Original Date: 07/13/1992
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Development of Shop Floor Control System
Watervliet Arsenal (WVA) learned valuable lessons in developing its shop floor system and submitted the following information for consideration by companies evaluating similar approaches.
In May 1988, WVA embarked on an aggressive automation effort for shop floor control. This system would combine the functionalities of MRP/MPS, Finite Capacity Scheduling, and Tool and Gage Management with full resource checking capability. With the exception of the Tool and Gage Management System, this effort failed.
The development plan called for migration of shop floor control from a manual to an automated system. Several goals were very ambitious. The evolutions planned ranged from an ability to provide rough cut capacity check for labor only to finite capacity for all resources. The introduction of MPS/MRP and finite capacity scheduling at the same time was impossible to incorporate simultaneously.
Inadequate systems architecture provided another problem. The existing manufacturing systems were not equipped to adequately support data requirements of an integrated manufacturing information system. Project manager turnover was also a major problem during this time. Three different managers were responsible for this effort during a three year period. This lack of continuity contributed to an over-reliance on the contractor and poor interaction with the end user.
Contractor response problems stemmed from a lack of experience with the software chosen and limited systems integration knowledge. The selected bidder's proposal was one-half the next estimate, and the company had demonstrated poor performance on previous contracts. Procurement procedures in place failed to prevent this contract from being accepted.
WVA has reassessed its plan and has implemented a more realistic schedule for accomplishing shop floor control. The decision was also made to terminate the original contract. The new plan offers a phased approach to implement MRP building on the successes, and eliminate finite scheduling at this time. To ensure success, WVA is pursuing sole source of recognized expertise for the chosen MRP system.
To facilitate system ownership, the project management and implementing responsibilities for this effort were transferred to system end users.
For more information see the
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