Preactor Overview

What is Advanced Planning and Scheduling?

Siemens Advanced Planning and Scheduling is a solution for constraint-based production planning and shops floor scheduling. It enables manufacturers to respond quickly and intelligently to unexpected changes, while satisfying customer demands with shorter lead-times.

Advanced Planning and Scheduling improves the synchronization of manufacturing processes and provides greater visibility to increase utilization and on-time delivery while reducing inventory levels and waste. Its advanced math enables manufacturers to quickly analyze and calculate achievable production schedules while considering multiple constraints and business rules. Planners can generate and evaluate what-if scenarios to achieve the best results.

Advanced Planning & Scheduling is made up of powerful features that allow you to build a custom solution.

Advanced Planning and Scheduling using Simatic IT Preactor

Global competition necessitates manufacturers find ways to optimize production operations by reducing or eliminating non-value-added activities. Innovative technology continues to aid in this process, with various degrees of complexity in integrating that technology into the manufacturing operations workflow. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software offers dramatic an opportunity for efficiencies, with little disruption to operations, offering the perfect starting point for manufacturers ready to see what digitalization can do for them.

APS leverages algorithms to analyze and calculate achievable production schedules, considering a broad range of constraints and business rules, allowing manufacturing planners to generate and evaluate all possible scenarios – quickly – to make strategic, fully informed business decisions.

So, what’s the difference between planning and scheduling?

Production Planning And Scheduling

  • Decide what, when, where, and how much to make
  • Understand the materials and resources required
  • Plan work in the long term (days, weeks, months ahead)

Scheduling helps you

  • Choose the best way to execute against your plan
  • Sequence and synchronize
  • Understand priorities, constraints, and conflicts
  • Monitor execution and manage change
  • Plan work in the short term (minutes, hours, days ahead)

So, what’s the difference between planning and scheduling? Planning helps you decide what, when, where, and how much to make, understand the materials and resources required. The plan works in the long term (days, weeks, months ahead). Scheduling helps you choose the best way to execute against your plan, sequence and synchronize, understand priorities, constraints and conflicts, monitor execution and manage change. The plan works in the short term (minutes, hours, days ahead). APS isn’t just a nice to have – in today’s competitive market, it’s critical. Without APS, planners could never efficiently consider all the possible sequence combinations for their resources. Let’s look at the numbers: Scheduling 10 operations on 1 resource would result in 10! (3.6 million) possible sequence combinations. Simply adding one more operation increases the number of combinations 1000%. Since none of us have 8 quadrillion years – the amount of time it would take to compute the optimal solution for 30 operations at 1 billion combinations per second – relying on a scheduling tool just makes sense.

SIMATIC IT Preactor APS has been developed to highlight potential problems to allow proactive decision making to balance demand and capacity. SIMATIC IT Preactor APS is versatile and has compelling benefits for a wide range of manufacturers. From SMBs to large enterprises in any industry, SIMATIC IT Preactor APS.

  • reduces WIP
  • improves delivery performance
  • reduces inventory
  • shortens cycle times
  • and leads to rapid ROI.

Why SIMATIC IT Preactor?

Manufacturers cannot react quickly and intelligently to changes without planning & scheduling tools. The time it takes to generate a schedule using spreadsheets can take hours or even days and it can be difficult to maintain. If there is an unexpected change, it is not easy to generate a new schedule.

SIMATIC IT Preactor APS can be installed straight out of the box, can be customised and configured where necessary, without disturbing the core Preactor code. It can be used standalone to manage planning and scheduling and is also designed for integration with other software such as ERP, MES, Data collection, Forecasting, Demand Planning, and OEE applications.

SIMATIC IT Preactor AS is a scheduling tool primarily for manufacturers who need to schedule machines, production lines, and resources, but Preactor is also used in services and logistics. With many case studies, it has been proven successful across most industry sectors including Aerospace and Automotive, Engineering, Food and Beverage, Consumer Goods and many more.

SIMATIC IT Preactor AP is an essential planning tool for companies who want to enhance competitiveness, increase profits and improve customer service. Effective purchasing of economic quantities of raw materials and timely use of this raw material is key to reducing one of the greatest production problems; unnecessary high stock levels of both finished product and raw materials; and the possibility of this stock reaching its sell-by date before being consumed.

ERP MES Integration

SIMATIC IT Preactor links to, adds value and extends many ERP and MES systems to help companies become leaner and has been used with more than 200 ERP and MES products.

Most ERP systems use the concept of infinite capacity and backward scheduling. ERP systems do not have the capacity to calculate the projected impact of overloaded work or to calculate the cause and effect of any changes on the available capacity or scheduled completion of orders.

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) systems, however, are dynamic in nature and provide you real-life impact and visibility based on your constraints. Also, APS systems are super-fast and efficient in processing inputs which means you can make business decisions on the go.

SIMATIC IT Preactor offers additional detailed scheduling functionality that most ERP systems do not have

The impressive benefits of adding Preactor APS to ERP systems include:

  • up to 30% reduction in setup time
  • up to 60% reduction in planning time
  • up to 20% increase in productivity
  • up to 30% reduction of production cycle length
  • up to 80% decrease in materials inventory/stock
  • up to 2/3 reduction in work in progress
  • reduction of backlog
  • improved quality of material and information flow between departments
  • improved visibility and the ability to react to unexpected events
  • improved delivery performance and customer satisfaction
  • more effective skilled employee scheduling, reduction in overtime costs
  • fast implementation time
  • fast ROI, often in weeks

Capability Comparison

Parameters Excel ERP APS
Data security
Data loss prevention
Data Corruption prevention
Complexity handling
Complexity handling
Capacity planning- finite
Capacity planning- infinite
Resource capacity
Decision making capability
Customization capability for planning and scheduling
Additional constraints
Multiple attributes
What- if analysis with comparisons
Easy Rescheduling
Integration with other software
Reporting feature

Next Steps