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

7.1.2 Different Variant-Oriented Techniques, and the Final Assembly Schedule (FAS)

Intended learning outcomes: Differentiate between adaptive and generative variant-oriented techniques. Disclose typical sets of characteristics and production types that arise frequently with the four product variety concepts. Describe how the MPS concerns the highest structure level still having a small number of different items. Identify FAS/MPS/OPP patterns in dependency on the product variety concept and their relation to the patterns of the T analysis.



Variant-oriented techniques are techniques for the planning & control of a product variety concept with low or high variety.

The subsequent Sections will present different variant-oriented techniques. They can best be grouped in two classes.

Adaptive techniques entail two steps. The first step determines a suitable “parent version” from the existing variants. Secondly, this parent version is adapted, or specified in detail, according to the actual requirements.

Adaptive techniques are expensive in terms of administrative cost and effort. For use of these techniques to be economically feasible, the value added must be high. The techniques are implemented in the product variety concepts standard product with options and product family. See Section 7.2.

Generative techniques are variant-oriented techniques that configure the process plan for each product variant during order processing from a number of possible components and operations. Generative techniques use rules that already exist in an information system.

With generative techniques, order administration is quick and inexpensive, so that the product variety concept product families with many variants, even when value added is often low, can be handled efficiently in terms of operations. See Section 7.3. Products according to (changing) customer specification require additive and generative techniques to a different extent. Here see Section 7.4. Adaptive and generative techniques are clo­se­ly associated with the product variety concepts. For further details, also see [Schi01]. Figure 7.1.2.1 summarizes four sets of characteristics that are typically and commonly found together with a particular product variety concept.

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Fig. 7.1.2.1        Typical sets of characteristics and production types that arise frequently with the four product variety concepts.
Each set of characteristics has a production type and values for the featu­res frequency of order repetition and production en­viron­ment (which, according to Figure 4.5.2.1 and Figure 4.4.5.2, are closely associated with the product variety concept) as well as order batch size.

A final assembly schedule (FAS) is a schedule of end items to finish the product for specific customers’ orders in a make-to-order or assemble-to-order environment. It is also referred to as the finishing schedule because it may involve operations other than the final assembly. Also, it may not involve assembly (e.g. final mixing, cutting, packaging). Cf. [APIC16]. [note 701] 

The type of FAS depends on the selection of items to be part of the master production schedule (MPS; see Section 5.2.3) and the production environment, as follows:

  • Make-to-stock: The MPS comprises end products. In effect, the FAS is the same as the MPS.
  • Assemble-to-order, or package-to-order: The MPS comprises (sub‑) assemblies. The FAS assembles the end product (a variant of a product family) according to customer order specification.
  • Make-to-order: The MPS includes raw materials or components. The FAS fabricates the parts or subassemblies and assembles the end product according to customer order specifications.

In general, the MPS tends to concern the highest structure level still having a small number of different items. If this level corresponds to the (customer) order penetration point (OPP), only a minimum number of different items have to be stocked, and ideally — that is thanks to standardization — each item has a high degree of commonality. This corresponds to the concept of late customization (see Section 1.3.3) — a desired effect. Figure 7.1.2.2 shows this situation together with the corresponding FAS and MPS levels.

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Fig. 7.1.2.2        The MPS concerns the highest structure level still having a small number of different items.

Figure 7.1.2.3 shows typical different patterns of MPS / FAS level and order penetration point in dependency on the product variety concept, or the four different classes of variant-oriented techniques: These patterns correspond to the different pattern of the T analysis within the VAT analysis.

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Fig. 7.1.2.3        FAS / MPS / OPP patterns in dependency on the product variety concept and their relation to the patterns of the T analysis. The FAS level is at the right of each pattern.

In the case of products according to (changing) customer specification, an engineer-to-order production type may mean that no MPS can be established. The planning activities then address capacities (personnel hours) rather than parts or material (compare Figure 7.1.2.2).


Exercise Concept of Variety of Products.



Quiz variant-oriented techniques.





Course section 7.1: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes

  • 7.1 Logistics Characteristics of a Product Variety Concept

    Intended learning outcomes: Differentiate between high-variety and low-variety manufacturing. Describe different variant-oriented techniques, and the final assembly schedule.

  • 7.1.1 High-Variety Manufacturing and Low-Variety Manufacturing

    Intended learning outcomes: Identify values of characteristic features for high-variety manufacturing. Explain long- and medium-term planning for manufacturing according to customer specification or of product families with many variants. Disclose values of characteristic features for low-variety manufacturing.

  • 7.1.2 Different Variant-Oriented Techniques, and the Final Assembly Schedule (FAS)

    Intended learning outcomes: Differentiate between adaptive and generative variant-oriented techniques. Disclose typical sets of characteristics and production types that arise frequently with the four product variety concepts. Describe how the MPS concerns the highest structure level still having a small number of different items. Identify FAS / MPS / OPP patterns in dependency on the product variety concept and their relation to the patterns of the T analysis.