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Epicor Finite Job Scheduling
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Key Components of Scheduling
The scheduling engine handles the supply and demand of time through three main components – Capacity, Load, and Scheduling Blocks. The purpose of each component is discussed here, but these items are explored in more detail later within the Primary Components information.
- Capacity – This component measures how much time or production output (non-time capacity) is available for the resources within your manufacturing center; capacity represents the supply available in the schedule. Each resource has a capacity limit that is available during each working day. Depending on how you want the scheduling engine to handle capacity, resources can or cannot be assigned more demand than can be satisfied through their capacity. A resource can have either finite or infinite capacity.
- Load – This component measures how much time or production output is required by operations to complete part quantities. Load represents the demand that is placed against the schedule. It is the amount of time or production output that the resource needs in order to complete the operation. The load required for each job is calculated by the part quantity needed, the operations required to complete production, and the availability of resources to complete the job’s part quantity.
- Scheduling Blocks – The scheduling engine uses this component to calculate the amount of load that is required to complete an operation. A scheduling block is a record that measures the length of time during which work will be done on one operation. First, the scheduling engine determines how much time it will take to complete the operation. Then the engine calculates how many scheduling blocks are required to handle the load. The length of these time allocation records will vary, depending upon the quantity produced, the number of resources (machines or operators) available, whether the operation can be divided, and so on. When the scheduling engine calculates how many scheduling blocks will handle the load, it checks how much capacity in time is available on the resources that will complete the operations. At this point, each scheduling block resembles a puzzle piece, as the engine tries to fit each block into a segment of open time on a resource. When all of the scheduling blocks are placed into the resource’s time, the job is scheduled.