Example of Building a Network Timestamp

00:00               Demonstration of Aurora scheduling system: Planner Role

This demonstration of the Aurora scheduling system will focus on the planner role. Specifically, it will focus on the process of creating a new schedule reflecting an incoming order.

00:13               Opening resource template

In order to create a new schedule, the first step in the process would be to open a resource template. This is a reusable template defining the resources and calendars that we can use in performing our work.

00:28               Importing jobs into resource template

Once that is done, the planner would go ahead and import the jobs reflecting the task to be done. These jobs can be defined in reusable files, which can then be imported either into a specific schedule, or into a larger factory scale schedule. In this particular case, it has pulled in about 300 jobs from this file. This is a relatively small work order.

1:00                 Resulting Network

This is the resulting network where

1:02                          Temporal Constraints

each of the red lines indicates a temporal constraint and each of the boxes indicates a specific job.

1:09                 Resource requirements

Many of the jobs have resource requirements in addition to their temporal constraints.

1:15                 Creating initial schedule

Now, in order to create my initial schedule, I just come to the schedule menu and hit schedule.

1:22                          Assigning time windows

This process assigns desired time windows to each job

1:26                       Selecting necessary resources

and selects which resources are necessary to satisfy the resource requirements.

1:33                       Gantt chart overview

I can get a good overview of the resulting schedule in the Gantt chart.

1:37                       Cascading temporal view

This gives a cascading temporal view of what’s going to be happening. However, as you can see, this does result in a rather deep schedule.

1:48                       Compressed mode view

So, what I’m going to do is view it in a somewhat more compressed mode.

1:54                       Finding critical chain

First I want to find the critical chain. This will give me a good summary of the jobs that are most necessary to get the work done on time. Now, I’m going to change my view to focus on that critical chain.

2:11                       Causally related jobs (Project tent pole)

What this is showing me is the series of causally related jobs that form the tent pole of my project. In other words, the series of jobs that prevent the project from being shorter than it could otherwise be.

2:30                       High-level schedule analysis using critical chain

The critical chain gives me a good way of analyzing the schedule at a high level

2:35                       Focusing on critical jobs

because rather than giving me a very dense schedule that is difficult to look at I can just focus on a few critical jobs.

2:43                       Jobs driven by resource requirements (Pink purple)

In this particular view those jobs that are colored this pink purple color are driven by resource requirements. In other words, if it were not for the resource requirements, they actually could have scheduled earlier.

3:00                       Jobs present because of temporal constraints (Yellow)

The yellow jobs are here because of temporal constraints. So you can see this job, directly follows that job, so it could not schedule any earlier.

3:12                       Explanation futility

Now, one feature of Aurora that makes these schedules rather easier to analyze is an explanation futility. In the process of scheduling, Aurora automatically keeps track of all of the scheduling decisions and the circumstances under which they’re made.  And in so doing records this explanation. Now what this is telling me is that in the course of scheduling, the start date was affected by the availability of my mechanics, waiting for this other job.

3:43                       Double checking schedule

So, this is a good way for me to both double check that the schedule is doing what I would expect it to do

3:51                       Potentially shortening schedule

allow me to see ways I could potentially make it shorter. In this case, hiring more mechanics would allow me to actually work this job sooner and just generally get a feel for the way things are working in my schedule.

4:04                       Building trust in Aurora

It also helps build trust with Aurora scheduling system

4:08                        Transparency

because it allows some degree of transparency.  As another example, you can see that this job was waiting on FM 1, which is a flexible machine that can satisfy either an Equipment one resource type or an Equipment two resource type.

4:26                         Scheduling window determined by temporal constraints

Finally, to give an example of what the explanation would look like if the scheduling window is determined based on temporal constraints, we can look at this one. The start date was affected by cleanup OD prep for fastening. And the actual scheduling did not alter the start window. So at that point, we can be sure that the temporal constraints actually determined when the window is going to happen.

4:53                         Resourced-based/oriented view of schedule

Now the Gantt chart gives a good temporal view of the schedule. However, it does not give a very good resourced‑based view of the schedule. Although you can color it in various ways to indicate what resource requirements are in play. In general, for a resource‑oriented view, you would use either

5:12                         Spatial plot (definition)

the spatial plot which is a good view for unary resources

5:18                          Histogram plot (definition)

or the histogram plot which is a good view of pooled resources.

5:24                          Spatial plot (detail)

Now to go over them in a little bit more detail, in the spatial plot, each of these represents a single resource, which in a specific situation are interchangeable. We’re currently looking at the set of resources that can satisfy the equipment one requirement. Each line on this plot represents a single resource. So FM1 is the interchangeable machine that can satisfy either an equipment one resource requirement or an equipment two resource requirement. M1, M2, and M3 are all equipment one specific resources.

6:04                           Managing resources on the floor

Now I can see all of the jobs using these resources, which makes it very easy if I needed to manage these resources on the floor.

6:14                          Publishing the schedule

I could just publish this schedule and my workers would know what was going to be happening next.

6:21                          Coloring the schedule

As with the Gantt chart, I can color it in different ways. In this case, the jobs showing up as yellow are actually on my critical chain. In other words, they’re my temp pool jobs.  You can see that there is a time spend when my critical chain does not run through my equipment one type resources. But for the most part, equipment one resources are pretty heavily involved.

6:50                          Histogram plot (detail)

My histogram plot is different from my spatial plot because it’s designed for pooled resources. It has a histogram giving me a good notion of what’s going on at a given time at a high level.

7:04                          Usage level (black)

So the black areas indicate usage level.

7:08                          Non-use times (white)

Any white areas are times at which it is not actually in use. So in this particular region, I’m at capacity and then I drop down by a person for a little while and then I’m working at capacity again. Looking at the histogram in general, you can see that, for the most part, I am actually working at capacity.

7:30                          Non-work time (pale blue)

The pale blue areas indicate non‑work time. So for example, this indicates the third shift. I’m working a two shift schedule. And this time indicates a break time.

7:42                          Calendars reflected on the Gantt chart

You can also see the calendars reflected on the GANT chart.

7:46                          Gaps in the Gantt chart schedule

The calendar is the cause of the gaps in the Gantt chart schedule

7:50                          Non-work times

because these are in fact non‑work times. The histogram can still supply me with a higher degree of detail, if I click on a time window for which I want more detail. At that point, Aurora will then show me the specific jobs involved and I have the option of opening a job up and getting more information about why it scheduled the way it did and when exactly it scheduled.

8:19                           Resulting schedule

So at this point, as the planner, I’m reasonably pleased with this resulting schedule. I work the whole project within a six day flow which is right on target for what I need. I have a little bit of contingency time there at the end. So overall, I’m rather pleased with this.

8:38                          Taking baseline

I’m going to go ahead and take a baseline just for future reference.

8:44                           Saving the schedule out

And then I’m going to save the schedule out for use actually executing the schedule on the floor.

8:57                             Conclusion

This concludes the planner portion of the demonstration. If you’re interested in later stages of the scheduling and execution process,

9:06                             Reference to Shop Floor Manager demo

please view Shop Floor Manager demonstration

9:09                             Reference to Project Manager demo

and or the Project Manager demonstration

These demonstrate using Aurora to deal with on‑the‑fly changes and troubleshooting in the execution process. Thank you very much.