This article will take you through the steps needed from setup to daily or weekly tasks performed for use of the ekanban planner. The eKanban Planner is used in conjunction with Product Orders to give the operators a queue of scheduled orders on the Operator Portal. You may want to read through the entirety of this article and jot down notes or ideas for how you want to use the eKanban Planner at your site. Also, there is a presentation attached at the very bottom of the article for you to follow through on if needed.
One thing to keep in mind is how you want to set Pitch Demand. By quantity or by cycle time.
1. If you haven't used the Production Module before, you'll want to start with the 📕 Setup - Resource/Production Shifts This is critical for using our Production Module and especially for use in the ekanban Planner. The link above will step you through setting shifts up. If you already have shifts set up, it's a good idea to review them to make sure they are correct and that the shifts DO NOT overlap in time.
2. Next, you'll want to review the settings in your Line Setup. 📕 Setup - Lines. Be sure to click into each Line that you want to run eKanban on and enable the following settings:
- Enable Product Orders (eKanban) for this line.
- Choose the number of product orders that are visible on the Operator Portal queue. This will default to the number selected in Production Settings unless otherwise noted.
- Enable to Automatically split pitches for new products. If the Product Orders box is checked above, the system will automatically split pitches. If this setting is disabled, reports will be based off of the first product in the pitch.
- Production Order is used to show the flow through various lines.
- Enable production demand on changeover setting. This is used for sites that are unable to determine a demand ahead of time (ex. job shop). Note: If you are using this and the API to create pitches, the API will overwrite your existing pitch schedule, removing the demand from changeover. (1 Option to set Pitch Demand).
3. Next, you'll review your Production Settings for features pertaining to the eKanban functionality.
- Number of product orders that are visible on the operator portal at a time (Site Default). This option is used with eKanban or product order scheduling. This feature, when selected, will show only the number of cards (orders) you have selected as the site default. For example, if you only want the next three orders to show on the operator portal, you would set this section to 3. Note: In the line setup menu, you can override this default number if desired for individual lines.
- Number of days to look ahead in the product order queue to display product orders and to change over to product orders: This option is used with eKanban or product order scheduling. When selected, this feature will allow you to set the number of days in the future the operator portal will display orders. For example, if you only want the operators to have visibility to upcoming orders over the next two days, you would add the number 2 in the box for this option.
- Default eKanban Schedule Method: is the place you can set the production schedule either by quantity or by cycle time. (this will set the default in the planning screens)
- Show the Planned Product column in the Operator Portal & Pitch Board: Adds a column to the operator portal to show the planned product next to the actual product. Below is a screenshot of this feature turned on.
- Enable Order Planner Link for Operators: in the operator portal screen if you want them to make adjustments to the planning.
- Allow operators to partially complete orders: This is used when you have a process that does not always end on the demand count of the card and you want to complete the order.
- Allow Operators to overbuild orders: if your process is set to overrun to ensure you make the order rate.
- Show Possible Low Material/ Early Start Warning if Orders are scheduled this many days ahead of Due Date: Enter in a number. A warning signal is used to alert the planner that a possible build is ahead of schedule (Early warning) and could cause a problem if not enough material is in-house for the order.
- Allow operators to adjust the built quantity for an order when the actual data is supplied via the API: This is used for those who have extra parts to add to the next order. An example is a line was to build product A at 300 pieces, but for the overrun they built 310, so the 10 extra parts could be applied to the order the next time you build product A. You can add those 10 parts to the model A card the next time you build that model.
4. The next step, is to setup Pitch Schedule Templates. Pitch schedule templates are used to schedule pitches. Templates are used because it is much easier to use a template to schedule pitches over multiple shifts, days, and lines at once vs. creating pitches individually, manually one by one. Once pitch schedules are created, they can be tied to lines in the line setup or in the pitch template configuration.
5. In the next step, you'll setup Products. You can do this manually or by sending an import spreadsheet to L2L Support.
6. Once Products are added, you'll need to add Line Cycle Times. Some lines may run the same cycle time for various products, in which case you can set it to default to all products. Cycle times are used to set the demand in the pitch boards and also to display the estimated order total time in the order planning screens. Once again, L2L Support can mass import line cycle times.
7. The next piece is to add or import Product Orders. The Product Orders are what are visible on the Operator Portal eKanban Queue. The link above will explain features and settings as well as different means for order creation (Note: The import tool you can use yourself). The most important part of the Product Orders, is to make sure the eKanban box is checked. Once checked, it will open up information pertaining to eKanban (what line is assigned, what line can build, and card size).
8. Remember that Pitch Schedule Template we built? Well now we need to put it in place. You'll go to the Pitch Schedule; choose your Area and Line, and be sure to select the correct template. Now hit load. A pop up box will ask if you want to load for that line or multiple lines. You can choose to load for the day or a timeframe. You'll want to review the schedule for accuracy. (1 Option to set Pitch Demand).
9. Now let's go to the eKanban Planner. Use the filters to choose the Area and Line where your Product Orders are going to be built. The default status is 'View Schedule', which will show you all product orders. If you didn't import the orders as 'Scheduled' you'll want to set that status here. The Scheduled Status allows them to appear in the eKanban Queue of the Operator Portal. Beneath the Product Orders, you'll see methods of scheduling: Redistribute, Minimal Changeovers, Once per Day, Once per Shift, or Heijunka Ideal. To read more about what each of those buttons does please read this article: eKanban Scheduling: Minimal Changeovers vs. Heijunka Ideal (1 Option to set Pitch Demand).
10. Once the eKanban Planner Calendar looks good with your orders scheduled, you'll see them appear on the eKanban Queue of the Operator Portal. Now they can be selected to start the build process. To do so, you'll simply select the order you want to start and hit 'Changeover'. Once the Changeover has been completed, you'll hit 'Finish Changeover' and that will put the order to a 'Work in Progress'. If you need to put the order 'On hold' for any reason, that status is available as well. To complete the order, you'll select 'Complete Order'.
11. Your operators will enter scrap and actuals on a pitch by pitch basis until the order has been completed.
Next Steps: If your plant is ready for integration, we can work with you to help an Integration Team through our API Documentation to get your lines submitting pitch actuals, scrap, and even Code Red Dispatch generation automatically.
Pro-Tip: Please also note that Redistribute uses Cycle Time to set demand. If you do not have a cycle time set up in the system, it will default to 60 seconds. If the demand is set manually, and then the Redistribute function is used, the system will change to planning based on the Cycle Time for the line or cell.