employees with orientation and training on safety procedures and equipment operation.

From a financial perspective, there are many benefits to tracking non-production time in manufacturing. By understanding where and why this time is being used, companies can make better decisions about how to use their resources. Additionally, it can help identify issues causing inefficiencies and ultimately costing the company money. By tracking this data over time, companies can also identify trends and make changes to improve their overall operations.

Working with non-production time can get tricky within the planning and scheduling process. Many small and medium-sized manufacturers and job shops already struggle to optimize schedules with production tasks; often the non-production tasks are neglected. Failure to plan for non-production time leads to unexpected machine downtime and produces unrealistic, unpredictable schedules.

Many manufacturers turn to MxAPS from Insight Works. MxAPS is an advanced planning and scheduling app for smaller shops and manufacturers struggling to create realistic production schedules.

With MxAPS, users can add parameters for those that require non-production scheduling. The benefit is that non-production activity gets appropriately scheduled, and the time allocated to non-production tasks is tracked.

MxAPS will model different setup values for more sophisticated manufacturing processes to determine the optimal schedule. Take injection molding, for example. Re-tooling the injection molding equipment may take two hours, whereas a color change may only require 30 minutes. In this case, running the job with the color change will be more efficient before re-tooling for another job. MxAPS will consider the same tooling used for different production orders and group them when it makes sense.

So, if you want to regularly create realistic production schedules without relying on people to understand all of the scheduling details, then you’ll want to take a look at MxAPS from Insight Works.

To learn more, check out the following video.