New Features in SchedulePro
New Features in SchedulePro v9 (released in September of 2019)
For information on new features in SchedulePro v9, please click here.
Summary of New Features in Version 8 (released in June of 2018)
Undo / Redo Functionality in the EOC Context
Changes made through the Equipment Occupancy Chart (EOC) may be undone or redone with Ctrl-z / Ctrl-y or by using the undo/redo buttons of the EOC toolbar (see below).
Probabilistic Simulation and Variability Analysis
SchedulePro v8 facilitates probabilistic simulation that enables users to quantify the impact of variability and uncertainty in processing rates and operation durations. This is done by defining operation durations as probability distributions through the Variability Tool. Detailed information on the subject can be found in the new Variability Analysis example and its corresponding video. The ReadMe files of all SchedulePro examples can be downloaded from the SchedulePro Overview page.
The variability may be explored in single simulations by using the simulation tools in the EOC.
Monte Carlo style simulation can be done by selecting “Schedule \ Variability Analysis…” from the main menu of the application. The results show the calculated probability distribution for the selected output variable (see figure below). The upper right portion of the figure displays the key statistics related to the range of schedule makespan. The lower portion of the figure displays a histogram of the makespan results for the simulated trials. The Low/High Value sliders above the histogram allow you to determine the probability of completing the schedule within certain limits. Variability analysis is important for determining the realistic throughput of a facility for a specific time horizon.
Conditional Scheduling of Operations
SchedulePro v8 provides a simple way to manage operations that may not take place every batch. This greatly facilitates scheduling of chromatography column repacking, preventive maintenance, cleaning after a certain number of batches or operation time, equipment clean hold, etc. Operations may be set as “conditional” based on the following criteria:
- Usage count (i.e., number of times the equipment is used).
- Number of hours the equipment is used.
- Number of hours the equipment is idle.
If the relevant conditions are met, the operation is executed. Otherwise, its duration is set to zero, and no resources associated with the operation are used for it. This functionality is described in detail in Cases E1, E2 and E3 of the Bio-Processing example of SchedulePro. The ReadMe files of all SchedulePro examples can be downloaded from the SchedulePro Overview page.
Improved Recipe Block Diagram
Improved Block Diagram shows Extra Reference Links.
Campaign Level Resource Assignment
SchedulePro v8 makes it convenient to use dedicated resources for an entire campaign. Use the new “Resources” tab in the campaign properties dialog.
Campaign Level Scheduling Mode
Campaigns may override the top-level scheduling mode. Use the “Cycling” tab to set a campaign-specific scheduling mode.
Time Shift and Sequencing Constraints Apply to Event-Based Campaigns
An event-based campaign can use the time shift as well as start-to-start and finish-to-start campaign sequencing to determine its start time.
Password Protection for Files
This is accomplished by selecting “File \ Save As Protected…” from the main menu of the application.
Scheduling Warning Messages Suppressed
In version 8, any warning messages that arise during scheduling are saved to a log file but are not displayed during the scheduling process. This facilitates the probabilistic simulation mode and allows for unattended scheduling runs. Select Show Log from the schedule menu to see any messages.
Conflicts Table Report
Conflicts in the Schedule may be saved and viewed in the Conflicts Table report.
Summary of New Features in Version 7.2 (released in March of 2017)
Information on new features in version 7.2 will be posted in the near future.
Summary of New Features in Version 7 (released in March of 2016)
Information on new features in version 7 will be posted in the near future.
Summary of New Features in Version 6 (released in May of 2014)
Modeling and Scheduling Based on SKUs
Version 6 introduces the concept of a stock keeping unit or SKU. The details are provided in chapter 8 of the SchedulePro manual. An SKU is a material or item that should be separately tracked. One of the attributes of intermediate and product SKUs is the bill of materials (BOM) that provides information on the type and amount of raw materials and other SKUs required for making a unit of the specific SKU. The figure below displays the BOM of the Strawberry-1kg-SKU, which represents a cup containing 1 kg of strawberry-flavored yogurt. This is part of a new example that focuses on yogurt manufacturing and explains the use of SKUs. The ReadMe file of this example can be downloaded from the SchedulePro_Overview page. Please visit the videos page of our website for a video on this example. Another important attribute of intermediate and product SKUs is the recipe (i.e., manufacturing process) that is used for making an SKU.
Procedures that cycle independently display a clock icon on the left of their name (see figure below) that denotes their mode of operation. This icon is part of the procedure’s style and can be hidden by de-selecting the “Independent Cycle Sign” check box in the procedure’s icon style tab (right-click on the procedure’s icon and select Style \ Edit…).
The SKU concept provides the following new capabilities in SchedulePro:
- Generic Recipes – A recipe may be used to represent the manufacturing of more than one product.
- SKU-based Campaign Scheduling – Production campaigns can be scheduled based on SKUs in addition to recipes.
- SKU-dependent Equipment Rates – Processing rates and durations may vary by equipment and SKU (product) type.
- SKU-Order-Template Scheduling – SchedulePro can now automatically schedule a multi-product order along with all the intermediates. Typical production orders can be saved as templates and reused.
Other new features include:
- Recipe sorting by folder when recipe folders are used.
- Improvements in cost analysis calculations based on equipment utilization.
Summary of New Features in Version 5.5 (released in March of 2013)
Recipe Block Diagram
Recipes may be viewed in block diagram format. To display the block diagram of a recipe, select the recipe in the navigation tree control and click the “View Recipe Block Diagram” button in the recipe toolbar. The same toolbar includes a new button that displays a window which facilitates editing of auxiliary equipment and transfer panels associated with operations for a recipe.
Each block represents a procedure, and each line represents an operation. By default the material streams are shown in black and scheduling links in blue. Users may edit procedures and operations from the chart by double-clicking the name of the item to be edited.
Materials Planning and Scheduling
SchedulePro can automatically schedule orders and receipts for selected materials. This feature works with Material Supply Systems and Input Storage Units. To use this feature, select the Inventory tab of a Material Supply System or Input Storage Unit, select the “Automatic Receipts” option and click the button on the right to display the Automatic Receipts dialog (see figure below). Receipts may be based on inventory triggers or on projected usage. Material receipts may be scheduled according to MRP (projected usage) strategies or inventory triggers. The order lead time is used to calculate the “order by” date for each material.
Materials Orders and Receipts Reporting
The “Materials Orders and Receipts” report shows the automatically or manually scheduled receipts and orders for selected materials. The report below corresponds to a case of Fixed Order Amount of 50000 kg of WFI scheduled to be received when the inventory drops below 5000 kg. Orders are placed based on a Lead Time of 10 days.
The Inventory report lists receipts, draws, opening and closing inventories for a specified period (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly) for each managed material. The opening inventories of the first period are specified by the user or imported from a file by selecting “Resources \ Load Opening Inventories from File…” from the main menu of the application. The external file may be prepared in Excel or generated by an another system (e.g., SAP or other inventory management tools).
Mobile Equipment Floor Space Area Calculation
Equipment may be declared as mobile and associated with a floor space requirement. This is done through the “Size” tab of the Equipment Properties dialog.
The floor space used by such equipment may be viewed as a special resource chart. The chart is displayed by selecting “View \ Resource Profiles \ Mobile Equipment Area” from the main menu of the application. It is also possible to display the same chart through the “Open Resource Chart” drop-down menu of the Equipment Occupancy Chart (EOC) and align it with the EOC. The same chart has the ability to display the total number of mobile equipment units utilized as a function of time.
This feature was requested by some of our users in the bio-pharmaceutical industry that make extensive use of single-use systems and mobile equipment that often lead to bottlenecks associated with floor space required for staging and storing mobile totes and skids.
Other Improvements in Version 5.5
- Ability to save Clipping and Reporting option.
- The Campaign Setup dialog has been improved and simplified. The campaign color and ID are recipe-dependent by default.
- If an operation has extra scheduling links, the number of extra links is shown to the left of the “Advanced” button on the Scheduling tab of the operation’s dialog window.
- Oil and beer barrel volume units have been added.
- The Equipment Utilization Report provides information on Time-Based Equipment Utilization in addition to the total utilization.
- The SQL Server DB of SchedulePro generates a new Equipment Utilization Chart and a new Daily Activities report.
- Go To Equipment in EOC functionality (right-click in the open area of the EOC and select “Go To Equipment”).
- The style options on the EOC allow selection of which operation type colors to display. This is a new coloring option for activities displayed on the EOC.
Summary of New Features in Version 5.2 (released in July of 2012)
The changeover matrix enables equipment cleaning and changeover activities to have durations that are not constant but dependent upon the previous and following task. Multiple changeover matrices can be defined per equipment. For instance, one matrix may control the cleaning of a filling machine when the composition of the material changes and another may control the changeover time when the size of the filling container changes.
Improved Operation Scheduling Dialog
The Scheduling dialog of operations has been improved. Links to operations in other procedures can be specified through a single, tree-looking, drop-down menu (see picture above). The Flexible Shift time can have negative values to accommodate pre-processing activities that must be completed within a time window. The new Outages options enable certain operations to run during facility downtime periods.
Improved Equipment Occupancy Chart Features
The toolbars of the equipment occupancy chart (EOC) can be floated to fit in small and low resolution screens. The legend offers the option to display operation type colors in addition to batches and/or campaigns.
Other Improvements in Version 5.2
- Default measurement units can be set globally through “Edit / Physical Units Defaults…”.
- Pre- and post-processing activities can optionally be applied to auxiliary equipment.
- Scheduling dependency tree available for operations (right-click on an operation and select “Links…”).
- Reporting and clipping options may be saved.
Summary of New Features in Version 4.5
Improved SQL Server Database Features
The SchedulePro SQL Server database now supports the storage and retrieval of all SchedulePro data including recipes and resources. Use the Export Document feature to export all the objects in a document.
Note: You will need to update the database using the Connection Settings. If you plan to continue using version 4.0, create a new database.
The figure displays information on three campaigns stored in the SchedulePro SQL Server DB. The user may deposit in the database any number of snapshots of the production schedule. The calculation of delays is based on the comparison between the “planned” and “actual” snapshots. By selecting the top campaign of the above figure and clicking on the Campaign Report button, the tool displays a report on the selected campaign (see figure below) that provides information on the batches of that campaign. The report can provide more detailed information by selecting the “Procedure” or “Operation” option from the Schedule Report Detail group.
Information on tardiness also can be displayed graphically (see figure below) by selecting a set of campaigns and clicking on the Tardiness Chart button. The red portion of a campaign bar represents the delay of that campaign.
Improved Recipe Editing Features
The recipe view now has buttons for editing labor, operation types, and procedures on a recipe-wide level.
The figure below displays the “Operation Types” dialog that enables users to readily classify the operations of a recipe. The default list of operation types includes: Unclassified, Setup, SIP, Process, CIP, and Changeover. The user has the option to expand and modify the list. Coloring of the Equipment Occupancy Chart activities based on operation types is a new option that enables users to readily visualize time spent on non-value adding activities (e.g., Setup, CIP, Changeover). This is of importance to Lean Manufacturing practitioners.
Adding Resource Outages Directly on the Equipment Occupancy Chart
Right-click on a procedure bar and select “Add Resource Outage” to add downtime without navigating to the resource.
Other Improvements in Version 4.5
- New options for equipment in storage units.
- New options for event (inventory) based campaign scheduling.
- Campaign level switch for rotation (staggered) equipment selection.
- Transfer panel selection can be dependent on main equipment (see the main equipment dialog).
- Daily activity report can have custom text defined in the operation.
Summary of New Features in Version 4.0
- Inventory Based Scheduling is now available. Campaigns and batches can be scheduled according to inventory conditions.
- Sequence-dependent operation durations can be defined. Operations such as cleaning may have durations that depend on the prior usage of the equipment.
- Equipment-Storage unit association allows a storage unit to be linked with one or more actual equipment items.
- The SQL Server Schedule import/export database is now fully supported.
Easy-Print charts: SchedulePro now provides non-interactive equipment occupancy and Gantt charts with improved clipping and printing options.
Recipes may be organized into folders.
- Batch timing and resource selection may be copied and pasted to another batch or back to the original recipe.
- Recipes may have operations that are scheduled before the batch start.
Minor speed enhancements for large numbers of campaigns.
- The Gantt charts have now have the option for recipe or chronological ordering.
- The Equipment occupancy chart has separate options for coloring and legend display.
- Idle time may now be included in the equipment occupancy report.
SchedulePro now provides user-defined operation types for display and reporting.
Click here for a listing of fixes.
SchedulePro v3.58 is a minor upgrade. It has the new features shown below as well as bug-fixes.
- Added option to show intermediates in schedule report
- Added option to show intermediates in schedule report
- A material supply system can now have downtime similar to equipment
- Material Supply System assignment can now distinguish streams that are associated with storage units
- Gantt chart detail level now saved with file
- User comments available for scheduled procedures and operations
- Batch naming may be customized
- Revenue added for economics
SchedulePro v3.5 is a minor upgrade. It has the new features shown below as well as bug-fixes. It also includes a new tutorial and newly reworked examples covering biopharmaceutical manufacturing, capacity analysis, production of pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing of consumer products.
Summary of New Features in Version 3.5
- Version 3.5 Introduces an Academic Version which is available to universities at a reduced cost. Contact us for more information.
- Version 3.5 has basic economics. SchedulePro now allows the entry of cost information for common resources. It also provides basic cost reporting.
- The ERP/MRP connectivity now includes connections to MS Access database files as well as text files.
- You may now add user-defined properties to campaigns.
- Batches now have a user-comments/notes property.
- Campaigns may optionally be organized into projects
- Procedures now have a keep-equipment-for-campaign option for main equipment.
- Individual Storage Units may now be included or excluded from inventory constraints.
- Schedule Report will optionally display intermediate material usages.
Click here for a listing of fixes.
Summary of New Features in Version 3.3
- The Equipment Occupancy Chart has a new time slide-bar to make dragging the current time easier.
- You may now reset and reschedule with one command on the Equipment Occupancy Chart.
- Recipes and campaigns now have options for continuous operations.
- Campaigns may now be scheduled by order-amount as well as by the number of batches.
- There is now a configurable interface for importing and exporting campaign information in a flat-file format.
- You may now access and edit scheduled operations from the scheduled procedure dialog.
SchedulePro v3.202 provides added features, speed, and stability.
The latest update patch is now available. Click here for a listing of fixes.
Summary of New Features in Version 3.202
- Multiple Chart Viewing
- Improved Coloring Options for the Equipment Occupancy Chart
- Batch or Campaign Highlight Option
- Gantt Chart Start and End Time Display
- Button for Directly Viewing Batch Conflicts from the Batch List
- Updated Help, and Manual
Multiple Chart Viewing
You may now view resource and inventory charts with the equipment occupancy chart. Charts may be linked so that their time axes are aligned. When you edit the schedule from the equipment chart, the linked resource and/or inventory charts are automatically updated.
Improved Coloring Options for the Equipment Occupancy Chart
You may now edit the chart color of batches and campaigns. Colors may be edited by double clicking on the legend color or through the properties dialog of a batch or campaign.
Batch or Campaign Highlight Option
You may now focus attention on a particular batch or campaign by highlighting it in the equipment occupancy chart.
Gantt Chart Start and End Time Display
You may now optionally show task start and end times on the Gantt Chart. Use the Bar Style to toggle the display of start or end times.
Button for Directly Viewing Batch Conflicts from the Batch List
Use the button display conflicts for the selected batch.
Summary of New Features in Version 3.0
- Campaign Planning Directly in the Equipment Chart
- Precise Scheduling Control with New Scheduling Modes
- Improved Campaign Planning Options
- Conflict Resolution for Procedures, Batches, Campaigns or the Entire Schedule
- Easy Updating and Tracking of Completion Status
- Improved Reporting for Materials and Recipes
- New Tutorial, Help, and Manual
Campaign Planning Directly in the Equipment Chart
Campaign planning and scheduling can be done easily without switching views.
Precise Scheduling Control with New Scheduling Modes
New Scheduling Modes give precise control over how automated the scheduling process is.
- Automatic Mode lets SchedulePro do the work. Batch starts are calculated according to cycle time and resource conflicts are resolved automatically.
- Layout Mode gives the user control over batch start times. Batch starts are calculted according to cycle time, but batch starts are not adjusted to resolve conflicts.
- As Soon as Possible Moded disregards cycle time and starts every batch as soon as resources are available. Conflicts are resolved automatically.
- User Defined Mode lets the user set how SchedulePro lays out batches and resolves resource conflicts.
Improved Campaign Planning Options
New Campaign Planning Options include:
- Release Date A campaign can start no earlier than its release date. This applies whether scheduling to a due date or from the release date.
- Start concurrently with or after the end of a previous campaign These options are essentially the same as in earlier versions of SchedulePro.
- Tightly Following Previous Campaign Start as soon as resources resources are released from the previous campaign.
Tightly Following Previous Campaign
Conflict Resolution for Procedures, Batches, Campaigns or the Entire Schedule
If there are resource conflicts, the user may choose to have SchedulePro resolve them locally (just the current conflict), globally (all conflicts) or anything in-between.
Easy Updating and Tracking of Completion Status
The current time indicates distinction between completed and planned activities. The line may be dragged to any location, set manually or synchronized with the local system time.
New Tutorial, Help, and Manual
The manual, tutorial, and on-line help have been updated to include the new functionality.
New in Version 2.6
- Help system is updated for Windows Vista compatibility
- New Toolbars for Equipment Occupancy Chart and Gantt Charts
- New Report for Equipment Occupancy
- New Report Format for the Schedule Report
- New Report Options for all Reports
- Reports and Charts May be Clipped by Campaign or Time
- A New Interface Allows Resource Selection and Ordering for Charts and Reports with Equipment, Work Areas, or Staff
- The Gantt Chart Allows Automatic Display at a Selected Level of Detail
- Resource and Inventory Plots now have an Adjustable Y-Axis Range
New Toolbars for Equipment Occupancy Chart and Gantt Charts
After a schedule is generated, you may quickly view an equipment chart or Gantt chart.
New Report for Equipment Occupancy
The Equipment Occupancy Report lists the activities and times for each piece of equipment. Select “Reports/Equipment Occupancy Report…” from the menu.
New Report Format for the Schedule Report
The Schedule Report has been reformatted for improved readability.
New Report Options for all Reports
Select “Reports/Report Options…” from the main menu. Each report has its own set of options.
Reports and Charts May be Clipped by Campaign or Time
All time-oriented charts and reports except the equipment occupancy chart may have their contents limited by campaign, batch and/or start and end time. Select “Reports/Clipping Options…” from the main menu. The option may also be found in the “Preferences/Clipping…” option in the Gantt chart menu.
A New Interface Allows Resource Selection and Ordering for Charts and Reports with Equipment, Work Areas, or Staff
Select “Reports \ Contents and Ordering…” from the main menu.
The Gantt Chart Allows Automatic Display at a Selected Level of Detail
Use the “Detail” item in the Gantt chart menu to collapse all the tasks to the selected level of detail.
Resource and Inventory Plots now have an Adjustable Y-Axis Range
Select the Y-Axes tab from the chart’s Style dialog.
New in Version 2.5
- Material Supply Systems
- Staff Resources
- New Resource Usage Feature
- New Scheduled Campaign Dialog
- New Scheduled Operation Dialog
- Updated Chart Toolbar Buttons
Material Supply Systems
Track the generation or production of a single component even when it is used in multi-component streams.
New Material & Resource Chart Options
- Plot material usage or production by material, storage unit or material supply system
- Plot the sum of multiple resources with optional multipliers for materials
- Limit the plot to usages in only certain recipes
Example: In a certain plant, water purified by reverse osmosis (water-RO) is used both by itself and as a source of distilled water for injection (WFI). If 1.25L of water-RO yield 1 L of WFI, the total demand for RO-water may be obtained by the demand for water-RO plus the demand for WFI multiplied by 1.25 as shown above.
Individual Staff Resources for Labor
Now SchedulePro can schedule and track individuals without the need for resorting to the staff-as-equipment workaround.
Staff are assigned to operations. A pool of staff may be assigned along with the required number.
Staff utilization may be displayed on the equipment occupancy chart. Simply exclude the equipment to show the staff.
Resource Usage Feature
All resources now have a new “used-by” feature that is may be launched by clicking the button. The dialogs shows all the uses of the resource optionally narrowed by recipe, section or procedure. Resource assignments may be edited.
New Interface Features
Scheduled Campaign Dialog
The dialog for a scheduled campaign now shows all of the information that the campaign planning dialog shows.
Scheduled Operation Dialog
Scheduled operations now have a two-tabbed dialog that shows scheduling and duration information as well as auxiliary equipment and staff