Road to PowerPlex: Exploring the Plex Advanced Production Scheduling

  • Staff Writer
  • June 03, 2013
  • Modern Manufacturing

The development and implementation of robust and effective advanced production scheduling solutions require deep, specialized domain experience.

Waterloo Manufacturing Software  – a Plex software partner since 2002 – has helped make advanced production scheduling available to its customers via the Plex Manufacturing Cloud and associated services.

Since 1992, independent of Plex, Waterloo has provided TACTIC production scheduling and advanced planning and scheduling software to a wide range of manufacturers worldwide. Today, Waterloo’s technology powers the Plex Advanced Production Scheduling (APS) function.

If you’re not familiar with Plex APS, here’s a quick primer:

Hosted in the Plex Manufacturing Cloud, the APS function is tightly integrated with Waterloo’s technology at the database-to-database level. It is fully automated and easy to use, with access through existing Plex screens and no new interface to learn.

By consistently quoting competitive lead times, Plex APS ensures on-time delivery without excessive inventory, underutilized equipment, high expediting costs or inefficient staffing/overtime. Plex users are able to manage and assess the impact of customer changes and shop floor problems, maximizing throughput and allowing users to balance what’s good for both their business and their customers.

Plex’s APS function is also flexible enough to accurately model real-life situations, such as simultaneous constraints with finite machines, tools, labor or material, overlapping operations, batch machines, sequence dependent set-ups and more. The function has sophisticated prioritization and scheduling algorithms to manage due dates and priorities to maximize efficiency based on the Theory of Constraints (TOCs). It can also minimize set-up and combination approaches – dramatically reducing schedule generation times over other methods.

What are the biggest scheduling challenges in your manufacturing operations?