For production planners in process manufacturing, I-Plan provides tools that create flexible but robust medium-term production schedules, which bridge the gap between fine planning systems and longer-term demand forecasting or S&OP.
Faster, more flexible scheduling
Starting from the demand plans and supply network planning that the business has committed to, I-Plan helps production planners throughout the organization to quickly create efficient and dependable production schedules.
It uses powerful algorithms to find the best ways of scheduling production over the coming weeks, delivering as much as possible by the agreed dates. If planners are not happy with the detailed solutions that it proposes, I-Plan allows them to tweak the input parameters and create new solutions. Alternatively, I-Plan allows planners to make manual adjustments to a solution and review the impact on all the different delivery dates.
As the planning period progresses, I-Plan can be used to revise the remaining schedules to take account of actual orders. If customer issues or a machine breakdown mean that schedules need to be dramatically altered, I-Plan can very quickly re-work the schedules.
Expert-led production scheduling
One of the key challenges in production scheduling is working within the natural constraints imposed by the machines. As the basis of all of its scheduling, I-Plan uses ‘production templates’ – sets of rules specific to each of your machines, which allow only those changeover sequences that are known to perform well.
This approach allows the scheduling algorithms to find the lowest cost way of producing the required outputs, while working entirely within proven production patterns.
Working with fine planning systems
I-Plan has been designed to work seamlessly with your existing fine planning systems. For every fine planning cycle, data is transferred from I-Plan into the fine planning system, where the next few days’ detailed schedules are created as usual.
If any last-minute changes are made to the actual production schedule, I-Plan gathers the details automatically and updates its future schedules and production records accordingly.