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

8.3.1b Synchronizing Process Stages

Intended learning outcomes: Describe how the process stages could be synchronized.

Continuation from previous subsection (8.3.1)

The ideas behind processor-oriented resource management thus correspond in some respects to those of the lean / just-in-time concept (see Section 6.2), in which the optimum sequence of operations is important with a view to reduce the setup times (see also Figure The reduced setup times should result in small lots and, therefore, continuous demand. Only then will it be possible to totally separate the processes that make up the various production structure levels, which will allow the use of the Kanban technique in the process industry.

If continuous demand cannot be achieved, then quasi-deterministic techniques will still be required. In this case, the response to a net demand will be to schedule at least one campaign for production, rather than just a batch. A batch also results in by-products. Both of these contradict the simple pull logistics of the Kanban technique, since production is determined by the technical process and savings in terms of setup time, rather than in response to consumption. The dominating factor is capacity management.

The conventional MRP II / ERP concept of resource management does not incor­po­rate the processor-oriented techniques, such as manufacture of by-products and campaigns, making them less suitable for the process industry. Cam­paign planning enables demand to be synchronized in terms of quantities with the goods to be produced at all production structure levels, particu­lar­ly with respect to end products. Where synchronization is not possible, buffers must be kept to absorb any shortfall. The aim of campaign plan­ning is thus to mini­mize the inventories that have to be kept in the inter­mediate stores by synchronizing the va­ri­ous (process) stages as accurately as possible. Figure shows how the two (pro­cess) stages (or production structure levels) could be synchronized for the above example.

Fig.        Campaign planning: how the (process) stages could be synchronized.

The diagram shows the start and end of the overall campaign for each pro­duct, but not the individual batches. It can be used to calculate the resulting stock curves for the end and intermediate product stores for given quanti­ties. The inventory curves are of the type discussed in detail in Chap­ter 11 for determining the available stock. They are used as the basis for trouble­shooting, particularly for determining the buffers that will be needed.

The campaign planning technique described here is modified finite capacity planning (see also Section 14.3) that requires continuous intervention by the scheduler. The planning diagrams are similar to the Gantt charts or planning boards used in finite capacity planning (see the illustrations in Sections 14.3 and 15.2.2). The only difference is that they include — as well as individual batches — entire campaigns or even campaign cycles.

Exercise: Campaign cycle planning
Try to plan the campaign cycle of a two-step production (reactor and packaging) for four different products, each with two packaging options. You are the production manager. Before beginning with the planning task, take note of the constraints and hints offered.

Course section 8.3: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes

  • 8.3 Processor-Oriented Resource Management

    Intended learning outcomes: Explain campaign planning. Differentiate between processor-dominated Scheduling and material-dominated scheduling. Describe a nonlinear usage quantity and a product structure with loops.

  • 8.3.1 Campaign Planning

    Intended learning outcomes: Explain campaign planning using an example of a process chain in chemical production. Identify campaign cycles for the example and a minimum campaign of one day’s production.

  • 8.3.1b Synchronizing Process Stages

    Intended learning outcomes: Describe how the process stages could be synchronized.

  • 8.3.2 Processor-Dominated Scheduling versus Material-Dominated Scheduling

    Intended learning outcomes: Differentiate between processor-dominated scheduling and material-dominated scheduling. Produce an overview on the use of the MRP II / ERP concept or of the lean / just-in-time concept compared to the processor-oriented concept.