Scheduling Embedded in MES

Scheduling plus MES is more powerful than either alone - webcast with AT&S case study

Scheduling plus MES is more powerful than either alone – webcast with AT&S case study

One of the most rewarding jobs I had was marketing plant floor scheduling software. We were able to optimize the operations of many manufacturers back in the day with that technology.  Think about how important it is to know WHEN to do things and WHICH resources are available to do them at that time! Especially now, when volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) rule the world.

Eventually at the scheduling company we needed tracking on the plant floor to keep the schedule in sync with reality. (There was plenty of change and VUCA then too!) We had some MES partners, but both the scheduler and the MES were big software investments, and each had its own set-up effort. So we hired a very talented MES guy, Jeff Nuse, to develop an integrated tracking module. That filled in a gap about exactly what had actually happened, so we could update the schedule as things changed.

Fast forward about 20 years…

A newly released MES version from Critical Manufacturing has scheduling embedded in it! One company has already selected it and is moving into the phase where scheduling will be used along with the MES functions.  That company is a leading PCB maker, AT&S. I interviewed the project manager, Alois Schacherl, to understand their decision process. You can access the case study I wrote about AT&S’ progress as of a few months ago.

I’m also honored to be speaking on a webcast this month about this new 4.0 version of cmNavigo that features Alois Schacherl of AT&S.  If you can join us on February 19, or for the recording after the fact, please register here.

Meanwhile, think about how effectively everything comes together in your production plants. What is your schedule attainment performance? If it’s not great, why?

Are the right resources  available when you need them? Can your schedule keep up with changes? Do your operators always work on the job that’s next in their queue? Is your performance and profitability holding strong in the face of VUCA?

If the answer to any of those is no, you may want to consider whether a combination of scheduling and MES might deliver big benefits for you. I have seen that work over many years, but I know I’m one of the few who has. Fortunately, you can hear from Alois to get someone else’s perspective.

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