Sunday, February 10, 2008

Manufacturing resource planning

Key functions and Features

MRP II is not a proprietary software system and can thus take many forms. It is almost impossible to visualise an MRP II system that does not use a computer, but an MRP II system can be based on either purchased / licensed or in-house software.

Almost every MRP II system is modular in construction. Characteristic basic modules in an MRP II system are:

  • Master Production Scheduling (MPS)
  • Item Master Data (Technical Data)
  • Bill of Materials (BOM) (Technical Data)
  • Production Resources Data (Manufacturing Technical Data)
  • Inventories & Orders (Inventory Control)
  • Purchasing Management
  • Material Requirements Planning (MRP)
  • Shop Floor Control (SFC)
  • Capacity Requirements Planning (CRP)
  • Standard Costing (Cost Control)
  • Cost Reporting / Management (Cost Control)
  • Distribution Resource Planning (DRP)

together with ancillary systems such as:

  • Business Planning
  • Lot Traceability
  • Contract Management
  • Tool Management
  • Engineering Change Control
  • Configuration Management
  • Shop Floor Data Collection
  • Sales Analysis and Forecasting
  • Finite Capacity Scheduling (FCS)

and related systems such as:

  • General Ledger
  • Accounts Payable (Purchase Ledger)
  • Accounts Receivable (Sales Ledger)
  • Sales Order Management
  • Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP)
  • [Automated] Warehouse Management
  • Project Management
  • Technical Records
  • Estimating
  • CAPP

The MRP II system integrates these modules together so that they use common data and freely exchange information, in a model of how a manufacturing enterprise should and can operate. The MRP II approach is therefore very different from the “point solution” approach, where individual systems are deployed to help a company plan, control or manage a specific activity. MRP II is by definition fully integrated or at least fully interfaced.

  • Better control of inventories
  • Improved scheduling
  • Productive relationships with suppliers

For Design / Engineering:

  • Improved design control
  • Better quality and quality control

For Financial and Costing:

  • Reduced working capital for inventory
  • Improved cash flow through quicker deliveries
  • Accurate inventory records
  • Timely and valid cost and profitability information

Industry Specifics

MRP II systems have been implemented in most manufacturing industries. Some industries need specialised functions e.g. lot traceability in regulated manufacturing such as pharmaceuticals or food. Other industries can afford to disregard facilities required by others e.g. the tableware industry has few starting materials – mainly clay – and does not need complex materials planning. Capacity planning is the key to success in this as in many industries, and it is in those that MRP II is less appropriate.

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