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Two questions must be answered for effective execution. The first: "Is total output adequate?" The second: "Are the right items being made?" These cover both capacity and priority. Capacity control has three objectives:

      ensuring that output (throughput) meets requirements

      keeping input and output in balance to control work-in-process

•   managing lead times of specific orders, vital for effective opera­

Priority control has five objectives:

     shop planning—ensuring that everything required to start work is

     job selection and assignment—choosing which order in a work cen­
ter runs next by whom

     feedback—measuring work performance against plan and initiating corrective actions

     lot or flow control—providing data on work location, material
counts, and costs

•    rescheduling—adjusting priorities to reflect changing requirements.
All necessary techniques are now available to meet these objectives and are well tested.


An important task of execution is developing schedules for processing materials. These must be valid so people can be accountable for ex­ecuting them. There are computer programs for several techniques to suit different types of processing. The simplest is shown in figure 6. These rules reveal how little processing time is used actually working on materials. Usually this requires less than 5 percent of scheduled time; 95 percent, therefore, is used on non-value-added activities in

support and service work. Accurate data on each required time element are necessary for valid schedules.


Another picture of lead time involves a series of process steps taken to produce a finished product from raw materials. Clearly, a few hours, at most, of working (setup and run) time are spread over several weeks of planning horizon for this product.


To generate more valid schedules, accurate time standards are needed for the myriad elements of time. This shows on the left Operation 1 on some lot of material being completed in Work Cen­ter 1. After waiting there for a time, it leaves, is moved in some short time, and arrives in Work Center 2. These two elements are called tran­sit time. Awaiting its turn, the lot sits in queue; the two elements, tran­sit and queue times, are called interoperation time. Work then starts, the operation is set up and the lot is processed in the operation time. Finished in Work Center 2, the lot moves on and another is started there. For valid schedules, accurate measured standards or estimated times are needed for each element. Getting such data and keeping them accurate in any plant of reasonable size and complexity is an enormous task. It is rarely done well and is the reason actions to improve accu­racy must precede expensive systems.

Flow Control

Since about 1950, a technique called flow control has been applied successfully in plants where families of similar parts follow the same sequence of operations. This technique greatly minimizes execution work by eliminating detailed scheduling. The requirements to make it effective are

      semi-process flow of a majority of items in similar families

      planned production rates for running these in critical operations

      low and tightly controlled levels of work-in-process

      well-defined In and Out stations so work moves promptly


    •      clearly visible identification and dating of materials in

      periodic reports on items delayed beyond one or two days

      good housekeeping for easy visual control

      prompt action to overcome delays

If these requirements are met, flow control will speed work through a plant without scheduling.


Part 1  Part 2   Part 3  Part 4  Part 5  Part 6  Part 7

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