Integrate SIMUL8-Planner with Current Framework to Enhance Scheduling Capabilities
Hormel Foods Corporation, a multinational manufacturer and marketer of high-quality, brand-name food and meat products, acquired Burke Foods and wanted to upgrade the facility’s information systems in order to bring the new acquisition in line with those at similar Hormel facilities. As a result, Hormel Foods required a production planning and scheduling tool that would easily integrate with the standard Hormel Foods system framework and produce high quality schedules at each stage of the production process.
The successful tool would provide enhanced scheduling capabilities, the ability to evaluate the impact of different schedules on plant KPIs, and increased visibility of raw materials, packaging materials and spice requirements.
The Meat Processing Production Planning & Scheduling system was developed in four parts using SIMUL8-Planner, an event based planning and scheduling tool. First, the tool is built around a detailed simulation model of the production facility (the Production Model), accounting for:
- Detailed product routings,
- Processing times,
- Process constraints,
- Operating rules.
Second, a detailed and customized planning and scheduling module satisfies regular daily scheduling requirements at the Burke Foods facility. Third, the tool integrates with relevant data sources regarding the most up to date demand, orders and inventory data. And finally, the user interface is customized to the needs of the plant schedulers.
Users can view all data relevant to scheduling decisions, make manual modifications and adjustments to the schedules it produces, as well as view key performance and material requirements reports.
The Meat Processing Production Planning & Scheduling system provided schedulers with a fast and responsive planning system for creating effective cook line schedules. In addition to consolidating the current planning effort, the scheduling tool helped increase throughput and manage inventories. Its benefits included:
- Centralized scheduling for all processes,
- Reduced WIP,
- Improved due date conformance for make to order items,
- Continuity from previous scheduling process with WO creation and planned vs. actual production reporting,
- Improved equipment utilization,
- Reduced scrapped orders, and
- Reduced operating costs.
The new scheduling process also helped free the schedulers’ time for other activities such as demand forecasting. The development of the Meat Processing Production Planning & Scheduling system resulted in re-useable production and scheduling modules that could be applied to other Hormel Foods facilities.