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KIM 25631 / 2016
In operations / production management, this technique of operations scheduling forms
a very important part and acts as the back bone for the performance of the
manufacturing or the service organizations. With the help of the operations
scheduling, two very important factors or the aspects of the resources within an
organization that can be pertained are as follows
1. Allocating the resources within an organization.
2. Setting up the time table.
In todays competitive world, the orders that are placed either from the side of the
customer or from the side of the assembly benches are to be completed on or before
the contracted or the promised date. For fulfilling this, operations scheduling plays a
very critical and an essential role and completely ensures that these dates are met.
Operations scheduling helps in the confirmation or the revision of the tentative
delivery date that has been promised in the original quotation. Sometimes during the
operations scheduling of the work order, it may be discovered that the delivery date
originally and tentatively promised cannot be met. All this may be due to the several
problems like the materials that are required may not be available at that particular
time or may not be available immediately. This problem can also occur due to the
increased plant loading while the customer is deciding whether or not to award the
quoted job to this company.
It has been observed that the operations scheduling has a direct effect on the
effectiveness of the production function and this relation was actually explained by
Vollman. According to Vollman, The priority planning and the shop floor control and
the scheduling elements ultimately determine the performance of the production
If the operations scheduling is carried out in an efficient manner, then there occurs a
considerable improvement in the performance in the delivery. Also helps in the
achievement of the goals that have been set by the company. Efficient operations
scheduling playa a very critical part in the reduction of the production lead times.
Objectives and Functions of the Operations Scheduling
Objectives of the Operations Scheduling
1. Making efficient use of the labor.
2. Making best possible use of the equipment that are available for the use.
3. Increasing the profit.
4. Increasing the output.
5. Improving the service level.
6. Maximizing the delivery performance i.e. meeting the delivery dates.
7. Minimizing the inventory.
8. Reducing the manufacturing time.
9. Minimizing the production costs.
10. Minimizing the worker costs.

Functions of the operations scheduling

1. Allocation of the resources.
2. Shop floor control.
3. Making maximum use of the plant at minimum possible cost.
4. Ensure that the needs of the manpower are optimum.
5. Determination of the sequence of the jobs.
6. Specifying the start and the end time for each job (actively scheduled).
7. Getting quick feedback from the shops regarding the delays and the various
8. Possess up to date information for the availability of the materials, expected
delivery dates etc.
9. Possess up to date data on the machine regarding its breakdown, servicing etc.
10. Keep itself abreast of the hiring, dismissals, holidays etc. of the work force.
Types of Operations Scheduling
Various types of Operations Scheduling are:
1. Forward operations scheduling
a. Classified on the basis of the time.
b. All the activities are scheduled from the date of the planned order release.
c. First task of the job is scheduled.
d. Its subsequent task is scheduled on the scheduled completion of the first task.
e. Like this, accordingly all the tasks of the job are scheduled.
2. Backward operations scheduling
a. Also classified on the basis of the time.
b. Activities are scheduled from the date or the planned receipt date.
c. The last activity is scheduled first.
d. Time of the start of the last task is considered as the time for the start of the
previous activity.
Methods used for the operations scheduling
1. Johnsons two machine algorithm
a. Very effective when the operations sequencing has two machines and the
processing time depends on the sequence in which the jobs are loaded.
b. Also used when the company involves a backlog of the orders.
c. Is a very simple process.
d. Also a time saving process.
e. Helps in the determination of the optimal job sequence.
2. Index method
a. Used for the purpose of the loading and also for allocating the different jobs to the
different machines.
b. Generally orders are assigned on the basis of the first come first assigned
c. But does not provide optimum loading.
3. Critical path analysis
a. Helps in the determination of the scheduling of the activities of the projects.
b. Reveals inter relationships between the different activities of the project.
c. Reflects the uncertainty in the durations estimated for the various activities.
4. Critical ratio scheduling
a. helps in the establishment and the maintenance of the priorities among the jobs in

a factory.
b. Concept of critical ratios is used widely.
c. Helps in the expedition of the functions of the PPC.
Inputs of the Operations Scheduling
1. Performance standards
a. First and the foremost need of the operations scheduling.
b. Helps the scheduler to find out the machine capacity in order to assign the required
machine hours and the man hours for the various activities.
c. The performance standards play a very important role in the good operations
scheduling and this is always possible if the time study or the industrial engineering
department exists in the plant.
d. The performance standards for such repetitive jobs are available.
e. And for the new jobs, they can be determined from the tables of the synthetic
standards prepared by the department.
2. Unit of the measurement
a. means the unit in which the loading and also the scheduling is to be extended.
b. The most commonly used units of measurement in the engineering companies are
the man hours or the machine hours.
3. Unit of the loading and the scheduling
a. Means the duration for which the loading and the scheduling should be done.
b. The unit of the loading and the scheduling scheduled start and the finishing
timings are mainly dependent on the scheduling needs of the company.
c. Scheduling should be done on the daily basis if the company makes promises in
4. Effective capacity per work Centre
a. Means the effective hours that can be used for the production on the machine or on
the work Centre in a week or in a month.
b. Theoretical capacity is equal to the number of the normal working hours of that
c. Some interruptions may occur during the process and some of these interruptions
can be summarized as follows
i. Power failure.
ii. Rework.
iii. Waiting for transport.
iv. Preventive maintenance.
v. Waiting for the inspection.
vi. Tool try out, jigs and the fixture try outs.
vii. Operatives trade test.
viii. Operators involved in some other activities like the functions, celebrations etc.
leaving the production operations aside.
ix. Machine used for the technical studies.
x. Operator left the work place for the official decision.
xi. Machine breakdown may be technical or mechanical in the nature.
xii. Operator absence.
xiii. Breakage in the tool.
xiv. Operator training time.
xv. Starting late.
xvi. Early close.

xvii. Over time.

xviii. Incentive payment collection.
5. Extent of the rush orders
a. When considering the scheduling process, the rush orders play a very conclusive
b. Never a machine should be subjected to 100 % effective capacity, simply because
of the reason that if any rush order comes in, and then the scheduling has to be
c. The various methods used in the accommodation of the rush orders can be
summarized as follows:
i. Leaving some capacity unscheduled on each machine per period.
ii. Leaving some in scheduled capacity between the two scheduled jobs.
6. Overlapping of the operations
a. Means running of a job simultaneously on more than one machine.
b. Occurs in the jobs which involve two or more operations.
c. Reduces the manufacturing cycle time.
d. Reduces the delivery period to the customer.
7. Loading charts
these charts specify the work that is to be carried out in each section or the
department of the company during the period under the review.
Helps in knowing the accumulated load at a given time for a given machine.
Helps in the identification of the periods that are available for the allocation in the
future to orders needing this machine.

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Michel Nakhla ( 1985)
Fabio Fruggiero university of Sarlerno