Simplify Shop Floor Sequence Optimization with a PP/DS Exception-Based Setup Matrix

  • by Parijat Chakraborty, Director, Falcon Prime, Inc.
  • February 18, 2011
You can use the Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) optimizer in SAP Advanced Planning & Optimization for finite scheduling of production resources to avoid capacity overload and at the same time optimize the production sequence. Finite scheduling means there is no capacity overload and optimized sequence means there is minimal difficulty to changeover with respect to the due date. You can design the setup matrix — the prerequisite master data for PP/DS optimization — with a step-by-step approach by analyzing the product mix with a hierarchy. With that analysis, it is easier to translate scheduling rules into parameters the system understands with minimum ongoing master data maintenance.
Key Concept
Shop floor scheduling with sequence-dependent changeover rules is based on the design of a setup matrix. Based on the changeover difficulty from one product to another in the production sequence, you formulate a setup matrix with this changeover difficulty quantified as a penalty using a numerical value. By using an exception-based setup matrix with help from the Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling optimizer in SAP Advanced Planning & Optimization, you can simplify the design of the matrix when you deal with a complex product mix and also substantially reduce the number of entries in the matrix (e.g., from 1 million to a few hundred entries).

Automating and optimizing a shop floor sequence with scheduling rules is not an easy task. These rules are developed from field experience and are broadly based on availability of resources, sequence-dependent difficulty, and on-time delivery to customers. With those rules in mind, automating the schedule in terms of system parameters becomes a challenge for any implementation of Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) in SAP Advanced Planning & Optimization (SAP APO). This is especially true for optimizing the sequence based on variable dependent rules.

A key to efficient shop optimization is the design of a changeover matrix, or in SAP terminology, a setup matrix. Such a matrix features a complex set of data with setup transitions from one product to another in the production sequence. Transition, a common term on the production floor, refers to scheduling production of another product from an existing one on a production line. Although setup matrix design is a one-time formulation of the setup transitional values, you should conceptualize it in a simplified way so that business users do not have difficulty with its ongoing maintenance.

Parijat Chakraborty

Parijat Chakraborty is a director of SAP SCM Solutions at Falcon Prime, Inc. He has 14 years of experience in SAP technology. He focuses on implementing various components of SCM, such as Demand Planning, Supply Network Planning, PP/DS, and Global ATP. He specializes in supply chain manufacturing systems and optimization techniques.

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