Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

14.2 Infinite Loading

Intended learning outcomes: Present load profile calculation and problems associated with algorithms for load profile calculation. Explain methods of balancing capacity and load. Describe order-wise infinite loading.


The primary objective of infinite loading is to achieve a high delivery reliability rate, i.e., to meet the due date for production or procurement orders. Secondary objectives are low levels of goods in stock and work in process and short lead times in the goods flow. High capacity utilization is less important. Indeed, there can be good strategic reasons for maintaining over­capacity (meeting due dates).[note 1402]

Overview: This section describes the generally applicable order-oriented method.[note 1403] Load profiles are calculated for all the orders together after scheduling, and each scheduled operation represents a load at the specified work center and in the time period containing its start date. The sum of all these loads is compared to the available capacity for each time period. This yields load profiles showing the over­capacity or undercapacity for each work center and time period. Subsequent planning then attempts to balance capacity against load.

This most commonly used order-oriented-infinite-loading technique is also called capacity requirements planning (CRP).

Planning strategy: The objective is to manage fluctuating capacity requirements by having flexible capacities available. Both long-term and short-term actions are possible.


Course section 14.2: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes

  • 14.2 Infinite Loading

    Intended learning outcomes: Present load profile calculation and problems associated with algorithms for load profile calculation. Explain methods of balancing capacity and load. Describe order-wise infinite loading.

  • 14.2.1 Load Profile Calculation

    Intended learning outcomes: Explain an example of a work-center-load profile. Present an example of a load profile known as an overload or underload curve along the time axis.

  • 14.2.2 Problems Associated with Algorithms for Load Profile Calculation

    Intended learning outcomes: Describe the problem of calculating capacity per load period. Explain the problem of load assignment for one operation during the load periods. Present the issue of calculating the load in a given time period when various operations occur only partly within the time period.

  • 14.2.3 Methods of Balancing Capacity and Load: Adapting Capacity to Load Rather Than Load Leveling

    Intended learning outcomes: Describe the analysis of the load profile. Explain possible strategies for capacity planning, in case of a trend toward persistent overload or underload, or in case of frequent and infrequent self-compensating fluctuations. Differentiate between adapting capacity to load and load leveling. Present an evaluation of the technique. Identify its limitations and typical areas of application.



Course 14: Sections and their intended learning outcomes

  • Course 14 – Capacity Management

    Intended learning outcomes: Present fundamentals of capacity management. Explain in detail load profile calculation and infinite loading. Disclose finite loading. Describe rough-cut capacity planning.

  • 14.1 Fundamentals of Capacity Management

    Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on capacity, work centers, capacity determination, and capacity management techniques.

  • 14.2 Infinite Loading

    Intended learning outcomes: Present load profile calculation and problems associated with algorithms for load profile calculation. Explain methods of balancing capacity and load. Describe order-wise infinite loading.

  • 14.3 Finite Loading

    Intended learning outcomes: Explain operations-oriented, order-oriented, and constraint-oriented finite loading.

  • 14.4 Rough-Cut Capacity Planning

    Intended learning outcomes: Describe rough-cut network plans and load profiles. Explain rough-cut infinite loading and rough-cut finite loading.

  • 14.5 Summary

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