Start Designing a Planning and Scheduling Program

If you need to implement a new planning and scheduling program, you’re probably discovering that the task can be rather daunting. You need the right resources, the right organizational support, the right data, the right business practices, the right amount of time, the right change management approach, and the list goes on. This high level generic stuff may seem like implementing planning and scheduling just isn’t within your grasp. But there are ways to achieve an environment that will support a planning and scheduling program that works with what you already have in place and takes into account what your team is able to manage throughout implementation and beyond. If you take a closer look at what you already have, putting the final touches on a successful planning and scheduling program may not really be that big a beast to tackle.

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The Story of a Work Order

by Tarek Atout

Once upon a time in a maintenance department, a work order woke up in the morning, feeling very lazy, unable to open his eyes or get up to walk. It’s been a long time for him in the same room, nobody knocks on the door to say hello, how are you, or to release him so he can show his presence. He looks in the mirror and finds he has changed a lot since being created and kept in the backlog. Looking at gray hair covering his head, he tries to remember his lifecycle since that day when he became a pending order waiting for spare parts to arrive. This spurred his friends to give him the nickname, “Nomat.” Continue reading

Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Basics

by Daryl Mather

Planning and scheduling functions are the key deliverables of the planning role. This is where the most gains in execution have the potential to be made and acted upon. In some larger organisations these are split, allowing more adequate resources for each role.

The role of the planner needs to cover the full range of the work order system, from input into coding, prioritization and a degree of autonomy in execution. As such these roles, more and more, need to be staffed by skilled and versatile people.

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Planning and Scheduling in the Process Industry

by Josef Kallrath

Since there has been tremendous progress in planning and scheduling in the process industry during the last 20 years,it might be worthwhile to give an overview of the current state-of-the-art of planning and scheduling problems in the chemical process industry. This is the purpose of the current review which has the following structure: we start with some conceptional thoughts and some comments on special features of planning and scheduling problems in the process industry. In Section 2 the focus is on planning problems while in Section 3 different types of scheduling problems are discussed. Section 4 presents some solution approaches especially those applied to a benchmark problem which has received considerable interest during the last years. Section 5 allows a short view into the future of planning and scheduling. In the appendix we describe the Westenberger-Kallrath problem which has already been used extensively as a benchmark problem for planning and scheduling in the process industry.    Continue reading →


A Planner’s Tool Kit


About 25% of a Planner’s time should be spent in the field, assessing and “scoping” maintenance work. To make this time as useful as possible, a good “planner’s tool kit” is essential. A good planner’s tool kit should contain the following items, all in convenient package, such as a light-weight tool belt.  Continue reading →