Optimized Production Technology and Synchronous Manufacturing

Optimized Production Technology: There is another approach to the planning and scheduling so far presented is Optimized Production Technology. This is a computer based system for planning production, material computer based system for planning production, material needs, and recourse utilization. It was first introduced in the USA in 1979 by Creative Output Inc, a Consulting Firm in Milferd Connecticut.

The key feature of OPT is its emphasis on bottleneck center works- people or machines. The OPT philosophy is that managing bottlenecks is the key to successful performance total system output can be maximized and the in-process inventories reduced.

The Optimized Production Technology Software consists of four modules.

  • BUILDNET
  • SERVE
  • SPLIT
  • OPT

The above mentioned modules creates a model of the shop according to the data provided by the user, how each product is made, its build up sequence, materials, and routing through the shop, the products time requirements (setup, run time, schedule delay), the capacity availability at each resource (work center, machine, worker), and the order quantities.

The initial purpose of SERVE is to create a tentative schedule for the jobs waiting in the shop. Later it creates a more refined schedule. The crucial information obtained in the SERVE is an estimate of the percentage utilization of the various shop resources.

The SPLIT module distinguishes critical from non critical resources based on their percent utilizations calculated by SERVE. Resources that are near or above 100 percent utilization are the bottleneck operations. These bottlenecks, and the operations that follow them, are the “critical” operations; all others (those with lower percentage utilizations) are “non critical.”

The OPT module reschedules the critical part of the network using forward scheduling. Then the program cycles back to SERVE to reschedule the non critical resources. The OPT package consists not only of software but of consulting services and training for implementation as well. The specific details of the procedure, especially of SERVE and OPT (the detailed scheduling modules), are proprietary (not published and available to the general public). Consequently, detailed comparative evaluations of its performance with that of other systems are not available.

Synchronous Manufacturing: Optimized production Technology (OPT) was evolved through software. This software was developed by Creative Output Inc USA and the person responsible for it is Dr. Eli Goldratt. Here the scheduling logic is based on the separation of “bottleneck” and non-bottleneck operations.

Further Dr. Goldratt developed the “Theory of Constraints” (TOC), which has become popular as a problem solving approach that can be applied to many business areas. So let’s go through TOC briefly;

  • Identify the system constraints (No improvement is possible unless the weak link or constraint is found out)
  • Decide how to exploit the system constraints (Make the constraints as effective as possible.
  • Subordinate everything to that decision (align every other part of the system to support the constraints even if this reduces the efficiency of non constraint resources).
  • Elevate the system constraints (If output is still inadequate acquire more of this resource so that it is no longer a constraint)
  • If, in the previous steps, the constraint is broken back, go back to step 1, but do not let inertia become the system constraint (After the constraint problem is solved, go back to the beginning and start all over again. This is a continuous process of improvements.

Therefore by removing the constraints and moving forward we get into a situation where the entire operations or production process work in harmony to achieve the ultimate goal of an organization i.e. Profit. From the point of view of operation or pr5oduction management in order to achieve profit, the goal would be increase throughput while simultaneously reducing inventory and reducing operating expenses.

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