The plants comprise both machining and assembly. The order horizon for assembly as well as the assembly process itself are short which allows the planning process to meet the customer needs.
For the machining department we have longer lead-times which forces us to consider order forecasts for planning. Together with a complex machine park with numerous different process steps and different machines with different cycle times depending on the part produced, this makes planning hard.
Today the planner operates day by day, using data on the availability of parts and comes up with a production plan based on what we know at this time. However this is a very time-consuming process and in reality the result are almost every time wrong as changes such as machine breakdowns or unaccomplished target cycle times have occurred during the planning process. This leads to sub-planning activities in the machining departments that focus on the individual department only and as a consequence to an imperfect overall exploitation of resources.
We are expecting as an major end result a tool that provides decision options for the central planners, enabling us to control the production in real-time based on accurate data.