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Production Planning and Scheduling

Our production planning and scheduling software is helping many manufacturing companies to do more than just produce workable production plans, it’s delivering plans that help to strike an effective balance between the demands of meeting delivery dates and managing workflow efficiently and economically.

It provides a powerful and easy to use production planning and scheduling solution that generates accurate schedules based on your actual capacity, material and delivery requirements. This means that you can:

  • Increase resource efficiency
  • Reduce lead times
  • Reduce costs by minimising stock and inventory
  • Get early indications of potential problems and take corrective action to avoid late deliveries
  • Respond quickly to changes with real time visibility of live production information and KPI performance analysis
  • Identify untapped production capacity to respond positively to new sales opportunities
  • Reduce outsourcing by maximising the utilisation of your existing resources

Seiki Scheduler manage resources

> Watch “An Introduction to Planning and Scheduling”

Finite Capacity Planning: Accurate and Realistic

Finite capacity planning ensures that your capacity is taken into account from the moment you start to plan. As a decision support tool the Scheduler can help you maintain the balance between demand and capacity.

  • Create a realistic model of available capacity – administer workplaces, define standard maximum and minimum hourly rates, individual work place efficiency and shift start times.
  • Manage the routing information required for scheduling, e.g. material, operation numbers, resource(s), and setting and cycle times.
  • Identify and justify opportunities for increasing capacity by offering overtime, subcontracting work, splitting batches
  • Account for unexpected events that can cause reductions in capacity such as machine breakdowns, excessive changeovers or Operator absence
  • Manage operational constraints – set rules such as no overlap, earliest start and latest end dates
  • Only order materials when they are needed to reduce stock levels
  • Operations are planned only when resources are available, avoiding bottlenecks

With the Seiki Scheduler you can be confident that you are always working with the latest information.

> Related Content: Finite Capacity Planning and Scheduling


Interactive Graphical Planning and Scheduling

The graphical planning board provides a fast visual summary of the loading of all active orders along with essential production information associated to their individual operations, such as works order number, drawing number, quantity and due date.

  • Built-in scheduling rules take the time, complexity and errors out of planning. Each scheduling rule may contain more than one factor, in which case the sequencing logic will be applied in order of display on the rule name.
  • Harness the insights and experience of your planning team to refine and adjust the plan
  • Gives you the flexibility to movean operation around the planning board – either forwards/backwards along the timeline or to different resources – moving preceeding or subsequent operations accordingly to retain the sequence.
  • If any gaps are created after moving jobs around, you can use the Fill Holes feature to automatically maximise capacity utilisation by filling them with smaller operations
  • Make changes quickly and easily in real time, e.g. adjust shifts and increase/reduce the available hours for the resource directly on the planning board. This will dynamically update the entire workload and show impact across all jobs
  • Create easy what-if production plan scenarios using the simple drag and drop feature. This is a safe method of evaluating and predicting outcomes of alternative plans as the master schedule is not affected until a scenario is saved.
  • Split operations if there isn’t enough capacity to finish the full quantity in time and a partial shipment can be made to the customer

Seiki Scheduler Planning Board

> Related Content: Scheduling Rules

View Consequences of Changes Instantly

After making any changes on the planning board, The Production Order List view gives you a quantifiable assessment of the impact of those changes to your overall performance and allows you to take corrective measures to minimise the effects.

  • Simple colour coding provides a clear visual indicator of the status of current WIP
  • Together the Deviations and Impact columns show the number of days that the works order will be late by and how much that has increased or decreased by as a consequence of the changes you make on the planning board – instant feedback on whether you’ve made an improvement or not
  • See the live ripple effects of any operations not starting on time

Planning and Scheduling deviation from delivery date

Plan ahead with the Workload View

The Workload View simplifies performance with graphical displays for live reporting and forward visibility of capacity and utilisation. Production capacity management and resource utilisation are both critical contributors to improved business performance.

  • Support strategic business planning and forecasting with forward view of capacity
  • Analyse utilisation % of individual resources across a selectable time period to help pinpoint bottlenecks.
  • Colour coded thresholds for fast visual analysis
  • View the total, used and free capacity of each resource
  • The largest gap of free capacity between operations is highlighted so you can easily see where jobs that are not currently scheduled could be fit in or to help your sales team target the right mix and type of work to fill it

Planning and scheduling manufacturing capacity and utilisation

Manage Works Orders

Whether the data has been imported from your ERP or business management system or you are manually creating orders directly in the Scheduler, the comprehensive tools within the Production Orders modules allows you to:

  • Assign operations to automatic resource distribution groups
  • Control when Works Orders are released (made active) for scheduling
  • Apply prioritisation to be used in scheduling to help avoid a critical job from running late
  • Classify Works Orders with a Production Type so that you can easily filter and highlight them on the planning board

As a standalone solution

The Seiki Scheduler also allows you to create and manage works orders directly in the system, which means you don’t have to have an ERP or other business management system to experience the benefits of advanced planning and scheduling. In fact, without any interfacing requirements, it means you can get up and running even faster.

Within the Production Orders module, you have the ability to create individual works orders or template part records that contain master operation details & routing information. The latter is particularly useful for quickly generating repeat orders.

  • Each record contains standard works order header information, from customer details to the required delivery date and part quantity.
  • When inputting operation details you can define setup, cycle and wait times, assign to a resource, and set scheduling rules such as earliest start date and no overlap.

If you subcontract operations, you can also manage a list of suppliers in the Scheduler. Individual operations can then be assigned to an ‘External Resource’ workplace, selecting the appropriate supplier from the list.

Manage Part Assemblies

The Scheduler gives you greater control, flexibility and visibility when scheduling kits of parts or assemblies.

  • A tree structure reflects the order of manufacture
  • Scheduling rules will automatically take into account the assembly order of manufacture hierarchy
  • See the deviation and impact of changes at every level – allows for finer adjustments to be made to ensure delivery date adherence
  • Visualise on the Netplan planning board

Plan and schedule manufacturing part assemblies

Additional Features

  • When defining a works order routing, you can factor in known time delays required between operations to improve the accuracy of your schedule
  • Split operations if a partial shipment can be made to the customer when there isn’t enough capacity to finish the full qty in time
  • Allow overlapping of operations
  • Analyse deviations from plan (by days and count) – an effective method of monitoring performance against your defined acceptable thresholds.

Split manufacturing operations in planning and scheduling software

The system can help you to maintain a positive and open line of communication with your customers regarding the current status of their job.

> Watch a brief video describing the key Planning Board features

Live Works Order Process (WIP) Tracking

Our WIP Booking module works out-of-the box with the Scheduler, automatically exchanging customer and works order information for a dynamic, real-time connection between shop floor and top floor operations. Tracking the live progress of each active operation delivers insight into the shop floor adherence to plan, helping to improve your on-time delivery performance.

Seiki AIR WIP Booking Solution

  • Provide operators with critical target information and ensure they’re working to the latest priorities
  • Updates the operation status in the Scheduler in near real time
  • See the immediate impact (ripple effect) of delays
  • Use the planned vs actual cycle time analysis in Seiki AIR to track performance across previous works orders then drill down into individual operations to understand causes of productivity loss
  • Link to Jobpacks containing production data and manufacturing information needed to complete the operation

> Find out more about our WIP Booking module


Our sales team can be contacted directly at 01273 666999 or via email and they will be happy to answer any questions that you have, to discuss technical features of the system and to arrange a demonstration

Request a demo

Integration: Enterprise Application Integration

Using Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) software, Seiki is able to offer an intelligent interfacing solution that can optimise data exchanges between different software applications. This means you can connect ERP/MRP/PLM systems or other databases and software to the Seiki Scheduler database, in order to automate the task of data entry. Integration with back office systems help to keep all stakeholders up to date by maintaining the flow of information throughout your business.

Further Reading

> Related story: What-If, now that’s a great question…
> Related story: Finite capacity planning, the missing link
> Related link: The difference between planning and scheduling
>Related story: Trends driving production control software in Aerospace Manufacturing
>Video:  An Introduction to Finite Capacity Planning and Scheduling


Watch a short Scheduler demo video

Additional Features

  • Appearance and functionality of a traditional planning board
  • Drag & drop technology for ‘what-if’ planning
  • Forward sequential loading of all jobs
  • Create a realistic model of your available capacity
  • Automated scheduling algorithms
  • Simple traffic light indicators to preview consequences of changes to the schedule
  • Collaborative scheduling: sharing scenarios using graphical simulation
  • Interfaces to your existing ERP/MRP system or is fully integrated with the JobDISPO ERP


  • Faster and more accurate scheduling
  • Reduced outsourcing
  • Reduced inventory and stock
  • Identification of untapped production capacity
  • More realistic delivery promised dates
  • Improved on-time delivery levels
  • Increased responsiveness to unplanned downtime events
  • Planning of preventative maintenance
  • Avoidance of production bottlenecks
  • Greater visibility and communications
  • Responsiveness to new or rush orders
  • Increased customer service levels
  • See the live ripple effect of any operations not starting on time
  • Balance revenues, customer satisfaction and operational performance.
  • Identify critical factors, understand inter-dependencies and contextualise performance data
  • Revitalise and enrich your ERP system with detailed manufacturing process information, from start to delivery

Seiki AIR Monitoring

If you want to control costs, get more value from your resources and ensure capital investments return revenue quickly, it’s essential to collect detailed information about all productive and non-productive events occurring on your shop floor.  Seiki AIR Monitoring helps build greater integrity in the measurement of your manufacturing equipment performance, so you can confidently evaluate and proactively minimise critical productivity losses to improve availability and work throughput – your ROI.

Seiki AIR Andon Screen

  • Capture productive and non-productive events occurring on CNC machines and manual resources
  • Supports a dual installation of direct Ethernet based data acquisition and traditional digital I/O for legacy equipment, as well as MTConnect, OPC and other machine specific software protocols
  • Customisable ten by infinity status grid
  • Operators can view and monitor the performance of each resource
  • Capture machine generated alarm codes (where available) for insight into micro stoppages
  • Record when a machine has been running in a non-optimal condition
  • Dynamic, live view of the shop floor from anywhere on your domain
  • Dive into the productivity of your resources with machine utilisation analysis

> Go to module information

Seiki AIR WIP Booking

Extending visibility and control of your customer works orders beyond your ERP and APS systems to the shop floor via prioritised, interactive work queues is the key to fast, frictionless order processing. With the growing challenges of global competition, increasing material costs and lead times, exacting quality standards and critical deadlines to be met, being able to drill down into the detail of each operation is a significant advantage. By connecting multiple departments with shared insight, it can help to minimise risk, make informed delivery promises and achieve the agility needed to stay responsive to customer and industry demands.

Seiki AIR Works Order Progress Screen

  • Works out-of-the-box with the Seiki Scheduler or your existing ERP/MRP/APS system via a configurable interface
  • Operator confirms the start and completion of each operation to dynamically update the status in your ERP/APS system
  • Enter part counts and scrap reasons
  • Start multiple operations on a single resource
  • Send and record First Off Inspections
  • Users can attach files, add comments and view notifications of non-conformances to help control quality levels
  • Follow the overall progress of operations – live and historically via the batch card to help increase quality and consistency

> Go to module information

Seiki AIR Jobpack DNC

Seiki AIR Jobpack DNC and manufacturing data management software is an easy to use and maintain shop floor communications and NC program transfer solution. It offers a single source solution for all your CNC machines. Transitioning from traditional paper-based delivery and capture of manufacturing information to digital can help you make even greater improvements through immediacy, accuracy, and control. It’s also a critical factor in the drive to eliminate waste and reduce non-value adding activities.

Seiki AIR Jobpack DNC software shopfloor user screen

  • Organise and administer production data and documentation related to individual parts and operations
  • Ensure only the latest, approved file versions are used to avoid costly errors and avoid scrap/rework
  • Send and receive NC program files
  • Full audit trail of file transfers and Jobpack changes
  • User roles, permissions, and passwords control access
  • Compare NC program files
  • Multi port serial devices enable simultaneous requests from each CNC
  • DNC software supports most machine types, including legacy machines
  • Manage parts, routings, operations. Include up-issuing of parts
  • Create jobpacks for each operation and assign to resource
  • Graphical files status

> Go to module information

The Seiki solution is dependent upon your client server and LAN infrastructure. Seiki does not provide IT hardware, with the exception of:

Examples of systems that we’ve interfaced the Seiki Scheduler to using our EAI software:

  • Avante ERP
  • Baan MRP
  • Biztrack
  • Chess ERP
  • Infor Swan
  • Merlin 200 ERP
  • Microsoft Access Database
  • Micros Omins ERP
  • Progress Plus
  • Radan E2i
  • Sage ERP
  • SAP
  • SQL Database
  • Syspro
  • Tricorn ERP
  • Mapics ERP
  • Redthorn ERP
  • Preactor
  • Prodman ERP
  • XKO MRP 900

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