Production management - articles


Production management

Production management system

The functions to be fulfilled by an efficient and modern production management system are:

  • Achieved integration of all relevant (business, technical, and production) and data management models developed in theoretical settings MRP and MRPII (American manufacturing philosophy) AMERICA and Just in Time (Japanese manufacturing philosophy) or some of the existing methods which allow the management process.
  • Applied System of planning and scheduling of production which, according to Figure 3, connects the three levels of planning and scheduling:

The first basic planning when giving deadlines to customer orders with planning of all operations department needs to prepare orders (development, planning and design of products, production technology, design and manufacture or selection and ordering of clamping, cutting and measuring tools, optimal supplier selection and ordering of necessary materials, contracting cooperation, the production of parts and assemblies, circuitry and assembly, final inspection and testing of products). Deadlines for individual activities of the basic plan are starting deadlines for planning the assembly or production scheduling.


The planning of the product assembly according to the available capacity to meet the deadlines of the basic plan ( backward scheduling ) , using additional options for shortening the duration of the activity and composition of the assembly in order to meet the deadlines of the basic plan ( increased capacity , overlapping activities , the inclusion of cooperation , work non-working shifts and days off , purchase a large number of tools , reducing the gap between activities ) . Joining mounted units ( parts or assemblies that without finishing install the product ) the activities of the plan , after the development plan can be obtained from: procurement plan materials ( with the balance in stock , quantities and deadlines needs ) , capacity plan , a plan of cooperation , a plan built-in units and plans needed means for securing resources . Theoretical basis for resource plan represents the MRP approach of the American manufacturing philosophy . If it comes to a product that does the assembly process (making assemblies and parts on order , making a simple product , processing services , repair services ) , activities of basic plan needs to join assemblies , components and materials, so as to obtain other plans


The third level represents the termination of production. Scheduling is the deployment of technological operations at workplaces according to the available capacity of the same , taking into account the technological sequence of operations according to the technological process, interoperability across time , the priority of work orders , product assembly , parts and operation , state by technology necessary resources (documentation, tools, materials the first operation, the NC program for operations on CNC machines ) and the possibility of parallel operation by time and the amount of current and following surgery. If the scheduling model is used as the third level, scheduling is performed backwards from the time required for assembly ( JIT approach by the Japanese manufacturing philosophy ) or the deadline given in the sales if a product without installation , and if it is just scheduling ( ordering parts and assemblies ), scheduling is done in advance . The result of scheduling dates represent plans by plants , brigades, groups, jobs and jobs with the schedule of technological operations for each hour of work and required non-working days.

  • Applied to launch production model with automatic checking of the nonreserved material, material orders with proven delivery time for first operation, the state of preparedness and readiness tools NC programs for all operations where required, choice and provision of replacement materials, the ability to launch part series for which has a material removal booking by authorized managers and production printing documents: the technological process, technological backing sheet, work orders, job and checklists and materials delivery note.
  • Fixed monitoring activities of the department and readiness operations in manufacturing. Regardless to whether the application is done by entering the keyboard or bar code readers, and RF terminals (faster, cheaper and more accurate), it is necessary to enter readiness operations as incurred or at the end of the shift (readiness amount of surgery, time spent without work readiness quantity for a longer period of operation, the input of group work in surgery). In this way they get: readiness operations, remaining time, efficiency of production elements (components, assemblies, products, services) as well as the overall readiness of the work order and efficiency of employees, groups of jobs, jobs and drive (achievement of standards)
  • Monitoring of deviations from quality (scrap, finishing) in order to launch new quantities of high priority, and launch operations processing, tracking customer complaints and suppliers with cost accounting discrepancies of quality solutions and cost reclamation according to its causes.
  • Monitoring of costs at all times and at the end of work orders. In addition to the direct costs it is necessary to have a developed model in controlling the allocation of indirect costs. In this way, the costs of non-productive organizational units allocated to the cost of production as well as cost centers (work orders, facilities, construction sites).                      

Universal production management system - a chance or utopia?

There will always a hot question whether there is a universal production management system for various types of production (batch, Low-rate initial, single repetitive, individual project), the type of production (routine or continuous process) and for industries or types of service activities (metal, electrical, wood, building and construction of facilities, food processing, process, chemical, textile, for the production and distribution of electricity, gas distribution, transportation of passengers and cargo, design, etc.) or is it necessary to develop and / or adapt for any company or for each of these groups.

It is difficult to give an objective opinion on this complex issue. I believe that the proponents of universal purchasing and "overall" ERP system claimed that it is the only right one. Indeed, there are arguments:

    - Systems are applied in a number of companies in the world (though these are mainly known world solutions) and there is a big safety at work;

    - Behind the system there are substantial businesses that will not disappear so easily with the PC market;

    - A steady development and implementation of new IT has been provided and

    - In addition to unreasonably high price (system implementation and training) there are now cheaper and at a price acceptable ERP solutions in IT companies that are less known.

However, supporters of the need for development and customization system ( to which I myself absolutely belong) also have significant arguments :

   - It is impossible to have a solution that meets everyone's needs (you can even take a simple example of the components of the product : the metal- it is a structural component , but for a single group there may be drafts that are written technological process , with the construction of production to the recipe , with construction facilities combined components of the structure of the object and recipe components of the facility , with equipment in service is essential and the factory or part number of each element in the gas distribution network to a number of geographical and technical elements for distribution area - city - village - local board - pipeline - shares - the consumer - mjernoregulacijski system - loads of consumers in the production of mattresses that are material in food that's a recipe variants retain the main ingredients in the mandatory amounts, etc. );

  •  adapting of the system engages the user, which gives him the same sense of participation in the design, easier to accept the system and shortens training time;
  •  thus created systems are open to constant improvement in the functioning (according to user needs)
  •  A part of the system (document creation, selection code system)done by the user himself.

I can only say that during the 30 years of work I have not had a case that a software system for production management (at any level) that could be applied directly in the company of another type or types of production.

As an argument I can add can the assessment of an expert of the company Aluminij Ltd in Mostar (the company that has received significant international awards for business organization and business results among the major companies in this part of Europe) presented at the international conference for enterprise management of UPS in 2001. In this paper, Dr. Anthony Rezić, Boris Čihorić: Integrated Information System of "Aluminij" Ltd. Mostar writes:

"In the market, there were a lot of software offers, like 'ready made' solutions and also posibilities of application development according 'Aluminij's' requirements. Ready-made solutions at that time were too expensive to 'Aluminij' (in order of some millions DM), or they were heavily adaptable to 'Aluminij's' needs, or they covered only a part of'Aluminij's' needs (usually financial and accountance packages). The most fayourable and the most complete solutions wos offered from the softvare firm "ININ" - Slavonski Brod."


How to choose an efficient and applicable production management system

We should be careful to draw from experience only the wisdom that is in it, and there we stop, otherwise we will be like the cat that sat on a hot stove.

The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won't sit upon a cold stove lid, either.Mark Twain

The greatest significance of the choice of an ERP system for production management in an enterprise has a manager. Probably this is one of the hardest, themost exciting decisions, which usually has lukewarm support of like-minded and violent passive resistance of opponents. Here, he is faced with poor own experience or the experience of predecessors, which were purchased from a major problem is the unregulated domestic offer production management system. Today, the domestic market also has bidders of production management system developed in private (employee-company) who do not know what production management consists of, who have not spent a single day in any production, but they have the ability to charm managers with beautiful visual charts with the results of operations .

The solution is in a somewhat greater and better quality management team preparing for the election system. One possible approach is to define the needs and requirements of all departments and management of the production management system. Requirements can be defined through the following criteria: comprehensiveness, user orientation, information inventiveness, documenting, training, and implementation and maintenance.

For each modul the requirements under the criteria are defined. As an example, take the module material procurement where requirements are: an order to order, request, offer, selecting the best offers, potential vendors, ranking suppliers, multilingual order, automatically create order out of order, the condition of the required, and ordered the incident materijala. For each demand the bidder gives the possibility of your system weight rating: 0 - not covered, 5 - and 10 partially resolved - completely resolved. Giving weight to the importance of the percentage of each of the modules (each company has a different significance of individual modules), we get indications to what extent the offered system meets our needs and ranking of the bidders.

Of course, after that the shortlisted bidders must provide proof of the above options in a particular company . For selected customer order , a work order with the corresponding elements and their production technology , the group capacity ( required for selected technologies ) , the necessary materials for the production elements that are part of a self-produced , and employees need to show specifically to the testing example of the possibilities offered ( basic plan , launch , material procurement , provision of materials , schedule W2 at workplaces , application readiness, application deviations from quality , shipping, invoicing , expense tracking , calculation of the final work order ) .

During the contest one should not forget the domestic IT companies . Given the leading role to the operating results of its branches or counties , they certainly deserve the attention of the results achieved by applying domestic production management system and services in Croatian companies :

 (There are more successfully implemented the system of local bidders of which I kssnow ). If one adds imported systems gained  in international competition (ALUMINIJ Ltd Mostar, LASER GRUPPE Vienna) as well as the choice and application of domestic production management system in enterprises owned by foreign companies were founded by Austrian energy (Duro Ðaković Thermal Power Plant Ltd.), SAINT JEAN INDUSTRIES Ltd., one can conclude that the domestic IT companies deserve their chance.

Finally, I would say my own experience:

It is impossible to make or adapt and implement production management system user who does not know what to do. Anything we show or make for him is not  ''what he expected".