1st Edition

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

By Peter L. King, Mac Jacob, Noel Peberdy Copyright 2023
    310 Pages 85 Color Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    310 Pages 85 Color Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    310 Pages 85 Color Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    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.

    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


    Peter L. King, Mac Jacob, Noel Peberdy

    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