Real-time scheduling: Is it a real thing?
As an OR practioner, I really enjoy attending the technical workshops at the INFORMS Analytics conference. It gives me a way to preview the software and technology currently available and to gain a sense of where the industry is heading. Some vendors are great at providing case studies that may spark an idea you may take back to implement at your organization. Even when I have attended workshops for programs I currently use and consider myself to be quite an ‘expert’ at, I still end up learning something new. A simple keyboard shortcut, could help shave hours of agony, and let you focus that time and energy in to building a better model.
This year there were 19 technology companies offering workshops, free of cost (!), to conference registrants. As an OR professional working at a CPG, with a background in scheduling, my pick was to attend Simio’s session, titled “New Innovations: Cloud Computing, Real-Time Scheduling, Industry 4.0, and More”.
I really enjoyed the presentation by Ms. Thiesing and thought I’d share my key takeaways with those of you that may have missed it:
- Simio is a ‘dual purpose software’: Most discrete-event simulation models focus on process flows. Simio is unique in that it combines the systems approach with scheduling. By taking a snapshot of your current process and modeling the system, Simio generates a usable production schedule. This helps us get more use out of a simulation model, by not only using it to answer a one-off business question, but also use it continally to provide a way to schedule your operations.
- Simio ‘fits’ in Industry 4.0: There are a lot of buzz words in manufacturing today, such as, Industry 4.0 and digital twin. By making it easy to access data from existing ERP/MES systems, Simio has positioned itself well on the path to where the industry is trending.
- Simio helps you to truly learn your process: Simio has been designed to collet data with a great level-0f-detail to be able to generate schedules with a decent level of certainity. Even if you dont use it to create production schedules, think of all the learnings you can get with rich curated data!
A common sight to behold in most manufacturing environments is a dichotomy between operations planning and actual production. In most organizations they operate in silos, making it difficult to account for uncertainity and execute operational plans efffectively. It was reassuring to see the two pieces coming together. Real-time scheduling will help us to both put out fires and be better prepared for when they occur again.
If you liked what you read and are concerned you may have missed a good session, dont worry. They have a smaller tutorial session on Tuesday between 11:30 am and 12:20pm. You can also catch them at Booth 35 in the Exhibit Halls. If there were other interesting sessions you attended today, please let us know in the comments.