Production Cells

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On the MxAPS Production Cells page, define the production cells available for scheduling and the scheduling rule that sequences operations of production orders that use the production cells.

A production cell is a section of a manufacturing plant with distinct scheduling requirements. Every production cell is assigned a scheduling rule that sequences operations of production orders according to various attributes (e.g., due date, color, or material type). Each area of a plant that requires a distinct scheduling logic can be defined as a production cell.

For example, a wire production factory may have a casting area and a wire drawing area. The casting area would sequence operations based on alloy and temperature and the wire drawing area would sequence based on wire diameter. This could be represented by two production cells, a casting production cell, and a drawing production cell, each with a different scheduling rule.

When creating multiple production cells, consider the impact of product flow between cells and the processing order assigned to each. The system assigns ranks (schedule priority) to operations in production cells in ascending processing order. That means all operations in the production cell with the lowest processing order are considered for scheduling before any operations in production cells with higher processing orders. Ensure the production cells are defined and their processing order matches the process flow in a facility.

In the previous example of a wire production facility, the casting cell should have a lower processing order than the wire drawing production cell. If the wire drawing cell has a lower processing order than the casting area, the system attempts to schedule all wire drawing operations first and is unable to initially because the prior casting operation has not yet been scheduled. This causes those production orders with incomplete casting operations to be placed in the scheduling buffer. Only once all wire drawing operations have been scheduled does scheduling move to operations in the casting production cell. As casting operations are scheduled, related wire drawing operations become available for scheduling. This inappropriate processing order slows down scheduling and may result in operations scheduled out of proper processing order.

When product rotates from one cell into another and then back again, it may not be desirable to create multiple production cells. The cells’ processing order causes operations that re-enter the original cell to fit awkwardly into the sequence; the operation they re-enter under is scheduled after an operation with lower importance due to processing being scheduled in a higher processing ordered production cell. Many facilities that have product flow out of and back into one or more production cells often choose to create one production cell with a super sequencing scheduling rule that applies to all operations.

The production cells defined here must be assigned to work centers, machine centers, and operations before they have any effect. When generating a schedule, you can control which production cells are scheduled; based on the previous assignment, that determines what work centers, machine centers, and operations of production orders are considered for scheduling.

Production Cells Tooltips

Field/Control Name FastTab or FactBox Caption Tooltip
No.   No. Specifies a code to identify the production cell.
Description   Description Specifies the description of the production cell.
Rank Days   Rank Days Specifies the number of days over which the rank of a production order is held.
Scheduling Order   Processing Order Specifies the order in which this production cell is considered for scheduling.
Scheduling Rule Code   Scheduling Rule Code Specifies the code that defines the scheduling rule for this production cell.
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