Is it time to Maximize your Manufacturing Shop’s Performance?

February 03, 2021
Is it time to Maximize your Manufacturing Shop’s Performance

Many Project based government contractors have realized the value of integrating material planning with capacity planning in order to improve scheduling capabilities. The benefits they have seen include increased on-time delivery, lower expediting costs and improved visibility for all aspects of production. This visibility allows for better overall decision making in order to reduce waste and improve throughput.

Dynafact’s DMS technology is Deltek Costpoint’s solution for detailed capacity planning. Costpoint and Dynafact Manufacturing System (DMS) are integrated through a standard and configurable interface for quick technology deployments.

Costpoint coordinates buy and make item Bill of Material (BOM) requirements utilizing standard lead-time averages. This creates demand for the shop floor. However, to optimize execution, resource capacity and work-flow needs to be calculated and considered in the plan. That’s where Dynafact’s DMS solution comes in.

DMS receives from Costpoint:

  • Planned MRP Orders
  • Firmed Manufacturing Orders (Firm Planned, Released, In shop)
  • Routing details
  • Work Centers
  • Material PO details
  • Operation status information

This data is used by Dynafact to run a sophisticated scheduling algorithm that considers both material and capacity and generates a detailed plan for the shop floor. Dynafact schedules both planned and firmed Manufacturing Orders and makes resource and alternate resource assignments. These assignments can be changed as required and can even be done through a Drag and Drop schedule board. The plan can then be analyzed with a full set of powerful tools that DMS provides. The key is to identify and eliminate impediments to delivery success, enabling production personnel to stay on task and meet quality and scheduling expectations.

Engaging the Kaizen principles of Plan-Do-Check-Act

Dynamic ‘engineer to order’ environments (Job Shops) need flexibility. Production personnel need to be able to plan the work and work the plan. Nevertheless, the best laid plans can go off track quickly due to engineering changes, rework, emergency order interruptions, absentee personnel and equipment malfunctions and breakdowns. This can throw even the most productive shops into chaos. The important thing is to be able Check and Act. You need to re-plan on the fly by making the right decisions that lead to the best recovery.   

The Advantage of Finite Capacity Scheduling

Without a sophisticated computer algorithm, trying to schedule conflicting demands on resources is virtually impossible. There are simply too many variables with multiple orders. Then, when work isn’t done as planned, the domino effect takes place.  Which Operation Tasks, Manufacturing Orders and Sales Orders are impacted and by how much? Is the audit trail intact for contract compliance?  An Infinite approach even with a computer algorithm isn’t much help. In an Infinite schedule, conflicts are stacked on top, instead of spread out over available capacity, which creates overbooked resources and no visibility to the Critical Paths.  Trying to manually adjust conflicts using drag and drop tools ignores the domino effect and leaves one blind to the overall impact of decisions. To make things worse, localized optimization (a focus at a work area level) often circumvents global optimization goals of increased throughput.

The Power of Finite Scheduling in Manufacturing

A Finite schedule approach manages conflict automatically. Through prioritization and Due Date demand the most critical orders go first. Alternate Resources are built into the plan and assessed by the scheduling logic. Decisions are made on what jobs take priority and late jobs are managed through multiple capacity calendars. Critical paths and bottlenecks are easily exposed so production personnel know exactly where the problems are. Operations personnel are provided with an early warning system and know if there is a danger of missing contract compliance. Suppose for example, the CNC 3 Axis machine center becomes a constraint and suppose overtime options are available on the weekend. Those overtime calendars can quickly be incorporated in ‘what if’ plans. The beauty of this is that results are simulated before execution takes places. Production schedulers can view the ‘Overtime Analysis’ module and weigh the cost of overtime against ‘On Time Delivery’. Improvements and a new validated plan can be set in motion within minutes. The additional costs can be used against the Project budget

The Importance of Meta Data and Exposing the Rocks    

To progress to a Finite Scheduling world, data accuracy becomes critical. A data maturity level of accuracy in Costpoint is required. Resources must be well defined and categorized. Resources that have multifunctional capabilities must be categorized into proper groups. Dynafact calls these groups resource pools for grouping skill and certification levels. Resources can belong to multiple resource pools. In addition to properly setting up resource capacity and alternate capacities, BOM structures need to be accurate with realistic lead times. Routing data also needs to be accurate in order to properly model the work-flow. That means Set Up and Run Times need to be established. In addition, Move, Wait and Queue times should be incorporated if they are required to model the Work-Flow. Other Unique Work-Flow requirements are handled through Dynafact’s Routing Controls. There are too many to list here but Dynafact offers a wide array of business logic algorithms. In addition to work-flow modeling, shop data needs to come back into DMS in order for DMS to get the status of all work. That’s why it is important to have a reporting backing mechanism in place such as Deltek Time or an MES system such as TipQA  so operation statuses are accurate and up to date. This data is fed back through Costpoint and is updated in DMS.

The benefits of Advanced Planning and Scheduling are huge for manufacturers and aerospace and defense manufacturers. Reduction in waste and a focus on improvements through simulations allows the right jobs to be worked on, by the right resources, at the right time, all within budget and within a framework of security and compliance. Dynafact customers, such as Yulista Manufacturing, have reported on time delivery increases of 15% with the use of Dynafact’s DMS technology.

See the Dynafact and Costpoint touchpoints below. Be sure to contact us for more information.

Dynafact Costpoint Government Contractor Manufacturing Touchpoints


About the Author

Peter Cox is the Vice President of Dynafact Software Inc. After graduating from York University with a Bachelors degree in psychology, Peter joined Northern Computer Systems, (a high-tech software development company) to help design, build and apply advanced computer algorithms to industrial scheduling challenges. Peter acquired extensive training in both theory as well as real world application in the field. After leading over 50 successful implementations, Peter joined RSS Solutions to become the Director of Applications, overseeing design, support, and implementation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling technology (APS). Peter later cofounded Dynafact with his brother David Cox. Dynafact has created a powerful solution for planning and scheduling challenges and has been a partner of Deltek’s for over 12 years.