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

14.1.2 Overview of Capacity Management Techniques

Intended learning outcomes: Differentiate between infinite loading and finite loading. Identify the characteristics of algorithms for sufficient overall capacity planning flexibility and little overall capacity planning flexibility. Produce an overview on techniques for infinite loading and for finite loading.


If the (quantitatively) flexible capacity along the time axis is more important than the flexibility of the order due date (see Section 5.3.4), then infinite loading techniques should be used. In the reverse case, finite loading techniques are more appropriate.

If there is sufficient overall capacity planning flexibility, a computer algorithm can generally load all the orders in question with no regard to their sequence. The planner becomes involved only afterwards, to schedule capacities on a daily or weekly basis, for example. Exceptional situations will be brought to the planner’s attention selectively in lists or graphs. If there is little overall capacity planning flexibility, planning takes place “order for order” (order-wise). Each new order is individually integrated into existing scheduled orders. The planning process is thus “interactive”; that is, in extreme cases the planner may intervene after each operation and change set planning values (completion date or capacity). Existing scheduled orders may have to be replanned.

Section 14.2 discusses (order-oriented) infinite loading. For special techniques see Sections 6.3 (Kanban) and 6.4 (cumu­lative production figures principle, CPFP). Secti­on 14.3 discus­ses (operations-oriented, order-oriented, or constraint-oriented) finite loading. For special techniques see Section 15.1 (Loor, Corma). The techniques can all be used regardless of what organizational unit carries out planning & control. Thus, they can be found in all types of ERP and SCM software packages, electronic control boards (Leitstand), simulation soft­ware etc.). Entirely different techniques are possible for short-term and long-term planning.

It is becoming increasingly important to plan machine tool capacities due to the increasing use of CNC and robot-controlled production. The methods are the same as those used to manage machine and labor capacities. On the other hand, tools to be produced or procured should be regarded as goods and represent a position on the order bill of material.



Course section 14.1: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes

  • 14.1 Fundamentals of Capacity Management

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

  • 14.1.1 Capacity, Work Centers, and Capacity Determination

    Intended learning outcomes: Explain the determination of rated capacity as the product of theoretical capacity, capacity utilization, and work center efficiency. Produce an overview on other capacity definitions and their relationship to each other, such as demonstrated capacity, productive capacity, protective capacity, excess capacity, idle capacity, and activation.

  • 14.1.2 Overview of Capacity Management Techniques

    Intended learning outcomes: Differentiate between infinite loading and finite loading. Identify the characteristics of algorithms for sufficient overall capacity planning flexibility and little overall capacity planning flexibility. Produce an overview on techniques for infinite loading and for finite loading.

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