How It Works
Traditional planning tools often prove to be inflexible, algorithmically driven to optimize on a few predefined criteria, and making exceptions are difficult to address. Also, as production mix shifts and changes increase, the increasing number exceptions bog down the system. Typically, you are forced to plan against snapshots in time rather than current reality, resulting in a schedule that is obsolete almost before it is issued.
nMetric’s Smart Job Technology is designed to handle all exceptions. Our software embraces the constantly changing dynamic scheduling requirements of high-mix environments by honoring the reality of the resource capabilities and time limitations. It creates software objects for each task (Smart Jobs) and then, by applying probability and heuristic math, generates a virtual environment where Smart Jobs can negotiate with each other to reserve the resources they need.
nMetric not only virtually represents this dynamic environment, it embraces the uncertainty and assists you in navigating for best outcomes. To better understand nMetric dynamic scheduling solution software and its unique combination of functionalities, please read below and watch the videos on this page.
The capabilities, skills or properties of any resource that is required by a task to be completed. nMetric matches the attributes of the resources with the requirements of a task, reserving time on those resources in the schedule.
Multiple Resource Types
Some tasks require more than one resource type to complete their work (work center, person, tool and material). nMetric gives you the option of scheduling any one or all of these resource types simultaneously.
The dependencies of tasks in a series are recognized, honored and enforced by the scheduling engine.
Ping Pong Scheduling
The scheduling engine reserves resources for each task, beginning with last operation and due date and working backward to the first task. If all tasks cannot be scheduled between the due date and the dispatch zone, then direction is reversed and the first task’s resources are reserved beginning at the dispatch line moving to the last task. This process ensures just-in-time completion and WIP minimization.
Load Level Scheduling
Demand is balanced across resources with like attributes to ensure all work is completed according to priority, utilizing capacity more effectively.
nMetric provides visibility of WIP assigned to vendors and schedules for subsequent dependent operations.
Tasks can be dragged from one location on the Gantt schedule and dropped onto another compatible resource. If a desired resource and time are required the task can be pinned or anchored to that resource and/or time when moved.
The schedule is frozen for a period of time ahead of the Now Line to allow for material staging, machine programming and other preparation activities.
Overlap provides the flexibility to start a subsequent operation in a series before the earlier operation is completed in order to shorten the cycle time, or time between start and completion, of an order.
When an order must be expedited and completed ASAP, nMetric provides functionality that allows the operations of that order to effectively cut in line at each required resource, and be forward-scheduled from the Now Line for the fastest possible completion. The only jobs that would not yield to a Hot Order task would be those anchored to both resource and time.
In addition to attributes, each resource must have a time profile indicating when each resource is available; shifts, holidays, overtime, downtime, etc.
Unplanned Resource Down
If a resource breaks down or becomes sick, the operations personnel can:
- Easily remove that resource’s available time from the schedule.
- Automatically alert the appropriate maintenance people.
- For the down time period, if necessary, automatically reschedule Smart Jobs in the queue for that resource to a capable alternative, keeping the high priority tasks on schedule.
In order provide complete status to the schedule, nMetric combines basic MES functionality as part of our scheduling solution. Operations personnel can enter the starts, partial and full completions, scrap, and rework activities directly into the nMetric system using computer terminals, touch screens or bar code data-entry options.
Notes provide all levels of the organization with the opportunity for proactive communication, including engineering, schedulers, shop floor, maintenance and customer service and management; Notes are available for:
- Smart Jobs (general, hold, scrap and rework)
Lateness of orders and tasks are clearly visible with color display on scheduling Gantt chart. Additionally, the landing page graphically displays KPIs for overall percent lateness and aged lateness with drill down including numbers of orders and detail for:
- Past due
- Will be late (no change can help)
- Could be late (overtime intervention could prevent lateness)
The landing page graphically presents the total throughput (units of production), including target production rates, for the current day, week and year scheduled, with the option to view past or future scheduled production rates.
nVironment is a unique graphical display of peak and underutilized capacity for advanced recognition and resolution of resource constraints. Using either over/under bar charts or heat maps, nVironment provides a multi-day view of full facility utilization and drill-down layered views for work areas, groups and individual resources. Long-term constraints are also visible to aid in asset acquisition planning.
Both standard and custom reports are available for dispatch, lateness, utilization and other criteria for analysis.
Three levels of alerts include:
- Onscreen messages for error notification
- Client configurable, event-based alerts for issue proactive issue resolution using email
- Notifications accumulated reoccurring conditions via email.