Project Case Study: BASF Paint Production Planning & Scheduling
Advanced Planning and Scheduling for Paint Production
BASF, headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany, is the world’s leading chemical company. The Engelhard plant located in Louisville, Kentucky, produces organic pigments and aqueous pigment dispersions. Since BASF offers a large variety of goods in terms of product and color, the Company wanted to resolve the scheduling problem at its facility and examine the impact of automating the scheduling process.
BASF’s current scheduling process was achieved by manually sequencing a large number of small batches for different products, colors, and packaging requirements. The large number of requirements complicated the product schedule for optimal equipment utilization. To ensure good synchronicity between milling and packaging, as well as overall throughput, the Louisville plant approached Visual8 to develop an automated Paint Production Planning and Scheduling system for the process.
Visual8 developed a discrete-event sequencing application, using SIMUL8-Planner, for the Louisville Facility. The simulation-based planning and scheduling system captured the detailed workings of paint production in its production model, which consisted of 3 single mills, 2 double mills, 10 charging and quality control tanks, 6 holding tanks, and 4 packaging lines.
The production model of the SIMUL8-Planner accounted for the following inputs:
- Shift patterns and operational availability,
- All physical objects of the plant operations,
- Milling and packaging availabilities,
- Tank capacities and transfer times between processes,
- Resource availabilities and requirements, and
- Product process flow.
The production model was used to execute all schedules and ensure their feasibility at the shop-floor level.
Next, the scheduling portion for SIMUL8-Planner required an overview of the process flow and scheduling requirements for each operation, which included:
- Quality control, and
With the Import Orders option, users can directly import orders from Engelhard’s Excel order sheets into the sequencing application.
Output reports, generated from the planning and scheduling system, include key performance indicators, individual shop floor order line-ups, tracking, and advisory reports. The system, driven by a number of input screens and scheduling options, also produced a set of Gantt charts and Scheduling reports that showed the performance of the generated schedule.
The Paint Production Planning & Scheduling model provided BASF with the testing ground for all generated sequences, operational reports and KPI’s associated with sequences and “what-if” analysis, as well as captured all constraints to producing product at the Louisville facility.
The tool is useful in identifying feasible, cost-effective process improvement changes and helped Engelhard to synchronize plant operations by providing a more predictive list of events on which to base product batch completion dates, materials requirements, packaging requirements, and other dependent activities.