Production Scheduling for the Process Industries : Strategies, Systems, and Culture book cover
1st Edition

Production Scheduling for the Process Industries
Strategies, Systems, and Culture

  • Available for pre-order on May 19, 2023. Item will ship after June 9, 2023
ISBN 9781032302362
June 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Productivity Press
224 Pages 85 Color Illustrations

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USD $64.95

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Book Description

This book is aimed at manufacturing and planning managers who struggle to bring a greater degree of stability and more effective use of assets to their operations, not realizing the degree to which production scheduling affects those objectives. It has been reported that 75% of the problems on the manufacturing floor are caused by activities outside the plant floor. Poor production scheduling strategies and systems are often the biggest contributors to the 75%.

The book explains in detail that no scheduling strategy, and especially no transition to a different and better scheduling strategy, will succeed without strong commitment and guidance from senior leadership. Leadership must understand their active role in the transition, that people will feel uncomfortable and even threatened by change, and that they will need to be measured by different standards. Effective scheduling requires that following the schedule and production to plan is more important than trying to maximize each day’s throughput.

The book explains the advantages of a structured, regularly repeating schedule: how it can increase throughput, right-size inventory based on cycles and variabilities and therefore make it more usable, and improve customer delivery. It will explain the trade-offs between throughput, inventory, and delivery performance, how those trade-offs are actually decided in production scheduling, and how an appropriate scheduling strategy can make the trade-offs and their ramifications visible. It discusses several popular structured scheduling concepts, their similarities, and differences, to allow the readers to decide which might fit best in their environments.

In addition, the authors discuss what makes an appropriate scheduling software system, and why a package designed for structured scheduling offers capabilities well beyond the Excel workbooks used by many companies, and how it offers much more design capability and ease of use than the finite scheduling modules in SAP or Oracle.

Finally, the authors offer a proven roadmap for implementation, critical success factors necessary to achieve the full potential, and give examples of operations that have done this well. In addition, a guide for leaders and managers post-implementation is provided to help them fully exploit the advantages of a structured, repeating scheduling strategy.

Table of Contents

SECTION 1 – Introduction

Chapter 1  Business Imperatives – Why Scheduling Matters

The Scheduler’s World has been turned upside down

The Challenge of Scheduling

Scheduling is even more Important

Scheduling is a Foundation of Manufacturing Performance

Why Now?

Chapter 2  Characteristics of Process Operations - and Scheduling Challenges 

Changeover Difficulty 

Starting Up After A Changeover

Sanitation Cycles

Shelf Life Constraints

Multi-Step Manufacturing

Balancing Limited Resources

Divergence Vs Convergence

Product Differentiation Points

Limited Extra Capacity


Chapter 3 Overview of Production Strategies

Chapter 4 Scheduling Processes and Software

Production Planning


Supporting Processes

Scheduling Software

Goal Seeking Algorithms

Repetitive Scheduling

The Scheduling Process

Software Selection


Chapter 5 Example Process

The Process

Scheduling Information Flow – Communication Between Systems

The Products

Product Differentiating Characteristics

Cultural Challenges


SECTION 2 – Scheduling Strategies

Chapter 6 Repetitive Scheduling Strategies

Product Wheels

Product Wheel Design

Synergy with Lean

Benefits of Product Wheels

Repetitive flexible Supply (RfS)

Rhythm Wheels

Fixed Sequence Variable Volume (FSVV)


Chapter 7 Dealing With Disruption

The Nature Of Disruption

Ability To Deal With Disruption

An Example - The Story Of P&G Luvs Diapers

SECTION 3 – Scheduling Processes, Systems, Software

Chapter 8 The role of Forecasting

Forecast value add

Bias and Accuracy

Coefficient of Variation

Different Forecast Goals

Choice of Demand Forecasting Unit

Product Transitions

Product Segmentation and Forecasting



Chapter 9 The Role of Inventory

Components of Inventory

Managing Inventories

An Inventory Management Example

Cycle Stock and Safety Stock

Calculating Safety Stock

Variability in Demand


Variability in Lead Time

Combined Variability

Cycle Service and Fill Rate

Safety Stock and Lot Size Impact


Chapter 10 Typical Scheduling Process Steps

The Planning and Scheduling Process

Exception Management

Preparing to Plan

Creating the Production Plan

Creating the Detailed Schedule

Communicating the Plan

Preparing for Tomorrow

The Detailed Scheduling Process

Scheduling the Constraint

KPI Based Algorithms and Solvers


Evaluating and Adjusting the Schedule

Releasing Firm or Committed Orders

Chapter 11 Multi-Level Scheduling

Product mix and Moving Bottlenecks

Types of Scheduling Problems

More than Two Levels

Batch and Lot Size Restrictions

Distribution Rules

Logical Relationships between Levels

Linking Between Activities

The Multi-Level Scheduling Process

Scheduling with Inventory Constraints Between Levels

Chapter 12 Tanks, Bins, and Flow Paths

Tank and Bin Scheduling

Tank Scheduling Example

Specific Flow Paths

Simplifying the Complex

Chapter 13 The Role of ERP in Planning and Scheduling

Assumption of Infinite Capacity

Daily Time Resolution

Assumption of Independence

ERP Scheduling Modules

Repetitive Scheduling in an ERP System

Quality Management

System of Record

Chapter 14 Excel as a Finite Scheduling Tool

Business Continuity

Critical Features of Scheduling Software

Issues with Excel

Visibility of Attributes and Sequencing

Time Offsets

Lot Sizing and Multi Level Scheduling


Chapter 15 Software Designed for Production Scheduling

Supporting Processes

Scheduling Requirements

Repetitive Scheduling Requirements

Multi-Level Requirements

Software Selection

Chapter 16 Critical Ingredients, Raw Materials, and Components

Availability Checking

Critical Materials

Firm Zone Strategy

Strategy Examples


Chapter 17 Scheduling Software - Security and Privacy



SECTION 4 – Prerequisites to Good Scheduling


Chapter 18 The Role of the Plant Leader

Future-proof the Plant

Dealing with Disruption


Physical Triage Meetings

Implementing a virtual team in the plant

What is needed of the plant leader?

Reinforcing Repetitive Patterns of Production


Chapter 19
Scheduling Readiness Criteria

Readiness and Sustainability

Project Management Prerequisites

Project Roles

Readiness Examples

Chapter 20 Accessible, Accurate, and Complete Data

Master Data and Transaction Data 

Examples of Data Accuracy and Timeliness Problems 

Data Audits or Checking Practices 

Documenting the Process 

Checking Data against a Standard 

Chapter 21 Effective Production and Capacity Planning

The Importance of Planning 

Resolving Overloads 

Automated Planning 

Planning Example 

Characteristics of a Good Production Plan 

Managing Inventory to Targets and Constraints 


Chapter 22 Workforce Engagement

Selling The Idea

Designing The New Process

Executing The New Process

Chapter 23
Changeover Reduction – SMED

SMED And Its Origins

SMED Concepts

Process Industry Changeovers

Automotive Fluids Packaging

Diaper Manufacturing

SMED Beyond Product Changes

A Non-Manufacturing Example

SMED Applied To Blue Lakes Packaging


Chapter 24 Production Stability

Total Productive Maintenance

TPM Relevance In Process Industries

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (Oee)

Non-Standard Oee Metrics


Chapter 25 Cellular Manufacturing

Typical Process Plant Equipment Configurations

Cellular Manufacturing Applied To Process Lines

Synthetic Sheet Manufacturing Example

Virtual Cell Implementation In A Synthetic Rubber Production Facility

Would Cellular Flow Apply To The Salad Dressing Operation?

Group Technology


Chapter 26
Managing Bottlenecks and Constraints

Poor Scheduling Can Cause Bottlenecks

Moving Bottlenecks

Scheduling Moving Bottlenecks


SECTION 5 – Getting to Success

Chapter 27 Leading Scheduling Improvements to Drive Value: Five Steps for Leaders

Laying the foundations for effective scheduling

Five Steps to Value for Leaders

Step 1: Layout the Improvement Goals and Plan

STEP 2: Work on the Culture

Step : Improve scheduling

Step 4: Take stock

Step 5: Sustaining the Gains



Chapter 28
Where to Begin - A Roadmap to Project Success

Initial Preparation

Scheduling System Design

Strategy Design

Final Preparation



Chapter 29
Critical Success Factors

Scheduling Strategy Critical Success Factors

Scheduling System Critical Success Factors

Cultural And Behavioral Critical Success Factors

Chapter 30
Success Stories – Examples Of Scheduling Best Practices

Dean Bordner – Nature’s Bounty

Mike Evans - Bellisio Foods

James Overheul –Bg Products

Ryan Scherer – Appvion

David Kaissling  - Shearer’s Snacks

Raymond Floyd – Exxon Mobil

Ethylene Co-Polymers – Sabine, Tx

Martin Fernandes - Dow Chemical

Dave Stauffer - Advanced Food Products

View More



Peter L. King is the president of Lean Dynamics, LLC, where he has spent the last 14 years applying lean concepts and tools to a diverse group of clients in the chemical, food & beverage, consumer products, and nutraceutical industries. Prior to founding Lean Dynamics, Pete spent 40 years with the DuPont Company, in a variety of control systems, manufacturing automation, continuous flow manufacturing, and lean manufacturing and lean supply chain assignments. The last 18 years at DuPont were spent applying lean techniques to a wide variety of products, including sheet goods like DuPont™ Tyvek®, Sontara®, and Mylar®; fibers such as nylon, Dacron®, Lycra®, and Kevlar®; automotive paints; performance lubricants; bulk chemicals; adhesives; electronic circuit board substrates; and biological materials used in human surgery. On behalf of DuPont, Pete consulted with key customers in the processed food and carpet industries.

Pete retired from DuPont in 2007, leaving a position as Principal Consultant in the Lean Center of Competency. Pete received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech, graduating with honors. He is Six Sigma Green Belt certified (DuPont, 2001), Lean Manufacturing certified (University of Michigan, 2002), and is an APICS Certified Supply Chain Consultant (CSCP, 2010). He is a member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, the Association for Supply Chain Management, and APICS.

Pete has authored four books published by Productivity Press: Lean for the Process Industries, first and second editions (2009, 2019), The Product Wheel Handbook (2013), and Value Stream Mapping for the Process Industries (2015). He has authored a dozen magazine articles, and is a frequent presenter at technical society conferences. Pete is an avid runner, having completed a marathon and more than a hundred 5K, 5 mile, and 10K races.

He currently resides in Dewey Beach, DE, with his wife of 42 years, Bonnie H. King.

Mac Jacob has implemented four generations of Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software and SAP MRP II at over 100 Procter & Gamble sites worldwide. He started as a project engineer at a manufacturing site, and moved through assignments of production line manager, production planning manager, site logistics manager, and North American Planning Manager for Luvs Diapers. He began to see how the lack of supply chain systems prevented the Diaper business from executing its product and manufacturing strategy and led a project to improve P&G’s planning systems. He was the business leader, developed the business processes, and wrote the original training materials for most of P&G’s supply chain processes: Production Execution, Warehouse and Shipping, Distribution Requirements Planning, Site Planning, Category Planning, and Supply Chain Master Data.

Mac is a recipient of P&G’s Magnus Award for lifetime contribution to supply chain improvement. He is APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), with the SCOR-P endorsement. He is certified by Oliver Wight as an MRP II instructor and was a P&G Lead Instructor and Master for Site Planning, DRP, and Supply Chain Master Data.

Since retiring from P&G, Mac has worked on several global supply chain management projects as a consultant and is currently the Head of Product for Phenix Planning and Scheduling.

Mac graduated Cum Laude from the University of Michigan with a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He was on the sailing team and captain of the ski team. He earned his MBA from Xavier University. He now lives in Harbor Springs, Michigan, with his wife of 39 years, Suzie. When not designing and implementing production planning software, he is active in sailing, bicycling, skiing, and as an assistant coach of the Harbor Springs High School Ski Team.

Noel Peberdy has had a multi-faceted career across the value chain of process manufacturing operations, focusing on people and process, harnessing technology to drive transformative change. His early career centered on solving complex system-level problems using dynamic simulation to optimize mineral processing, metallurgical and food/beverage plants, and operations in deep underground mines. Building a plant in the computer, using mathematical models to simulate the reality of the system, led to his career focus - "connecting the dots" and "bridging silos." He was also fortunate to have led numerous rescue operations on failed or troubled projects -- A newly developed gold mine in which the extraction plant control system didn’t work and put people’s lives at risk; An offshore gas platform on which the safety systems and emergency shutdown systems did not work; A Brewing plant that was performing well below potential. Navigating through these crises – still meeting key dates – demanded out-of-the-box methods, ruthless focus on the ingredients for success – and importantly, an awareness of the interdependencies between the moving parts – People, Process, Technology, and Data aspects – to architect long term success.

At the other end of the spectrum, he has had a central role in conceiving, designing, and bringing several transformative greenfields projects to life. This gave him and his team opportunities to architect plants of the future, fully realizing Stages 3-to-4 capabilities and performance. Production scheduling in a process manufacturing operation is a complex systems-level challenge. In his consulting work, Noel realized that scheduling is the most significant disconnect in the process manufacturing value chain. Noel has an MSc in Engineering in Distributed Computer Control Systems from the University of Cape Town. He has founded four successful companies In Africa and North America.

He is an avid outdoor person. Canoeing and hiking in the wilds of Canada is a passion. He has been married to Ellie Zweegman for 37 years, with whom he has three children. He lives in Southern Ontario, Canada.


Don’t underestimate the revolutionary nature of the concepts described and recommended in this book. This should be required reading for leaders in operations roles. Had more of our manufacturing organizations been built on this structured scheduling methodology, I believe our [Covid] response would’ve been stronger, quicker, and far less painful to our manufacturing teams, sales teams, customers, and consumers.

-- Dave Rich, VP, Strategic Sourcing & Fulfillment, Litehouse Foods


Effective production scheduling is a critical tool to optimize product-to-product transitions and one of the most critical factors to achieve truly effective use of your production resources. Peter King made a significant contribution to understanding and improving production scheduling in his first book. I have personally used his concepts with great benefit. Peter, Mac, and Noel have continued that work in this fine new book that will surely be of great value to process operators.

-- Raymond Floyd, SVP Suncor Energy (Retired) Current member of Manufacturing Hall of Fame, The Shingo Academy and the Baldrige Award Board of Overseers


By implementing planning wheels we were able to move from fill rates of ~75% to over 99% reliably in a 3- month timeframe. The approach to working with people on the floor captured in this book is key to managing the change needed to stabilize manufacturing. Having a predictable cycle of changeovers is huge to improve performance and improve morale on the factory floor.

--David Kaissling, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Shearer’s Snacks; and head of supply chain for several fortune 500 companies.


… a comprehensive resource on the "how" and "why" of production scheduling and how it enables improved manufacturing performance and business success.

-- Dave Rurak, Executive VP, Integrated Operations and Supply Chain, W. L. Gore & Associates


In my 35+ years in supply chain, it is rare to come across such an esteemed and knowledgeable group of practitioners in the area of production scheduling. This book is an outstanding reference and step by step guide on how to plan and schedule any repetitive manufacturing operation.  … a "must-read."

-- Paul Baris, VP Planning Strategy, enVista


The concept in this book along with the Phenix planning tools allowed us to move very complex scheduling rules from head knowledge into a cloud-based system. It has improved our speed of scheduling and the consistency of scheduling to our established rules.  

-- Dave Stauffer, Director of Supply Chain, Advanced Food Products


This book is a wonderful overview of the benefits of Product Wheels including all the pressure testing our wheels have had in the most disruptive of environments. An international pandemic, labor compression, and record inflation have really made plant scheduling even more challenging than it has ever been. Product Wheels have been the backbone of which to "grab on to" for these difficult environments.

-- Mike Evans, Senior VP Operations, Bellisio Foods


Production scheduling has long been a massively neglected part of the equation for maximizing customer service and shop floor performance, while minimizing cost and capital. [This] is an exceptional read on the value, mechanisms and alternatives to optimize shop floor performance. Kudos! to King, Jacob and Peberdy for providing such a comprehensive and unbiased handbook to practitioners and leaders everywhere!

-- Mike Wittman, Formerly Chief Supply Chain Officer, Pinnacle Foods, now Senior Advisor, Boston Consulting Group