Production / Resource Calendar Management

Hi all,
I’m in the process of implementing Scheduling and one of the difficulties I am facing is how to handle machine availability.

We currently have a resource for every machine and (outside of the system) the machine / resource availability is set at the beginning of each week whilst resources currently have a calendar set i.e.

  • 5 Days 24 Hours…
  • 5 Days 10-16
  • 5 Days 2-10
    etc.

but as stated we currently aren’t using scheduling.

I need a simplistic method of handling calendars in Epicor and am not sure how to proceed

Should I have a calendar for each resource in Epicor and handle availability with resource exceptions? Is there an easy way of entering this information as currently we have to tick a box per hour per day?

Should I have one 24 hour calendar for all resources and manage machine exceptions per resource? Again this is not that simple as availability again seems to be per day per hour also.

Also is there an easy way to update ResourceCal and ProdCal to help make this process easy to manage?

Any help and advise on how others are handling this would be appreciated?

Thank you

It’s more complicated than just calendars. I would think this depends more on whether your machine availability is ‘per day’ or ‘per shift’ or ‘per hour’ - and when you actually run the scheduling process (and how often). Each time it runs, it will use the currently available resources, combined with the hierarchy of Calendars and their Exceptions. This is all critical with Finite Scheduling.

Any changes to the availability are seen by the scheduler each time it runs. If a machine isn’t available today but will be available for the rest of the week - how do you want the scheduler to see the rest of the week? There is simply no easy way to take a machine out of the schedule for a few days and not affect the future schedule except by doing calendar exceptions. And there is definitely no easy way to do it for a few hours - as altering the checkboxes on it’s calendar(s) will affect the future schedule all the way out to the finite horizon (if you end up doing finite scheduling) when it runs.

We chose to do an average availability method. Our machines have very variable availability (because of the variable operator availability) so we do something along the lines of 80% of the machines in a given group are available every day. If we have more operators on a given day, they do some ‘future’ scheduled work and we get ahead, other days we fall behind. It averages out in the end, and we still make our delivery dates. Every once in a while we struggle but that can happen with other influences like Covid, Flu, Hunting Season :slight_smile: But this does allow for a lot less manual adjustments.

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Hi @MikeGross

Our machine availability is usually per shift and would be set prior at the week beginning (normally Friday previous week) and I have created an updatable dashboard so assigning a calendar to a resource can be managed more easily and the intention is to run the scheduling process weekly on Sunday evening.

Exceptions may occur such as machine downtime, Christmas holidays etc.

I have tried on the test system but I have really struggled.

For example, under production calendar I select the main calendar assigned to resources and select Working Days tab then the Year tab. I assigned bank holidays for 2023 and Christmas break this year as “Non Working Days” by selecting “Toggle Days” and exception.

I would have hoped this would stop me scheduling during the Christmas break period. However, I tested and it allowed me to schedule during the non working days so I really am at a loss.

I’m in the middle of this journey as well - so I’m not sure I’m the definitive resource here. There are some other posts about calendars and holidays and things on this site - be sure to check them as well. Also, the hierarchy is important. It uses the lowest level calendar first (resource), but I’m not sure how it applies the overall company’s calendar for things like Holidays and such.

As for Shift work - do your jobs stop/start with shifts? Our jobs extend past shifts - and over multiple shifts - which is NOT how the current scheduler’s standard setup works. We’re ‘faking’ things for the scheduler and getting close to where we want to be.

Where are you seeing this? given how we do it, it LOOKS like it’s scheduled for those non-working days, but it’s only because the job extends OVER those days - so the Scheduling board charts looks like those non-working days are included but they are not - the bars on the chart just look that way.

I just checked our Production calendars (each one has the same set of exceptions) and I just checked the schedule - nothing is due to start on any of those days. they may cross those days but those days are not counted as available hours. Do you have different calendars at the Resource Group and resource Level, and do each of these calendars have the same exceptions for the holidays?