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PREACTOR - the way to perfect production planning

Minerva Czech Republic implements APS SIMATIC IT Preactor of company Siemens Industry Software in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. The high level of expertise of Minerva Czech Republic in the area of planning, scheduling and optimization of manufacturing processes have used for their improvement dozens of manufacturing companies.

Are you having problems with balancing customer requirements and your manufacturing capacities?

Are your plans upset by unexpected machine failures, new orders or late deliveries by your subcontractors?

Current trends in production are focused on reductions in stock levels or costs, while maintaining the ability to respond to shorter lead times. Companies are forced to look for new ways to optimize their production process by reducing or eliminating non-value-added operations such as the time required for adjusting machines or downtimes. Alerted to possible problems, you can adopt measures to balance demand and capacity.

Preactor helps manufacturing companies meet their customers’ requirements and hold out against ever increasing globalised competition. Preactor helps improve the efficiency of the planning process and to establish discipline in the processes associated with advanced planning (recording performed jobs, stock receipt, etc.), i.e. everything that is vital for the planning process to work in a fully-controlled and efficient manner.

Preactor supports the philosophy of lean manufacturing

 Lean manufacturing is currently used as a magic formula in all industries, and rightly so. Most companies are under pressure to reduce costs and increase production volumes with shorter lead times. All these goals must be achieved without having accurate information about future demand and with lower stock levels. Lean manufacturing represents a change on all levels of the company, with a primary goal to eliminate waste in all forms. Independent international surveys that measured the timeliness of deliveries and improvement of processing time show that the most successful companies are those which use dedicated lean manufacturing planning software such as Preactor.

 

Preactor is open

Preactor is designed to work with existing systems and to assist them, not replace them. It can be integrated into the ERP system that is able to provide the necessary data, or with other MES systems. Preactor generates production plans: by applying optimisation rules the program generates automatic planning. This creates a unique series of operations/job queue for each resource. It provides the interactive environment and functionality needed by modern businesses to effectively respond to unexpected changes in demand and capacity, enabling them to maximise the timeliness of deliveries.

Preactor - a complete family of planning solutions

Preactor represents a whole family of products. Although all Preactor systems are based on the same source code, they have various levels of functions, allowing you to choose the version that best meets your needs and budget options. As all the versions have the same source code, upgrading from one version to another is simple. All versions of Preactor can be easily integrated into the ERP systems, and as a unit they form a powerful tool for compiling actual production plans.

Material Explorer allows you to create a detailed flow for the job through the manufacturing process, from the order item, through all the levels of job order concerning the semi-finished products, to warehouse retrieval items, or from the purchase orders. In Explorer you can search through various data (orders, job orders, warehouse numbers); to view the relevant material flow just click on the retrieved information. In addition, Material Explorer displays the data concerning any shortages and unavailable input components.

 

Reports and analyses in Preactor. Preactor contains a series of pre-defined reports from which users are usually able to select those which are necessary for their work. The new reports may be created and integrated into Preactor using Microsoft Reporting Services. These reports may be used by Preactor as local or made available on the Intranet using the Microsoft SQL Reporting Services Server 


Visualisation is the key

You need to be able to see the impact of your decisions, something that is not possible using conventional tools such as Excel. Preactor helps you:

  • visually display the current working load of resources
  • see the impact of unexpected events
  • ask questions like "what if"?
  • compare alternatives

all of which is carried out as a simulation before your final decision.

Reliable solution and real benefits

Preactor has been developed with the logic of a planner. Preactor also allows the planner to modify computer-generated plans by shifting the order of activities in the sequence and from one source to another.

Users have discovered that Preactor has helped them achieve a wide range of tangible gains. These gains have a real impact on the company’s financial indicators. The following are just a few benefits reported by actual users:

up to 15-20% increase in productivity - get more out of what you already have

up to 40-50% reduction in stock level - synchronize purchasing with the achievable plan

up to 40-50% reduction in work-in-progress - material involved in work-in-progress reduces production

up to 50-90% improvement in the fulfilment of deliveries - improve the timeliness of deliveries

plus

  • better utilization of critical resources
  • perfect production management

Return on investment (ROI) is measured in weeks, not years!

APS Preactor benefits for customers of Minerva:

Peter Vild, Production Director at engineering company Sklostroj Turnov CZ:

“The greatest benefit of the implementation of the Preactor advanced planning system in our company is mainly the time savings achieved in the planning process (20,000-30,000 operations). As this planning can take as little as twenty minutes, we are able to have an up-to-date plan every day, including all the changes that the company faces in its everyday operations. It is now very quick to change the priority between orders or include newly received manufacturing orders in the plan. Before we confirm the job order completion date and include it in the plan, we can put it in a model to determine what impact it will have on the capacity and workload.”

“Preactor has provided us a tool to work quickly with the capacities of individual resources, and also enables us to detect deficiencies in the input data, mainly in the technological procedures and design bills of material”.

 

Marián Szabó, Planning and Purchase Manager, Tower Automotive:

"Preactor has grown with the increased production at Tower and without any increase in human resources. I cannot imagine managing the entire planning process without the APS Preactor planning tool."

“With Preactor we are sure that the production start of any new project will not entail any unforeseen situations in production planning."

 

Based in Great Britain, Preactor International has nearly two decades of expertise and industry knowledge as well as experience in production planning for all types of businesses. Preactor APS is used at more than 3,000 companies of all sizes in 67 countries worldwide and in more than 30 languages, in the following industries:

 

  • automotive and aerospace industry
  • chemical and pharmaceutical industry
  • consumer industry   
  • electrotechnical industry
  • food-processing and beverage industry
  • furniture and wood-processing industry
  • metal-processing and metal-working industry
  • mechanical engineering
  • paper-processing and packaging
  • rubber and plastics processing industry
  • foundry
  • tool engineering and accurate processing
  • distribution
  • services