GE Integrated Scheduling Software Provides Greater Than 99% Adherence to Plan with Visual Planning of Production Orders and Equipment

Proficy® Scheduler reduces lead time by 30%, planning time by 50%; improves efficiency by 20%

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA   JANUARY 10, 2012 GE Intelligent Platforms today announced the availability of Proficy® Scheduler Release 4.1 for Finite Capacity Scheduling.  Proficy Scheduler provides planners with a standardized tool to develop production viable schedules using commercial off-the-shelf software rather than homemade spreadsheets.  It also complements existing Advanced Planning Systems (APS), where it delivers the additional real-time granularity needed to produce shop-floor- executable schedules from the APS master plan, easily adaptable to dynamic manufacturing needs.  Proficy Scheduler links plant data in real-time providing the ability to run multiple what-if scenarios and to quickly accommodate changing situations in production execution. 

Production planners need a visual interactive way to plan production orders for production equipment. Proficy Finite Capacity Scheduling takes the APS plan (usually based on an infinite capacity assumption) and considers the impact on the schedule based on instantaneous material availability, asset capability, labor, and delivery time. Proficy Scheduler enables greater confidence to make delivery promises to customers and their customers and reduces the cost to do this at the same time.

“Manufacturers are increasingly required to produce products faster, better and at a lower cost,” said Rich Breuning, Product General Manager, Manufacturing Software for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Missing delivery targets can mean that they may lose customers.  It’s much better to negotiate a realistic delivery date than to make an unrealistic one that may be missed.”

Proficy Scheduler simplifies and makes visible very complex tasks with many parts to allow the planner to balance the resources and simulate what-if scenarios. It has already shown great results for customers: lead time reduced 30%, efficiency improved 20%, time spent on planning reduced 50%, response time from days to minutes, bottlenecks and material shortages detected in advance and avoided / not caused. In addition, they have been able to achieve greater than 99 adherences to plan consistently and with 50% less effort.

“EKA Chemicals use Proficy Scheduler every day to schedule production for customers across the world,” said Stefan Malmsten, Global IT Leader for AkzoNobel Eka, the world’s largest paint and coatings provider and a world-leading chemicals producer headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. “This solution allows us to make informed decisions from a single consolidated view of our business updated minute by minute. This way we can provide the best possible service to our customers locally across 19 countries in Europe, Americas and Asia Pacific.”

Proficy Scheduler offers customers valid schedules checked against finite capacity and material availability, schedule down to minutes to facilitate a leaner manufacturing operation, and reliable delivery dates across multiple sites, allowing companies to improve productivity, work-in-progress, inventory and due date performance. In addition, Proficy Scheduler can add significant value to ERP, MES and T&A (time and attendance) solutions.

New features in Proficy Scheduler 4.1 include Tool Operations, Alternate Routes and Sequencer.

Tool Operations: Proficy Scheduler includes a new feature for tool operations which is particularly relevant for manufacturers who need specific tools to run specific products.  An example of this would be in the manufacture of plastic components (plastic injection molding) where different shaped moldings need different tools to manufacture the end product.

Alternate Routes: The new Alternate Routes facility in Proficy Scheduler V4.1 gives manufacturers greater control and accuracy when using different equipment or plant to make the same product.  One example of alternate routes is when a company has two different production facilities, e.g. one facility in Denmark and another facility in Poland. The routes between Denmark and Poland are completely different with different setup and cycle times to produce the same product.

Sequencer:  This feature provides better operational and fiscal control of the plant.  It enables advanced control of the calculation of individual work time steps of an operation (setup, workload, switchover, etc.) and how to calculate the operation capacity (production rate).  In short the above values can depend either on the resource they run on or they can depend on previous or next product planned on the same resource.

Proficy Scheduler is the latest example of how GE’s $2.5 billion-a-year software and solutions services businesses are helping customers improve productivity.

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