Manufacturing Planning and Control

What is Manufacturing Planning and Control?

Manufacturing planning and control is the process by which a manufacturing company orchestrates production operations. Through manufacturing planning and control, a manufacturer ensures that the right raw materials in the right quantities are in the right place for production operations as scheduled; that personnel and equipment are where they need to be when they need to be there; and that manufacturing operations occur in an efficient and productive manner. The end result of successful manufacturing planning and control is on-time delivery of efficiently produced goods. Manufacturing planning software is a critical component of an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) solution (see: Advanced Planning software).

Although manufacturing planning and control has been a function performed within manufacturing companies for as long as such companies have existed, demands on today’s manufacturers warrant a digital approach to manufacturing planning and control.

Manufacturing planning and control software enables manufacturers to author and implement comprehensive plans that link products, operations, resources, and facilities to run their enterprise more efficiently. Manufacturing planning and control software uses product and process digital twins to create and simulate detailed steps for manufacturing processes, moving manufacturing operations toward error-free production. Manufacturing planning and control software connects people, systems and machines via a digital thread, which enables manufacturers to accumulate and re-use knowledge for continuous improvement.

Business colleagues sitting a desk meeting to discuss manufacturing planning and control strategies.

Manufacturing Planning and Control Software Applications

Several types and aspects of manufacturing operations are supported by manufacturing planning and control software:

Assembly manufacturing is supported by manufacturing planning and control software to plan, optimize and validate assembly operations before production, and to control manufacturing processes. Manufacturing planning software manages tasks from planning and detailed engineering to shop floor execution. It helps to automate and streamline assembly manufacturing.

Geographic-based manufacturing information access is provided through manufacturing planning and control software for navigation, access, and visualization of up-to-date manufacturing information, using a digital twin of production facilities wherever they are located.

Manufacturing data and process management uses manufacturing planning and control software and a digital thread to connect people, systems, and machines, and to accumulate and manage manufacturing data and process knowledge. This intelligence enables manufacturers to engage in continuous process improvement.

Part manufacturing operations use manufacturing planning and control software to make higher quality parts faster by digitalizing production management. As part of manufacturing planning efforts, advanced software may be used to design tooling and fixtures and to drive CNC machine tools, robots, 3D printers, and inspection equipment.

Production systems engineering is supported by manufacturing planning and control software to engineer better production systems faster. Manufacturing planning and control software integrates engineering, automation, and controls to help create and operate more efficient factories.

Benefits of Manufacturing Planning Software

Manufacturing planning and control systems digitally reconcile information that previously was maintained by disparate systems, such as engineering and manufacturing bills of materials (BOMs). It provides time management solutions and enables manufacturers to leverage connected information in a way that fosters collaboration, standardization, integration, and sharing of manufacturing knowledge.

Additional Benefits:

  • Provides full visibility and control

  • Increases utilization and leaner operations

  • Speeds production implementation and response to change

  • Results in higher margins