Preactor is a family of planning and scheduling solutions, ranging from FCS to APS to SCE. With more than 5500 systems sold to date throughout the world, Preactor is the world's leading solution in automated scheduling. Preactor integrates with major ERP systems, and its open architecture is ideal for legacy ERP solutions.


Users of Preactor have benefited from:


  • Reduced makespan

  • Lower material inventories

  • Improved productivity

  • Improved customer service

  • Reduced time spent in scheduling and expediting


About Preactor:


The most common tool used by schedulers is a simple planning board where work is allocated to resources in time periods such as an hour, day or week. However this is a static decision support tool trying to cope with a dynamic problem.


How long will the schedule last before a rush order appears, re-work is required, operators report sick, a machine breaks down, or demand does not match the forecast? Each of these will blow a hole in the production plan and the scheduler can spend endless time re-assigning work, changing priorities or altering process routes to meet promised delivery dates.


A Question of Balance:


This is the schedulers' art. they must constantly try to maintain the balance between demand and capacity. On the demand side the 'flow' of work can vary due to new orders arriving, changes in priority, and stock orders launched against forward forecasts. 'Leakage's' take place as deliveries are made, forecasts are translated in to real demand and orders cancelled.


Increased capacity can be achieved by bringing forward the launch time for orders to utilize under used resources. Process routes can be changed to avoid bottlenecks. Working hours can be extended or work sub-contracted, and batches of work can be split. Reduced capacity is caused by breakdowns, rework, sequence dependent set-up times and the inevitable (wandering) bottlenecks.


What is finite capacity scheduling?


Finite Capacity scheduling is a process whereby a production plan consisting of a sequence of operations to fulfill orders is generated based on the real capacity of resources. These can be machines, operators, tooling or anything which is a constraint on the production process.


What Happens Now?


Most planning systems assume sufficient resources are available when required, i.e. resources have infinite capacity. An MRP system typically takes the orders for products, breaks them down into component parts and calculates when to start making them based on the individual lead times. No account is taken of the current available capacity of resources.


At the same time that the launch time for batches are calculated, materials needed are ordered to arrive in time for the work to start. If there is a delay in production upstream of a particular operation then the material will be ordered too early. With no concept of bottlenecks available to the planning system, resources become overloaded, queues of work get longer and work in progress increases. Because jobs must join the queues at each process step, orders take longer to make progress, expected lead times are too optimistic and deliveries are late....Sound Familiar?


How will finite capacity scheduling help?


Using finite capacity scheduling, operations are only planned when resources are available. Materials are ordered only when they are needed. Inventory levels fall and bottleneck resources are not overloaded. Work in progress remains at the relatively constraint level, lead times are more predictable and delivery dates are more reliable. In this way production management spends less time progress chasing and can concentrate on the every day job of balancing, often variable demand, with the capacity available.


Why Preactor?


For manufacturing companies who require greater control of their operations, increase customer service while reducing costs, Preactor® is a PC based scheduling package that provides the planner with an interactive decision support tool that balances demand and capacity. Unlike spreadsheets and MRP software, Preactor® can deal with the complexities of a wide range of manufacturing systems, is easy to setup and use, generates schedules in minutes and can be installed at a very competitive cost.


Who uses Preactor?


First released in 1993, and continually enhanced and improved, more than 3,500 systems have been sold to over 600 companies in the wide range of verticals across five continents. These companies cover the A - Z of business sectors.


  • Automotive and aerospace

  • Capital, white and FMC goods

  • Chemicals, cosmetics and paint

  • Electrical assembly and electronics

  • Food and beverages

  • Furniture and woodworking

  • Injection molding and extrusions

  • Job shops, press shops

  • Machine assembly and equipment

  • Metals melting and processing

  • Packaging and printing

  • Pharmaceuticals and healthcare

  • Repairs and maintenance

  • Services, training and academia

  • Transportation and distribution

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