Hardware designers face many challenges on a daily basis, and production planning problems can arise if they are negligent in some crucial areas of their work. It is also important to note that it is the production planning process that serves as the catalyst that drives how other functions in the manufacturing chain react.

Control methods and production planning problems must be addressed quickly and efficiently in order to reduce costs and downtime, and changes in the hardware manufacturing industry have forced companies to make improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of their planning in order to remain competitive. Here, we will discuss some of the most pressing production planning problems or challenges in the industry.

Combining Different Functions

After schedules have been made it is ideal that very few changes are made afterwards. In order to achieve this goal, the quantity of labour scheduled for the department or the facility must be greater than the production cycle.

Following-Up

Struggling to meet commitments should not become a top priority when the designated tasks are started on time and completed before the deadline. The best operation of the factory can only be achieved if the primary strategy has been implemented prudently from the get-go so that manufacturing plants’ facilities are used to their full potential and delays don’t occur.

The Re-Planning Step

Re-planning is something that is very common in production planning and should be expected from time to time. This could occur if your company’s manufacturing methods have changed over the last few years in order to adapt to trends in the industry. Given how competitive the manufacturing sector is, companies that fail to adapt are often left by the wayside, so you will eventually need to make changes to your manufacturing plans.

Industry Forecasting

You will need to carefully follow any market fluctuations in order to stay afloat as a business. For instance, you will need to look carefully at market trends to understand how you can get ahead of your competitors. Market trends can help you predict the demand for your products in the future.

You may encounter certain challenges in the not too distant future, such as a sudden decrease or increase in demand for certain products, or you may have to adapt to new work shift policies. In any event, such changes are sure to have an impact on production control and planning, so you need to be prepared for anything.

Sales Order Revisions

At some point in your business operations, you will inevitably have to deal with client order rewriting. Examples include issues pertaining to the shipment authorization to the client, quantity changes, and product changes. When there are changes to a customer order or variations to a sales order, your production planning and control methods will be impacted significantly. You need to prepare for such issues in advance in order to reduce costs and downtime when they occur.

Conventional Process Sheets

The standard process sheet is made by either the process proprietor or an associated engineering cavalcade and comprises basic but essential data, such as the type of machinery that will be used for production, and the estimated processing time. However, if there is a hardware manufacturing failure or issue during production then the datasheet will be impacted, which, will adversely impede production control and planning.

Load Charts

Load charts must be fabricated for each apparatus and workstation in the manufacturing facility before production takes place. In some cases, they may also be prepared for entire departments or committees, or for groups of machinery, which may cause additional issues or challenges for your company, if you are not prepared to handle the workload.

Project Planning

Any item that is made is fabricated in a given quantity with a processing time measured meticulously should be subject to stringent quality control. To do so, one of two project planning strategies are implemented; namely, ‘Program Evaluation and Review Technique’ and ‘Critical Path Program’. The planning process consists of sequencing as well as choosing certain activities so that they adhere to a predetermined nomenclature of domain constraints, and that a given set of objectives are met.

Moreover, the schedules that are made should reflect the connection between the capacity limits of a shared group of resources and the activities in question. Failure to do so may cause challenges that your company may be unable to deal with during a chaotic production schedule.

Preparing a Master Production Schedule

The first thing you may want to consider is how to reduce the amount of re-planning activities that your business has to deal with during the master production schedule. The original master production schedule should be optimized so that it is feasible as possible, and you and your team will need to be reactive to any hindrances that will negatively affect the flow of materials in your production line.

Finally, your planners will need to be kept abreast about the pool of material resources at their disposal. The information that is relayed to them must not only be up to date but accurate as well. Otherwise, bloated inventory problems will arise and your enterprise will likely fail to deliver products to your customers on time, which will impact your company’s reputation and lead to lower customer retention.

For more information about overcoming the challenges in production planning for your manufacturing plant, call Circuits Central at 1-888-821-7746 or contact us here.