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Functions and Benefits of a Production Control System

In the manufacturing industry, there are various important processes ranging from the procurement of raw materials and the manufacturing location and schedule to the allocation of workers and inventory and shipping management. Managing this large amount of information is considered production control work. A production control system is a system used to manage and streamline the complexities related to critical business information. In this blog, we’ll explain the functions of the production management system, how to introduce it, the benefits of introducing it, and the means of solving problems.

Production control and production control system

So, what part of production is managed by production control? Let’s take a look at the purpose and role of production management.

Optimizing the “make” and “sell”

Production control refers to the management of overall production activities, including product design, procurement of raw materials, and manufacturing operations, from the perspective of QCD (quality, cost, and delivery). In addition to the actual production process, there are cases where we comprehensively manage operations related to production, covering a wide range of tasks, from receiving orders to delivery of products.
Production management aims to manage the vast amount of business information related to production activities as well as the optimization of the “make” and “sell” of products, which are both crucial in the manufacturing industry.

Difference between production control and quality control

What is the difference between production control and quality control, and where is the line?
As production control manages all production activities, quality control is considered a part of production control. The primary purpose of quality control is to maintain product quality. Additionally, manufacturing management is responsible for the manufacturing of products.
The meanings and differences between production control, manufacturing control, and quality control are explained in detail in the following blog.
Differences in Production Management, Manufacturing Management, and Quality Control | Stratus blog

What is a production control system?

In production management, organizations manage a wide range of operations, such as procurement of raw materials, inventory management, delivery dates and quantities, delivery locations, and transportation methods. The need to manage a wide variety of interrelated information makes this job very complex.
A production control system is a great tool to help mitigate these complexities and support production activities. By introducing a production management system, manufacturers can maximize profits, streamline production management, and optimize production activities.

Functions of the production control system

Manufacturing is a broad term, as there are many different fields and types of products that are manufactured. Production control systems are diversifying to keep up and be specialized in the variety of manufacturing fields and products being manufactured.
A general production management system has the following functions:

Production planning

This function plans the production period, production quantity, production cost, etc. for product production. Many production management systems are equipped with a production scheduler, and users can create planning charts that are easy to understand – they can be visually appealing with color coding on calendars and Gantt charts. These planning charts can be shared across multiple departments, such as manufacturing sites and offices, and can also be used for production instructions, progress management, and process management.

Material management

To proceed with production according to a production plan, the correct materials must be available for each planned process. Material management is a function that manages these necessary materials. Within a production management system, it is possible to calculate the type and quantity of materials needed for production by linking that information with the production plan and creating a purchase plan to meet the deadline for use. Other functions related to material management include production number management, material arrangement chart, and requirements calculation.

Procurement management

Procurement management executes the purchase plan calculated by material management. This includes placing orders with suppliers, acceptance inspections at the time of receipt, paying manufacturing sites, and managing all purchases and payments.

Manufacturing management

Manufacturing management issues specific work instructions based on the production plan and manages work progress. There are also production management systems that allow users to enter and manage daily reports. By setting attributes and ability values for each machine, device, and worker used, organizations can see how much load was applied after the actual work was performed.

Inventory control

Inventory control supports inventory-related receipts and deliveries, inventory checks, and lot management. By managing inventory for everything from raw materials to work-in-progress and finished products, a production management system makes it possible to conduct follow-up investigations if and when defects occur. In addition, for products for which first-in, first-out is important, organizations can ensure first-in, first-out by managing each lot.

Sales management

A production management system can manage not only production but also sales. With a production management system in place, it’s possible to manage the issuance of quotations, orders, and shipments, and some can calculate sales, statistics of sales volume, and demand forecasting. Some are capable of managing accounts receivable and issuing invoices.

Options for implementing a production management system

When implementing a production management system, manufacturers must choose the introduction method and direction from multiple options.

Packaging or development

  • Package:
    A method of purchasing and introducing a system that has been made into a template or package to some extent. When compared to developing from scratch, the period of introduction can be shortened, and costs can be reduced.
  • Request to a development company:
    A method of requesting the development of a system and building an easy-to-use and customized system according to the business content of the company. It is suitable for niche fields that require special manufacturing and sales methods, and companies that sell their own manufacturing methods.

On-premises or cloud

  • On-premises:
    The application system is owned and managed by the company’s personal computers and servers. Since it is completed in-house, it is characterized by being easy to customize and link with other existing systems. In addition, as there is little communication with the outside, security can be maintained at a high level. However, the cost of implementation can be relatively high.
  • Cloud:
    Using a system on the cloud, such as a data center or an external server. Organizations can always keep it up-to-date and can keep installation costs down compared to on-premises. It can be accessed from personal computers and mobile terminals that do not have the application system installed and has excellent information sharing. However, there are some disadvantages, such as delays depending on the communication situation and security risks due to communication with the outside.

On-premises and the cloud each have their own disadvantages, but Edge Computing compensates for them. With Edge Computing, instead of sending all data to the cloud for processing, the platform sorts out data that can be processed by on-site terminals and data that should be processed and accumulated in the cloud.
This speeds up processing and improves security. In addition, by setting the main functions to be processed by on-site terminals, it is possible to continue operations even in situations where access to the cloud becomes impossible.

Migration, rebuild, and rewrite

  • Migration (replacement):
    Switch from the existing system to the new system.
  • Rebuild:
    The data will be left in the existing system and will then be migrated over to the new system. This method is often used by renovating an existing system to coincide with new business models.
  • Rewrite:
    If the language of the existing system is outdated or difficult to use, organizations can rewrite it into a modern mainstream language. This improves operational efficiency and security measures. The current operation can be maintained as it is, and a smooth transition can be made.

Advantages of introducing a production control system

By introducing a production management system, manufacturers can see the following benefits.

Real-time information sharing through centralized management

A production management system enables centralized management of critical information related to the functions introduced above. Centralized management of information enables real-time sharing of information and data, which can be leveraged to prevent mistakes, secure sales opportunities, and speed up management decisions.

Meeting needs by shortening lead times

By streamlining production activities with a production management system, organizations can shorten the product supply lead times. Manufacturers can respond quickly to changing trends and have a system in place to keep up with diversifying needs.

Optimization of management resources

In the past, management resources were considered “people, goods, and money,” but recently, “information, time, and intellectual property” have been added.

By managing intellectual property such as information, time, and the know-how related to manufacturing to date, as well as the allocation of people, the flow of goods, procurement, and sales, it becomes possible to optimally allocate management resources. By optimizing management resources, organizations can support more efficient management.

Streamlining production activities by operating a production management system

A production management system centralizes the management of a variety of manufacturing operations, efficiently optimizing management resources. It can also improve real-time information and data sharing across an organization.
Despite these great advantages, a production management system can also be a bit difficult to operate. Sometimes when sharing information, the value of that information decreases due to a lack of mechanisms that input the correct information.
To solve this problem and successfully implement a production management system, it’s crucial to automatically input accurate information and data in real time. Operating systems in the cloud can result in a large amount of data and latency issues, impacting the “real-time” nature of the data. With an Edge Computing platform – that processes data at the edge of operations – real-time performance and high reliability is achieved.

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