Need to schedule a Beam saw by material

Has anyone successfully scheduled a resource (in this case an optimizing beam saw) by Material. The issue I am running into is we have 9 types of plywood that are consumed by different parts. We are finite scheduling because we run only one shift and we do not want to overload.

Right now all scheduling is looking at is where it can place a job regardless of what material it is using. I can go in manually and set a start date and priority and forward schedule from that date to try and bring the jobs all together for the same material run but even doing that it is impacted by the other jobs already sitting in those time slots.

Has anyone found a way to accomplish this? We have to have the jobs released with the right dates to build the cut sheet to send the saw to let it know what we want to optimize.

If you have the Advanced Scheduling module, this could be addressed with Capabilities.


We do have it and I am familiar with capabilities but not sure how to do this.

Can you give me an example? This is where my thought process was headed. Do I make the different size sheets the capabilities?

Right now I can sort out the jobs on the scheduling board by the material part but they all currently have dates all over the place for starts. We only run one shift so if I run MRP and scheduling with finite it fills all the current time slots by date and the jobs are very difficult to change their start dates.


What are the gating factors for the machines? Size only or some other criteria too.

Basically, you want to create the capabilities by the gating factors of the resources. Start with your most limited machine and determine what it’s max capability is. If it is a single machine, I recommend creating the resource in it’s own resource group. If you have two of these machines, create a capability. Then just move up through your resources and build a capability for each level of gating factor and add the resources priority based on what they can do.

The best way I can explain through an example would be for a brake (bends metal sheets). Let’s say you have 6 brakes; two 4 foot, two 6 foot, and two 8 foot brakes. I would create 3 capabilities called:

  • 4 and under
  • 6 and under
  • 8 and under

Then you would add all of the brakes to the 4 and under as all of them can bend parts with a length that is under 4 feet. Make the 4 foot brakes the highest priority, then 6 foot, and then 8 foot. You are trying to program the system to drive to the lowest resource based on the size. You don’t want the 8 foot brakes to be tied up with parts that are two feet in length, but if the current demand requires a two foot part to go to the 8 foot brake it will.

Then the 6 and under would only have the 6 & 8 foot brakes. Finally, the 8 and under will only have the 8 foot brakes.

Then, when your engineer is building the MOM, they know what the size of the job is and can pick the correct capability.

Does that make sense?

It’s the actual Plywood size/thickness combo

These are the 7 materials that we want to schedule by. We have a number of parts that call out each specific RM and we want to be able to optimize them by material at the beam saw.

So in this example I would want all these to line up in the same week, I know I have the capacity but the scheduling engine has these currently scattered over a month randomly based on need dates. This is where I get confused on how to setup the material as a capability so that in a weekly bucket the jobs will line up in that order


Ah, I misunderstood what you were trying to accomplish. Do you have the Advanced Production module? You would want to Batch those operations together to run on one job. It would be a manual process, but would give you what you want.


I forgot to mention we only have a single machine in this resource. So we need that machine to be able to plan a week worth or jobs in material order and have the right start dates on them. The start date is our trigger to create a cut sheet for optimizing


Do you have the Advanced Production Module (I think that is the one for batching)?


Look into the Batching functionality. It is not automated, but someone could look at the next week’s schedule and batch all of the jobs that have the same material. Then there would only be one job to log into for all that were batched together. After that operation, you can have the material split back out to their original jobs.

Thanks John, let me look into that. I was able to create a solution with co-part functionality, but this sounds like maybe a better one.


John one question as I may of spoke too soon. When you say advanced production module that is different from the Advance Material management right? We have the advanced material management.

I see Epicor referring to Advanced MES


Yes, two different modules. But if you have co-parts you have the module.

Got it we do thanks and I am headed in the right direction