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Finite Capacity Scheduling

Coordinating Material and Capacity Resources

Coordinating Material and Capacity Resources

Written by: Bill Kirchmier 7/9/2012

Material Requirement Planning (MRP) systems have been used by the manufacturing sector to manage material resources since the early1970’s. As MRP systems were implemented, developers and clients realized that accurate scheduling of “capacity resources” would also be required to produce feasible schedules.

A method was created that became known as “Infinite Capacity Backward Pass” (ICBP) scheduling. ICBP is a crude solution with limited success; however no better solution existed in 1970 and ICBP became the default method applied by MRP systems. ICBP scheduling assumes that capacity resources are infinitely available to process work. This is equivalent to assuming that you’re checking account contains unlimited funds.

Finite Capacity Scheduling is replacing ICBP as the system of the future due to its ability to coordinate for both material and capacity resources in work orders and deliver feasible schedules. This occurs when material components managed by ERP is coordinated with capacity resources managed by FCS; feasible scheduling will not exist without the coordination of material and capacity. This problem is solved when an FCS system is integrated with an ERP system. FCS systems support expanding ERP routines to include demand for capacity resources. The ability to coordinate material and capacity resources is required for feasible scheduling.

FCS systems make no assumptions about capacity availability; FCS simulates demand and availability of material and capacity for every operation of every work order accurate to the minute and never exceeds capaacity available. The industry should expand it’s management objectives beyond planning and scheduling concepts to coordination and syncronization of material and capacity. This expanded concept includes planning and scheduling.

Scheduling material determines the “where used function” and depends on concurrent scheduling of material and capacity resources to determine the” when used function” of both material and capacity resources. Coordination of material and capacity resources cannot be established without finite knowledge of both material and capacity resource activity.