Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a selection of frequently asked questions about Preactor. If you have a query not covered please email us and we will reply as soon as we can.
Q: Can Preactor cope with assembly lines ?
A: Yes, RMS has implemented Preactor to schedule in all the major manufacturing environments. Assembly line scheduling, although simple in principle, actually incorporates some of the greatest challenges, particularly where lines need to be switched to different products, products to different (or more) lines, at short notice, and the expected output must be completely re-calculated.
Q: I only have a small number of resources and a limited budget – can Preactor be implemented cheaply?
A: Yes, it is possible to implement a complete system for a 4-figure cost – & yes that’s dollars, euro’s or pounds!
Q: Is there an easy way to enter different calendars for each of my 5 departments?
A: Yes, you can create a shift calendar for each machine, person, department, or team, or of course for the whole factory.
Q: How do I give extra priority to my most valued customer?
A: Preactor can schedule according to any selected priority, for example by customer, by order value, by ‘first-come-first-served’, or, most often, by due date.
Q: Is there any way to lock the next 3 days of production, and re-schedule all my other jobs?
A: Yes, you can lock jobs on the schedule according to how far ahead you want to fix the plan, as well as locking all the jobs on a particular resource. You can indeed lock a selected individual operation.
Q: Will Preactor tell me how much overtime we need to work, & where?
A: No, not directly. There are usually an infinite number of resource / shift pattern combinations which will produce the desired result – assuming you have sufficient capacity! It’s for you, the planner, to ask ‘What-if?’. That is, to select alternative scenarios and, using Preactor as a decision support tool, assess the comparative effects of the different results.
Q: Can Preactor schedule my machines in such a way that changeover/setup times are minimized, while still ensuring that orders are all completed on time?
A: Yes, assuming it is possible. With Preactor APS you can find the ‘best’ solution by applying your ‘minimize setup’ rule across a selected ‘look ahead window’. For example, if you have orders which must be shipped within 7 days, Preactor will group all orders for ‘like products’ required within the ’7-day window’ & reduce changeovers to the minimum. Orders required later than 7 days away will be scheduled in the same fashion the next day, thus always taking into account the latest additions to the order book.
Q: Will the system highlight schedule overloads ?
Yes, however, do remember that overloads will never happen in a true ‘Finite Capacity Schedule’ unless a constraint is ‘switched off’, or set to ‘infinite capacity’
Q: Is Preactor a multi-user system?
A: Multiple viewers are allowed – normally one or two (password – authorised) users have full authority to permanently change.