Production Optimization System: Manufacturing in the Fastest and Most Economical Way

Everybody in manufacturing knows that the most expensive machine is the one that is down. There are many planned and unplanned reasons for downtime: maintenance, retooling, breakdowns, shortages of raw materials and so on. (The only thing worse than this is if the machine is down because there is no order…) It is in every company’s fundamental interest to keep the continuity of production at the optimal level, so that each machine stands still only as much as absolutely necessary, while orders are fulfilled on time and in the expected quality. The larger the production plant, the more complex the production process, the more difficult it is to achieve this.

gyártásoptimalizálás, production optimization system

Production optimization is almost an art, especially if the production process is complex or a wide range of orders needs to be fulfilled. Material flow, performance and capacity of individual machines, raw materials and orders must be harmonized, while keeping costs as low as possible.

With some practice and relying on historical data, of course, a good professional can even do production planning on checkered paper. However, all this will only work as long as everything goes well.

Unexpected events, unplanned downtimes, sudden but urgent orders can destroy a carefully constructed production plan in the blink of an eye. But even if there are no unexpected events, suboptimal capacity utilization results in extra costs, while conversely, making better use of available capacity can reduce costs and increase revenue.

DSS OptimAPS: an advanced production optimization system

This is where OptimAPS, an Industry 4.0 solution developed jointly by DSS and its international partners, comes in.

OptimAPS optimizes the production process in line with the company’s strategic goals, whether it’s accelerating production or reducing costs. On the input side, it can work with virtually any ERP system, so it can receive order and inventory data from them. It can be operated from local servers or from the cloud – in the latter case, the most important production and planning data are available to management anytime, anywhere.

The software is also able to propose a modified production plan in case of unforeseen events.  Production management staff can easily change the plan or start a new planning task by entering new parameters. In the finished plans, the ranking of orders or the scheduling of machines can be easily changed by using drag-and-drop, so production can be easily adjusted to changing conditions.

All participants of the production process receive easy-to-understand information from the system.  Machine operators can see all tasks scheduled for a given machine for the day or current shift, while the foreman or on-duty engineer can view all machines by machine group. A clear Gantt chart shows all tasks completed, in progress and planned, as well as their statuses and expected completion times. To calculate the real production time, the system also takes into account the down- and uptooling time of the machines. By analyzing historical data, production bottlenecks can also be easily identified.

Help with Planning

In addition to efficiently organizing everyday production, OptimAPS also facilitates medium- and long-term planning.  The time necessary for maintenance can be scheduled into the production process, and the list of timely maintenance tasks can be filtered based on several criteria.

An extremely important function of the system is the possibility of simulations.  If there is a change in capacity or orders, OptimAPS offers multiple parallel planning options so that the scheduling staff can quickly understand and flexibly test alternatives. Moreover, production simulations can be run before new investments. Also, the system is able to simulate the addition of a new production machine in the production plan, so that efficiency improvements can be assessed before the machine is actually purchased and commissioned – which can be another decision criterion for choosing the ideal production equipment.

Making Informed Decisions

Informed decisions can only be made based on factual data, everything else falls into the category of guesswork. OptimAPS provides production planning professionals with a tool that enables them to plan every step of the production process in advance based on real parameters, review its course in real time, react to unexpected events quickly and prepare for changes well in advance.  This helps them eliminate manufacturing bottlenecks, reduce unnecessary downtime, and move to data-driven operations that help them stay ahead of the competition by planning more accurately and reducing costs.

Does your company face similar challenges? Why not have a chat about them over a great cup of coffee? 

Would you like an overview of our Industry 4.0 solutions? Why not visit our Industry 4.0 page?