BUSINESS CASE


real-time quality control



Optams1




General architecture of OPTAMS solution

Always on schedule

Manufacturing


OPTAMS is an on-line production optimisation tool


Introduction

A major disadvantage of current Enterprise Resource Planning systems is that they run off-line. They are also expensive. This prohibits their use by SMEs who often have complex scheduling problems because their customers demand flexible delivery schedules.

OPTAMS is an on-line production optimisation tool integrated with a resource management system. OPTAMS directly manages men, machines and materials. It allows better management of production resources with a consequent improvement in production efficiency. OPTAMS manages the distribution of work to personnel. It controls production and adjusts schedules in real-time to changes in orders and resources such as men, machines and materials. OPTAMS is a low-cost solution suitable for use by SMEs whose customers demand flexible production schedules.



The Benefits

OPTAMS allows better management of production resources. Using OPTAMS results in an improvement in production efficiency. OPTAMS manages the distribution of work to personnel. It controls production and adjusts schedules in real-time to changes in orders and resources such as men, machines and materials. OPTAMS is able to reduce and control the maximum workloads permitted a company?s infrastructure. Consequently it is possible to make best use of available production resources. OPTAMS is a low-cost solution suitable for use by SMEs whose customers demand flexible production schedules.



Background

Most Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems run off-line. Consequently they are best suited for planning a stable production process involving repetitive, cyclic activities. Production time is one of the most important factors in the cost of a product. It is a parameter which, unlike the availability of materials, depends on the ability of an enterprise to manage efficiently its personnel, materials, tools, and machinery.

An important use of resource management systems is to make an accurate estimate of the production costs of individual products by taking into account the resources used in the different production phases such as men, machines and materials. Additionally the continuous monitoring of production data related to men, machines and materials permits more effective management of production. This results in better planning of orders with consequent reductions in storage requirements both for materials and finished products.



Problem

A major disadvantage of current ERP systems is that they run off-line. They are also expensive. This prohibits their use by SMEs who often have complex planning problems because their customers demand flexible delivery schedules. When flexibility is a key issue, production cannot be optimised manually because the scheduling required is often complex and frequent optimisations may be needed over a short period of time.

The optimisation process addresses the following problem. The firm receives several orders from its clients. Each order might consist of one or more jobs such as items to be manufactured. Usually each job must be delivered by a fixed deadline. This imposes constraints on the scheduling algorithm. Every job is involves different tasks and each task must be carried out in the right order.

The aim is to plan production, minimizing throughput time, respecting the delivery deadlines, minimising the costs of production and minimizing the fragmentation of individual resources. Considerable flexibility is required, because malfunctions and incorrect procedures are frequent in a complex plant. Consequently, it must be possible to re-plan the process at any time to take into account possible changes in operating conditions.

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Graphics User Interface to launch the plan and the optimization of the schedule



Solution

OPTAMS is an on-line production optimisation tool integrated with a resource management system. OPTAMS directly manages men, machines and materials. It addresses production management problems for companies such as SMEs who must have strongly differentiated and flexible production.

OPTAMS permits the continuous monitoring and management of the whole production process. Furthermore, every time there is a change in orders or the availability of men, machines and materials, the whole production process can be optimised on-line taking into account all changes in relevant resources.

OPTAMS manages production according to monitored starting conditions. It is then able to take into account actual values of production parameters, such as resource availability, changes in the starting times of certain processes and changes in orders. When critical changes and variations are monitored, then a re-optimisation of the production schedule is made. OPTAMS used planned and real measures of resources in the optimisations and in determining when they need to be made.


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Contact:
Paolo Nesi
University of Florence
Department of Systems and Informatics,
Via S. Marta, 3
50139 Florence - Italy
Tel: +39 055 4796523
Fax: +39 055 4796363
optams2
Resource calender shows the work of every resource.

Email:nesi@dsi.unifi.it

benefits of vision system

Author:IMV
Added: 03/19/2003