Grouping schedule by material type... Is there any way to group schedule jobs of the same material?


We will have multiple instances of the same job either in the same day or sequence of days, all running slow with high scrap rates. If we know that efficiency is gained with ganged runs, how do we best facilitate through automated tools the simplified implementation of those processes?

That is the way our salesman is describing an opportunity to improve here.

  1. Does anyone know what this type of scheduling is called or if there is a formal term for this type of planning?

  2. Does anyone know of a scheduling function in Epicor to do this type of scheduling?

  1. Can MRP suggest to increase a job quantity? much like a PO change suggestion does?

@utaylor MRP uses the same engine and can suggest job quantity changes. You can also try using days of supply if the needed dates are close to make a larger job.

If only some of the operations are the same you can make a batch job, but I don’t know if MRP can do that. We started down this path, but ended up make sub assemblies in advance instead.

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We have the same issue here with Paper substrates. Our current solution is to schedule those jobs forward and with a specific global sequence. They get schedule in the exact order we want them. We only do this for the next 48-60 hours of run. Just a couple ganged jobs. We use a dashboard to manage this. We do this for a variety of product attributes.


Same for us as what @jgiese.wci said. We have a dashboard where we list open jobs and shows MTL 10 and MTL 20.

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Thank you both, @jgiese.wci and @Eric_Howell, I spoke with my friend @skhan as well about it and we were thinking dashboards as well.

I will need to play around with global sequencing Joshua.

Thanks for the ideas!

Greg, thank you for taking the time to respond. I also was hoping there would be a way to create a subassembly, but the issue is that they are all taking the material and doing something different with it.

There is no in-between form. Scheduling the jobs to run one after the other would cut down on the amount of material/scrap that goes into setup and also the labor.

Are you using finite scheduling here? Or just global sequencing to get the times down so nicely in your start time column?

Yes we run finite scheduling.

Right on, I figured based on your times being so contiguous.

When I worked in plastics we did this with operation Setup Groups.
We had a Setup Group for each Plastic Type (it got more complicated later with color order, but Setup Groups worked well for that too).
So when the Method is setup the Engineer would select the Setup Group on the Operation.
MRP then generates Job Suggestions, then in one of the scheduling boards you would use the ‘Load Level’ function by Setup Groups and it then would reschedule everything in the range grouping by Setup Groups and sorted by the Priority code.


Wicked solution Rick!

I will try and play around with that.

But to set up by material you would need as many setup groups as materials, wouldn’t you?

This is the reason Setup Groups quickly breakdown if you need to batch based on several part properties. The other bummer is you have to do the load level process for every resource everytime you reschedule, without customization of course.

Thank you :pray::pray::pray:

I will try to play around with this stuff.

Full disclosure: we don’t even use the scheduling engine. We never have. From vantage 6 to now.

So trying to introduce load level processing and resource scheduling will be a monumental task as it is.

Perhaps, depends on how many material types you have.
Last I knew the Priority value goes up to 9,999, so you can have that many to affect the grouping/sorting.
Even with various material types and colors we were able to do it.
Keep in mind that the sort is over the Operation’s resource, not all resources.
You don’t have to have a setup group per material, just material type, meaning where the grouping or sort is important. You have to work out what materials it makes sense to gang together.

I do wish that Load Leveling was included in the ‘Calculate Global Scheduling Order’ process, which would help with this sort of thing, but it would also complicate things and require additional variables for running the process.

Ganging up Jobs by part is best accomplished with Days of Supply as it defines how many days out to gang up demand.
Another mistake I see when people want to gang up Jobs by part is they have set a Lot Min, Lot Max or Multiple on the Part setup, which can cause Jobs to be segmented unnecessarily.

Where it is important is by material for us and so we would need a group per material.

Thanks for expanding on your original post and letting us know you have gotten this to work, even as it grew complex.

There is a report to help with this issue called the Cut List. It will group jobs with like material part numbers for processing. This is more of a shop floor use item and not at the scheduling level, but still may be useful.

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Brad, it does what we were looking for.

It may be useful like you said. I need to spend more time getting into how they are scheduling.


Could you create a ‘Run With’ customization? If you know the jobs that should be run in sequence, how about a UD Field on JobDtl where you enter the next job number / op number that should be run. When the person is clocking out of the job, you could pop-up a box - “Run-With Job - Do you want to Start J##### Op####?”.

Or if you’re on paper travellers, you could stamp the op description, and the guys would manually see it when they sign off the pieces completed, and know they have another similar job to run. Everyone loves it when you can keep on running fast instead of breaking a setup!

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