opt-Studio (Optimisation Studio) seamlessly combines Greycon’s world-class trim optimisation expertise with the capability to generate optimised block schedules. A single desktop, with a unified, sleek and powerful user interface, provides all the necessary fine planning functionality. opt-Studio provides short- and mid-term planning capabilities that fit various industries such as paper, plastic and metals. Please click here for a two-page brochure.
In today’s highly competitive environment, plants in the paper, film, metals and other dimensional industries can use opt-Studio to improve:
- Customer service
...while providing unmatched what-if capability to respond to unforeseen events.
The key elements of opt-Studio are:
- Schedule maintenance: with a user interface that embodies all of Greycon’s multi-year expertise, simple yet infinitely customisable and powerful
- Schedule optimisation: inherited from previous-generation Greycon scheduling products D-Opt and S-Plan
- Trim optimisation: using the same, best-in-class trim optimisation algorithms from X-Trim
opt-Studio can help you to increase throughput, reduce stock levels, improve manpower utilization and minimize overrun. In addition, you will be able to reduce delivery lead times, strengthen customer relationships, prioritize orders and respect promised delivery dates.
A manufacturing execution system (MES) such as GreyconMill , if present, may be used to update the status of the live orders in real-time. Orders typically arrive through the order processing system to opt-Studio to generate schedules. These schedules are then communicated to the operators on the shop floor, either electronically or in printed form.
Block Schedule Optimisation
In many manufacturing situations, there is a combination of:
- product complexity, with a plant / process manufacturing multiple products
- non-constant demand
- significant switchover costs when transitioning from one product to another
Such industries have to deal with a difficult and hitherto unsolved scheduling problem, as they try to balance the conflicting objectives of maximum production efficiency, optimal customer service and minimum inventory:
opt-Studio addresses these issues through an optimisation-based, patent-pending approach that lets the user balance these conflicting objectives. The tool will create:
- the sequence of runs on each machine (and the customer order allocation to those)
- the needed replenishment orders for the make-to-stock products
The system can also optimise around a fixed sequence of runs: it will not alter the sequence but still can optimise the size and contents of those runs.
Large improvements are possible:
- Inventory reduction - 15 to 35%
- Stock-out reduction - 90%
- Setup cost reduction - 15%
- Planning productivity increase - 400%
- Rapid reaction to changes such as equipment downtime
More information is available in our White Papers section (registration required) in the articles Production Cycle Optimisation and Optimising the Production Cycle.
Finite Capacity Scheduling
opt-Studio is designed to generate a finite-capacity schedule very quickly. Tasks in primary and secondary machines can be automatically scheduled by opt-Studio in just a few seconds. It schedules and sequences orders based on user-defined scheduling rules that consider personnel, material and stock or work-in-progress inventory (WIP) availability as well as equipment constraints.
Planned downtime, such as maintenance stops, can be considered by the system as well as arbitrary patterns of working hours.
opt-Studio can incorporate material constraints into the scheduling logic by anticipating material requirements and calculating the reordering information. Material constraints can be considered at any production stage. As each material requirement is associated with one operation (task) in the schedule (using Bill Of Materials), the material requirements can be scheduled precisely.
opt-Studio takes into account current and minimum material stock levels as well as the lead time of each material, in order to determine when is the best time to replenish. Part of the output of opt-Studio is a list of suggested material stock replenishment orders, which can be fed to the ERP system.
The system also accounts for materials in transit and can handle semi-finished goods requirements, where one area of production produces a material requirement for the next stage of production. In this case, an internal order or direct production order generates material and the next stage consumes it.
When tasks become available to be processed in a workcentre, but the processing does not start, work in progress accumulates and can generate a bottleneck. opt-Studio can determine which workcentres are bottlenecked and in which time intervals and highlight this in a Gantt chart.
Tools and Skills
Coupling constraints such as finitely available tools and specific staff skills can be taken into account when determining the start date of the operations.
The ATP/CTP Engine provides the customer sales representatives the first point of interaction to determine acceptable delivery dates and reserve stock and capacity for customer enquiries. Given an order enquiry, it will analyse the latest schedule in opt-Studio and determine if there is a combination of stock and machine capacity that will allow meeting the expected date. It takes into account as many stages of production as necessary, including finishing.
An enquiry can be satisfied from a combination of “exact match stock” (inventory items that do not need any transformation), “semi-finished stock” (e.g. a wide stock item that needs to be processed in a Rewinder to remove edge trim) and “full production” (the order needs to be manufactured from the first stage of production).
ATP/CTP is designed to communicate with the order entry system and run as a Windows Service.
For producers that need geometric optimisation of their material, e.g. in the paper or plastic film industries, opt-Studio provides access to such functionality using the same interface.
Using the same powerful engine as Greycon’s X-Trim solution, opt-Studio can deliver results such as the following case study (the size of the circles is proportional to the production of each machine):
The system can be used to optimise across multiple runs in multiple paper machines. It will automatically detect which orders can be moved from their current run in order to improve the global trim without compromising dispatch dates. Take a look at the video demonstrating this aspect here (Registration required).
Editing the Schedule
opt-Studio employs a three-tiered block scheduling management scheme to create and maintain medium-term block schedules. This works on three levels: blocks (or campaigns), runs and orders allocated to the workcentre. Blocks can contain many runs and runs can contain many orders.
Extensive tools to drag-and-drop on the Gantt chart, on the grids, and onto the tree are available.
- Built using test-driven development in Microsoft .NET
- Proprietary, patent-pending optimisation technology
- Multi-threaded parallel processing exploits modern CPU’s for faster response
- State-of-the art graphical user interface
opt-Studio is certified “Windows 8 Compatible” and "Windows 10 Compatible" and can use 64-bit mode. Executables and drivers are digitally signed by Greycon for authenticity, and have passed tests designed by Microsoft to ensure they are free of malware, install easily, and run reliably with the minimal number of hangs, crashes, or restarts.