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Ways to Realize Lean Benefits Using Taylor APS

Customers tell us our software turns them into lean machines.

Continuous improvement in manufacturing means maximizing efficiency, and by doing so, your plant will run as effectively as possible. In today’s competitive world, manufacturers remain in business only if they can execute their ideas for improving efficiency. That is where we fit in—Taylor scheduling solutions allow manufacturers to implement and maintain lean ideas because they connect machines, resources and customer requirements.

By combining these items with interdependent rules, Taylor utilizes a lean strategy so that your plant managers can immediately see what is happening on the shop floor and in the market and then react to changes quickly. New information—changes in supply, machine break downs, changes in delivery dates, etc.—can be added to the system. The effect of these changes cascades throughout the entire plant: new work orders are generated and new schedules are created for machines and operators. When there are many variables to manage—medium to large manufacturers have complex manufacturing processes—Taylor APS takes care of the details for you.

Here are some examples of how using Taylor APS keeps you lean:

  • Reduce cycle time by decreasing the queue time between manufacturing operations.

    Lean Objective: Reduce cycle time by decreasing the queue time between manufacturing operations.

    Our Solution: With an APS system, you can be better synchronized with your shop floor. You no longer need to keep large queues of work in front of each machine to prevent downstream machines from starving for work. Because you have better visibility, you can reduce the lag time between operations, shortening the overall make time and cycle time.

    Overlap facilitates a shorter cycle time by starting operations before the preceding operation completes or by reducing the normal lag time from the end of one operation to the start of the next. Many organizations plan for some work to queue in front of downstream operations. With Taylor APS, you can reduce that queue to hours or even minutes. You can allow complete overlap; when one step is finished, the part can immediately proceed to the next step, eliminating wait time and reducing cycle time to an absolute minimum.

    Another method of decreasing cycle time is to reduce the standard lead-time allocated to operations like Quality Assurance (QA) testing. Many organizations simply set up a standard time for QA or testing instead of assigning actual QA or test time to a machine or workcenter and then finitely scheduling that area.

    Sometimes cycle time is excessively long because you are short of critical resources such as tools or operators. Use Taylor APS to identify when these resources are needed to make certain they are available. Lack of resources has a huge impact on cycle time.

  • Reduce work-in-process (WIP) inventory by lessening lag time between operations.

    Lean Objective: Reduce work-in-process (WIP) inventory by lessening lag time between operations.

    Our Solution: Material flows from one machine to the next without queuing up in front of a machine. Schedule all operations to flow quickly from one machine to the next.

  • Reduce raw material carrying costs.

    Lean Objective: Reduce raw material carrying costs.

    Our Solution: Using Taylor APS, you can identify exactly when you need inventory and exactly how much you need. By using Just-in-time (JIT) material procurement, you can reduce inventory carrying costs because you can acquire material at the last possible moment without having to store it when waiting for the job to run. The sooner that you use the material or the later that you acquire it, the less likely it is to spoil and the less likely you will be to jeopardize the shelf life of that material. Shelf life is critical to the food processing industry and pharmaceuticals.

  • Reduce finished goods material storage by defining storage space as a critical tooling resource.

    Lean Objective: Reduce finished goods material storage by defining storage space as a critical tooling resource.

    Our Solution: Model the maximum space you want to use, and Taylor APS will schedule orders so you never exceed the storage space specified for finished goods. Taylor APS will schedule production only when there is space available in the warehouse to hold the finished goods. If there is no vacant space, then the orders will be held back until space is available.

  • Improve on time delivery by having Taylor APS tell you exactly when jobs will finish.

    Lean Objective: Improve on time delivery by having Taylor APS tell you exactly when jobs will finish.

    Our Solution: Configure Taylor APS to automatically place a high priority on specific jobs or use manual intervention to schedule jobs to finish on time. Utilize the Gantt Spy to show you why orders are scheduled late: you may need more operators, tools, inventory or capacity; a bottleneck machine may be holding orders up; or inventory may be arriving too late.

  • Make accurate order promise dates.

    Lean Objective: Make accurate order promise dates.

    Our Solution: By using the Due Date quoting module, drag-and-drop feature from the operation queue, or the automated scheduling mode, you can ensure accurate order promise dates. Freeze specific jobs in the schedule to guarantee they finish and ship on the dates promised. Use the late orders report to confirm that all orders are still on schedule. Use primary machines and alternate machines in the routings to determine if the alternate machine can deliver the order on time if your primary machine is backlogged.

    By simply looking at the Gantt chart, you can immediately see which orders are late because their taskbars are red; if the orders are scheduled to complete on time, their taskbars are green. Configure Taylor APS to highlight (redden) an entire order if even one of its operations is late. By utilizing even one of Taylor APS's many features, you can quickly identify and react to late orders to get them out on time or, if necessary, subcontract the job before you even start it. Hire another manufacturing facility to produce the goods for you so you can still ship on time.

  • Increase the utilization of key resources.

    Lean Objective: Increase the utilization of key resources.

    Our Solution: Use the Taylor APS Optimizer to reduce setup time to gain more time for running production. Balance operator requirements to reduce their idle time. Use the vertical scheduling rule to squeeze out that extra 5% of machine utilization, especially when you are already heavily utilized. By monitoring the Gantt chart, you can easily and quickly see which machines are idle. Run the capacity analysis reports to determine actual capacity utilization over any time period. The average wait time report shows the location of bottlenecks and their severity. By monitoring the resource graph or the resource transaction reports, you can see where you have excess operators, tools and/or inventory.

  • Streamline and standardize the schedule process by storing all of the rules in one system.

    Lean Objective: Streamline and standardize the schedule process by storing all of the rules in one system.

    Our Solution: Once your scheduling, sequencing and optimization rules are configured in the system, Taylor APS will always use those rules to provide a realistic and achievable schedule that is completely optimized.

  • Centralize information to improve communications.

    Lean Objective: Centralize information to improve communications.

    Our Solution: In the Taylor APS client/server, multi-user environment, using one central database that is accessible by other Taylor APS clients, a standard browser or Special reports, anyone can view the schedule, or information in the schedule, to gain insight into the system's details. The most current schedule will always display, reducing the risk of using out of date information.