Simplified Shop Floor Scheduling With PSL Datatrack

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

In the world of subcontract precision engineering, the ‘shop floor’ is where raw materials are transformed into finished products and where efficiency can ultimately make or break a business.

One critical aspect of shop floor management is scheduling – the art of determining which jobs to process in which order. This task becomes increasingly complex as businesses take on a mix of orders with varying due date requirements and machining times. However, with PSL Datatrack production control software in place, shop floor scheduling can be simplified and streamlined.

Shop floor scheduling is not a one-size-fits all solution – its necessity depends upon the size and complexity of a business. A small, start-up subcontractor with a couple of machines and a limited order book might be able to manage without a dedicated scheduler but as the business grows and more people get involved it becomes nearly impossible to keep track of everything manually. This is when a designated scheduler becomes a crucial element in managing the business.

One of the advantages of scheduling with PSL Datatrack is its seamless integration into the manufacturing process. As soon as a works order is loaded into the system, a scheduler record can be automatically created based on data from the associated quotation. This integration provides real-time scheduling information, making it easier to manage shop floor operations effectively.

PSL Datatrack offers various tools to help users visualise and manage shop floor schedules. One of these is the popular status board feature, which runs alongside the scheduler effortlessly. An example in the video below demonstrates a T-Card style, displaying works orders and their operations along with estimated time requirements.

The green jobs represent tasks for the current day, amber jobs are for tomorrow and the others further into the future. This visual representation helps users determine the optimal sequence to work on orders and ensures that they are always actioning the most urgent tasks.

In the office, users need a different perspective on shop floor operations. PSL Datatrack offers several reports to help them gain insights into manufacturing processes, including:

  1. Percentage Loading Summary: This report provides a clear overview of machine capacity and how it's utilised. Users can even differentiate between customer orders and make-for-stock orders for better insight
  • Percentage Loading Details: This report presents data in an hourly format, showing machine capacity and workloads in a visual and intuitive manner. This helps users quickly identify overloaded machines
  • Gap Overview Summary: A visual representation of an entire factory, with machines on one side and dates across the top. Red indicates a busy machine, while green signifies availability. This allows users to spot available machine time easily
  • Gap Overview Details: Drills down into the specifics of a single machine. This report reveals the work-to-list order, operations and any gaps in the schedule, providing a comprehensive view of the machine's workload

Examples of all of these reports are available in the video below.

One of the key benefits of using PSL Datatrack for shop floor scheduling is the ability to quickly assess the impact of changes. If a rush job comes in or a customer needs something as soon as possible, the system helps users understand how it will affect the existing schedule and capacity.

To summarise, shop floor scheduling is a critical aspect of efficient engineering and PSL Datatrack simplifies the process, making it easier for businesses of all sizes to manage shop floor operations effectively.

By providing real-time information, visual scheduling tools and detailed reports, PSL Datatrack empowers manufacturers to make informed decisions and optimise production processes.

To learn more about PSL Datatrack, check out our previous articles on these topics:

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