How to group operations as production Cell

Hi everyone, we are implementing EPICOR in our company (test mode actually) and we wondreing how to group severals operations as “good business practice” point of view.
We need to group oprations of turning, milling and hobber.
Step 1: 2 lathes does make operation “turning 1”
Step 2: 2 lathes does make operation “turning 2”
Step 3: 1 milling
Step 4: 1 Hobber

Each Steps have their own MOM and tooling management and we want to be able to do revisions seperatly on each steps.
Only one operator for the whole cell with with 3 collaborative robots.
We want the quantities punch in only one time.
We want to be able to manage schedule changes as easy as possible.

Is all that possible?
Thank you very much for your advice.

That’s a pretty complex business requirement. I think for that I would have a consultant walk through it with you. Potentially involve professional services at Epicor depending on the requirements.

At the surface, I would say you want advanced production so you can do operation batching, but it’s done manually. Also schedule changes “as easy as possible” that’s a rough one. Depends on what kind of changes you’re talking and what part of WIP you are in at that time.

I’m not sure this is one the forum can easily help with. The short answer is yes Epicor can do it. Out of the box no. Will it be easy probably not.

We use Resource Groups for this. I can’t guarantee it will also suit your requirements but for example we would set a Resource Group for Step 1 with 2 Resources (for the 2 lathes) and default the Operation to the Resource Group. We use this for machinery as well as hand operations and you can view production time against each Resource \ Group then too. Hope this helps. Thanks. Tracy

Thank you Joshua for your answer. As far as I’m in my reserches, I’m not surprised of your answer. However, your answer will give me leverage to ask for changes in this project. Thanks again!

In my opinion :

  1. The easiest way to do so would be to “model” your cell as only one operation that you punch once the part has come through the whole cell but it would mean you have a one piece flow that works smothly since you cannot see each one of your operation independently.
  2. Another way to proceed would be to config the part as an assembly with a sub-assembly for each cell. That is a pain for engineering team since it suppose one different part per sub-assembly but it allows you to have the complete BOO at each level of the assembly. If you use the pull-as-assembly model, the schedule is linked from one sub-assembly to the other. If you don’t go with pull-as-assembly model, it can allows you to implement wip kanban inbetween your cells by using part’s inventory parameters but it becomes much more tricky on a scheduling point of view.

I will follow your post since I am curious to know what you’ll do at the end.

Have a good day

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Thank you Tracy for your answer. I will consider your solution as a good compromise. Probably there is something to buil around it.

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I’m with @JorisM here. The whole point of using cells is to reduce administrative costs by not tracking everything within the cell. It’s OK not to use the Epicor MOM for the building instructions and rely on other means attached to the operations for the workers to build the product and use IoT or toher means to measure throughput instead of entering labor.


Thank you Joris for your answer. Actually the way it is buil in our test environnement is exactly what you described in solution #1. From the procuction point of view, It works perfectly, but from engineering/Manifacturing Method (my point of view) it’s a real problem. Exemple: I can’t import process method “as is” from our actual ERP with a DMT and we have hundreds of it. Same thing for tooling management for each machine and so… I way to have the best balance for prod planning and engineering/Methods management. I will concider your solutions. Thanks again!

Thank you Mark, I will consider your point too. By using other means… Do you have any suggestion? My biggest concern actually regarding methods is tooling management and your instructions. Actually the are built in as one in our job travelers (in our actual ERP not EPICOR).

Tooling management (if you’re tracking) is a whole new ball of wax. If you’re just talking about calling out tooling and instructions, people often use Attachments for that particular Part/Revision to get detailed instructions, schematics, descriptions, drawings, etc.

Hi Joris,
Little update for you. Fore the moment, the project is on hold because of a new variable in the equation. MEMEX (MES) as joined the party! We don’t know yet at wich level it will be involved… As long as this question is nor answered, we cannot move foreward. Stay tuned !