Chapter 01 - What is a Production (Planning) Scheduler?
Beginning in 1994, I started with the idea that the work of the human production scheduler would be greatly simplified if I developed a production scheduler that could create schedules easily on a personal computer. At that time there were no textbooks on this because there was no general-purpose production scheduler and no sample product. Personal computers at that time were of low performance and there was no premise that they could be used for production schedulers. But now more than a decade later, the environment has changed completely. Personal computer performance has been vastly improved, there is an adequate body of knowledge about production schedulers, and although not 100 percent perfect, answers can be rapidly given to questions about large-scale scheduling.
As to the point of whether the production scheduler is 100 percent perfect, there is something that needs to be said about one of the special features of the production scheduler. For example, the way to (order?) ten different jobs is ten factorial or 3,628,800 ways. If there are 100, then those can be rowed in 100! ≒10158. Because the scheduler can handle more than 10,000 jobs in production scheduling with real data, it calls for a strict optimum solution in limited time and one can easily see how difficult that is. Incidentally, that is 10,000! ≒1035660.
Asprova is designed to calculate large volumes of data so that it can build production schedules at ultra-high speed. There is, strictly speaking, no optimum solution but results of production schedules calculated at high speed can be seen by people (visualized) and, realistically, those things that the computer is deficient in can be aided by human beings, and the production schedule prepared onsite. At any rate, we make good advantage of the computer's high speed and speed is critical to production scheduling.