Automatic Functions

The Automatic Functions component is a toolbox of functions that you can use when required. You can set up and execute all the automatic functions as macro behaviors. Thus, you can use these functions in actions and action containers in the processes workflows.
Automatic function Description
Add scoreboard counts to trend Add current scoreboard values to scoreboard register. Scoreboard trend can identify if KPI improves or worsens. This automatic function is often used together with export of plan to save scoreboard values at time of export.
Calculate bottom-up low level code When displaying project orders networks in APS Network, the bottom-up low level codes are important. Project order networks are complicated and bottom-up low level codes ensure better visibility.
Calculate coverage days on orders This function allows calculating the coverage days, that is, how many days it can cover using on-hand balance, for all orders. It is recommended that you use the default bucket ID. Therefore, the same Bucket ID is used to calculate the coverage days in the workbenches and on the orders.

The calculated coverage days are inserted on the order header together with the coverage days of the previous bucket. The values are displayed in the fields Coverage days and Previous coverage days on the Pull-up and Misc tab of the Order Maintenance panel.

Calculate learning curve start day on locked operations This function allows calculating the learning curve start day on the locked operations.
Calculate stock buffer This function allows calculating the size of the stock buffer based on supplies, demands, and the replenishment level that is used in TOC planning with production to stock. The result is inserted into the field Remaining buffer percentage on the Order Maintenance panel. The Remaining buffer type field is set to Stock.
Calculate tact time This function allows calculating the correct tact and duration times for lean line production with these characteristics:
  • Products move like a train from one station to the next.
  • A product that has finished on a station cannot be moved on before the product on the next station is ready to leave for its next station.

For example, an automatic moving car assembly line that consists of a number of stations in sequence.

This function allows calculating the setup time and the post operation time. The throughput of the line is controlled by the tact of the first station. The tact is the sum of the operation time and the setup time.

The lead time of the line is the sum of the first station's tact. The post operation time is the time from the rest of the stations.
Note: You must use the setup time from the operation both in forward planning and in keep schedule. Therefore, you must set the parameters on the resource accordingly.
Change delivery terms on orders This function allows changing delivery terms on orders according to selection.
Change operations This function can change resource selected by operation field filter.
Change order links This function can change order links on orders selected by order link field filter.
Change order status This function can change status on orders selected by order filter. You can change the order status to 10, 20, 60, or restore order status.
Change pull-up codes on orders This function can change pull-up codes on orders selected by order filter.
Change resources

This function can change resource selected by field filter. You can change these options:

  • Capacity level
  • Push-pull resource mark
  • Shift pattern
  • Priority bottleneck mark
Clean demand/supply/link information All the internal connections between, for example, items, orders, and materials, are contained in a DSL structure. If items are deleted, this structure remains in the Planning application, but is no longer valid. To remove the structure, run Clean DSL.
Co-sorting key generator This function allows generating a co-sorting key for a selected work center. Select the constructor ID and the work center.

It is possible that the co-sorting key is valuable for both sequencing and information purposes. For example, you can set up this function to be executed in the same action container as the initializing plan. The import of data is followed by the generation of co-sorting keys. Optionally, a simulation is initiated and the information is available for information purposes and subsequent sequencing.

Comparison delay This function allows calculating the difference in delay, positive or negative, in days compared to the last simulation. Before using the Compare Delay function, select one of these options:
  1. Reset Compare delay

    The saved compare delay value is reset. The Orders list only displays the delay from the most recent simulation.

  2. Copy delay to Compare delay

    The delay from the previous simulation is saved as the compare delay. You can compare the next calculated delay to the previous delay.

The Delay, the Compare delay, and the calculated difference between Delay and Compare delay are inserted on the Delivery Capacity tab in the Orders list. The total difference and average difference are also displayed.

We recommend that you set these operations up as an action in your workflow so that it fits into your process of working. This example shows a typical workflow:
  1. Optionally, run Compare Delay with Reset Compare Delay.
  2. Simulate following your scenario one.
  3. Run Compare Delay with Copy Delay to Compare Delay.
  4. Change the plan or Simulate again with the settings of which you want to compare the effect.
  5. Analyze from Orders.
Note: To be able to go back to the previous plan, remember to make a version copy before running the second simulation.
Compress version This function allows automatic compressing of a schedule version. Specify the version to be compressed, a destination path, and a file name. You can add a password for the compressing. You can compress more than one volume.
Construct local order group number This function allows constructing local order group numbers. Define and adjust the selection and grouping criteria to assign the numbers.
Construct schedule number (order) This function allows constructing the schedule number on orders according to selections.
Construct XYZ information This function allows defining which features and options are mapped into the X, Y, and Z fields on the order header.

You can define features and options as different aspects of the product. You can define options as the possible values of each aspect. You can define a feature group as a group of similar aspects. For example, the feature group is size. The features are women size and men size. The options are S, M, L, and XL.

The feature groups, features, and options are stored in the Planning application in the component Sequence Optimization Controls on the Configurations tab.

If all the fields X, Y, and Z are blank, then the XYZ information record is not created.

Copy lead time on distribution items This function copies lead time from supplying item or warehouse to manufacturing item or warehouse. If lead time only is defined on purchase warehouse, but material shortage can occur on manufacturing warehouse (no distribution orders) then copying lead time to manufacturing warehouse ensure the lead time is respected no matter where shortage occur.
Copy start from external requirements through links This function allows examining the external requirements that are linked to each order through order initiated links or pre-allocations or both. If it is defined, the external requirement with the earliest start of shipping buffer is located. Otherwise, the earliest start date of the requirement is located. This earliest start date is copied to the order.
Note: The due date on the order is set only if the order is not sub-network marked and if it does not have a locked due date.

This function complements material synchronization using the material synchronization parameter Respect due date from spare part customer orders. If the links are created during the material synchronization, only the shipping buffer from customer orders (external requirements) to manufacturing orders is copied.

Copy version This function allows copying one schedule version to another. You can specify the source and target version, add a description, and allow overwriting of an existing to-version.
Create local macro orders

This function creates local macro orders. Planning on aggregated orders provides a better overview and allows taking decisions at a macro order level, but the plan is not as detailed as the plan created on individual orders.

Local macro orders are aggregations of MOs or MOPs with these same characteristics:

  • Main product
  • Routing (if alternate routing is used)
  • Scheduling number (must be different from zero)
  • Number of operations
  • Due date (optional)

Select Order type to control if local macro orders are created for manufacturing orders, order proposals, or both.

You can use Co-sorting key position to sequence the orders inside the local macro order. It is the co-sorting key for the last primary operation.

If Group on due date is not selected, the workbench gets the earliest due date on all orders in the local macro order and uses the due date on the local macro order.

You can use Aggregate operation time on operations using total time if the total time is aggregated. If the total time is fixed like drying, then the total time should not be aggregated.

Generate secondary supplies takes the supply for each order inside the local macro order and creates a secondary supply on the local macro order. This keeps the material profile for the items produced by the orders inside the local macro orders.

Note: The workbench cannot include planning entities and MOs or MOPs without scheduling number in a local macro order. You can use the Automatic function Construct schedule number (order) to create a schedule number locally in the workbench.

You can also view and create local macro orders manually from the order report.

Create or remove pre-allocations This function allows creating and removing of pre-allocations based on existing order links within a horizon. When this operation is completed, the standard rules for pre-allocations are applied, that is, order links from released orders to released orders or firmed order proposals. The pre-allocation days are calculated as calendar days from the scheduled start.
Create orders This function allows creating orders for end items in the Planning application using the function End Item Orders - Create.

To decide to delete existing orders before the creation and to ignore the order number during the creation, use the fields in the Properties section.

Delete all orders This function allows deleting all the orders. This function can be used before creating orders to clean the planned orders.
Delete orders with all operations completed This function allows deleting orders where the status of all the operations is 80: Finish marked but not closed or 90: Finish marked and closed.
Export version This function can export a version by compressing the schedule version. The use can specify destination and file name.
Firming order proposals This function allows firming the orders that meet these criteria:
  • The orders are Manufacturing Order Proposals or Distribution Order Proposals.
  • The Order Status is between one and 79 included.

You cannot firm Order Dependent Orders.

Forced export The operations that are planned inside the frozen horizon are marked to be forced exported.
Generic setting of due time and earliest start This function allows setting the earliest start or due date on the selected orders.
Inherit priority from CO to MO This function allows inheriting the order priority from customer orders to delivering orders. You can also reset the changed priorities to the initial values.

If the inherited order priority is greater than the existing priority, then it is copied to the order priority or the network priority on the order header. If an order delivers to many external requirements (COs), then the priority from the most important external requirement is used.

The inherited priority is not exported back to M3 BE. This action requires a customer modification of the parameter file.

This function also allows transferring the earliest receipt date from the external requirements to the order header of the MO.

Keep in progress If some operations are in process, that is, with the status 60, then the operations with the same from or to part of the co-sorting key and that are planned inside the horizon get the sequence status 15 and are moved to the same resource.
Lock due date This function allows locking the due date on the selected orders.
Mark critical path Critical paths are used project order networks. Project order networks can contain many orders and critical paths are important to identify.
Mark orders for automatic change of alternate routing This function allows marking orders for a change of alternate routing. Select the marking criteria and clear all the orders before the selection.
Mark orders for export This function marks all orders for export to M3 Business Engine. This is selected by default during the importation of orders.

If you do not want to export a specific order, select Clear in the Set or Clear Export Mark field.

Mark resources for treatment after sequencing This function allows marking or clearing the resources to process the sequencing.
Operation priority flag This function allows a more precise control of prioritization of the orders that contain one or more bottleneck operations.

This function allows selecting the operations that are planned on a selected work center, on the work centers of a selected report work center list or all the operations, irrespective of the work center. The selected operations are marked as priority controlling. Consequently, the Internal order priority calculation uses the latest end from the priority controlling operation instead of the latest end from the order. This means that the order is prioritized according to the priority controlling operation and its position inside the order (operation 10, 30 or 50).

A check mark in the Operation priority flag field in the Operation Maintenance panel shows that the operation priority flag is set on the operation.

This function also allows removing an already set marking from the selected operations.

If another work center than the defined becomes critical for the priority calculation, this function allows selecting easily this work center as priority controlling instead.

Parallel production on quantity fill-up resource This function allows planning operations in parallel on fill-up resources. The operations are grouped according to the latest end. The capacity within a given group is shared among the operations in the group, thus allowing the operations to end at the approximately same time.

The Locked sequence control in the Preparation and Sequencing part of the Automatic simulation keeps the parallel production when performing an automatic simulation.

Propagate color group This function allows propagating the color group number that is defined on external requirements to all the orders in the order hierarchy below.

The end item orders are processed one by one. If an end item order is linked to one or more external requirements, then the largest color group number is propagated to the orders in the network below. If the color group number is zero, then nothing is propagated. If several end item orders exist in the network, then the color group number can be overwritten.

Propagate demand factors The end-item orders deliver to these types of demands:
  • Customer order
  • Forecast
  • Stock replenishment
  • Other demands

This function calculates the percentage for these types of demands and saves the data in the order header.

For component orders, the percentage is calculated pro rata from the parent orders.

Propagate external requirement pegging This function allows propagating the CO external order number and order category through the order network and saving this information on orders.

If an order is delivering to several COs, then the CO with the earliest requirement date, that is, the due date, is the most important. Therefore, the pegging is done to the earliest CO.

Propagate material availability Material availability identifies how much material is available for an order. If a component order delivers to a parent order, then propagating material availability from a component order to a parent order enables the planner to know and validate material availability through BOM levels.
Propagate oven status

The Sequence method Oven repetition plans subsequent oven operations on the same oven resource. To keep this oven sequence repetitive, all the subsequent oven operations must already have the sequence status 17.

The Sequence Status 17 is applied from the first oven operation to all the subsequent oven operations. When the first oven operation is started, the Operation Status 60 is also applied to the subsequent oven operations.

Propagate quantities to operations This function copies the planned quantity of Manufactured Order Proposals from the order header to the orders operation. Only operations with no planned quantity are changed. The scheduling status of the changed operations is set to Not scheduled.
Publish version This function allows publishing a new schedule version automatically. The oldest version is automatically overwritten. Specify the version, the name, and the version group name. Set the oldest version as obsolete.

When installing the Viewers, we recommend to select the parameter Timeout Control and set the parameter Version Control to Newest. This operation secures that non-active viewers are sent to the Main menu to allow overwriting. The version of the viewer is automatically changed to the newest version while a notification is given that a new version has been activated.

Ready to start - local macro orders This function allows setting or resetting the forced start on local macro orders. This function allows preventing incomplete job reporting from causing the subsequent operations to be produced later than initially planned. To do so, a forced start is set on the subsequent operations that are calculated on basis of the actual start date of the previous operation. You can only use this function for local macro orders on operations with the sequencing statuses 10, 15, and 17 in schedule if they follow operations with the statuses 70, 80, and 90.

In this example, a started operation, Op 10, is reported as partially finished. The subsequent operations, Op 20 and Op 30, are planned immediately after the planned end of the operation Op 10. The earliest start date of the operation Op 20 is calculated on the basis of the last job reporting, that is, the last time stamp, and the reported quantity. If the job reporting is incomplete, it is possible that the last time stamp is any time and you cannot trust the reported quantity either. The earliest start date for the operation Op 20 is then calculated based on the incomplete job reporting that indicates that the operation Op 10 is not on schedule. Consequently, you can move forward the operations Op 20 and Op 30 in schedule.

This function allows freezing the subsequent operations, here Op 20 and Op 30, in the original schedule using a forced start date, Ready to start. The Ready to start date for these operations is calculated in this way:

Actual start time of the previous operation plus operation time of the previous operation

The actual start time is transferred from the M3 BE. The operation time used is the full production time, that is, the reported quantity, if any, is ignored.

Rebuild demand/supply/link information All the internal connections between, for example, items, orders, and materials, are contained in a DSL structure. If items are deleted, this structure is still in the Planning application, but is no longer valid. Rebuilding DSL allows deleting this structure and rebuilding it from the item or structure information. You must execute this function each time that items are read into the Planning application.
Note: When the Rebuild DSL function is executed, all the synchronization links are deleted.
Reimplement actions This function allows keeping decisions in M3 Planning Workbench that you cannot implement in M3 BE. When the data is imported, the non-implemented actions are returned to M3 Planning Workbench. This function allows recreating actions of the types CHGWC1 and OPRSTATUS as decisions of the types Set/unset forced resource and Set/unset forced start and/or sequencing status when they are returned during import. When exporting actions again, the reimplemented actions are exported once more.

For example, you can use this function to keep macro orders based on forecasts in M3 Planning Workbench. You cannot implement the forecasts in M3 BE, therefore they are returned to M3 Planning Workbench. To keep the forecast, you can make the decisions again manually in M3 Planning Workbench after every import or you can use this function to automatically recreate the decisions.

Reset internal order number You can import an alphanumeric order number up to 25 characters. In the Planning application, this alphanumeric order number is converted to an internal numeric order number. A reference between the alphanumeric and numeric order number is stored. This function allows resetting this reference.
Note: Running this automatic function causes the export to M3 Business Engine to fail because the order numbers are missing.
Reset stock This function allows resetting the stock to zero for all the items.
Note: This function is useful when updating the stock from a text file. If items with zero in stock have no record in the text file, then the stock value is the same value as in the previous plan. The Reset stock function allows initializing all the stock values to zero. Then you can update the new values from the text file.
Respect due date on order This function allows setting or resetting the Respect due date on order marking, where the due date on a marked order is respected even if it delivers to a parent order with a later due date.

Select the work centers or the resources on which all the planned orders are affected.

Save date and time to be used in automatic simulation This function can save date and time when order import is executed. This allows subsequent simulations to use saved date and time and thereby respect when orders were imported.
Save learning curve history The Learning curve history is saved inside the entered horizon. If the plan start is moved forward in time, then the saved history is used by the Update Internal Capacity Model to move the learning curve progress accordingly.
Schedule number (operation) All the operations with a planned start before the selected horizon get an increasing schedule number, starting from one and in increments of the selected schedule number step. The schedule number of all the other operations is set to zero. In a subsequent simulation, you can sort the operations by a schedule number. Therefore, you can keep the operation sequence.
Sequencing status This function allows defining the sequencing status that is automatically applied to the operations within different scheduling horizons. These horizons are essential to the scheduling decisions being respected in subsequent scheduling, manufacturing execution, and in the next planning.
Set color group This function allows assigning a color group to the orders whose operations are scheduled on selected resources.

This function allows looping through the selected resources one by one and checking the operations that are scheduled on them. The order to which an operation belongs is then assigned a color group from a specified color group interval. The first order is assigned the first color group of the interval, the second order is assigned the second color group, etc. When the last color group in the interval is reached, the assigning starts over using the first color group again.

This function allows assigning the same color group to all the orders with the same main product. If the next order is assigned to the color group 4, but has the same main product as the order that is assigned the color group 2, then it is also assigned the color group 2. The color group 4 is then assigned to the next order that does not have the same main product as one of the previous orders.

You can reduce the number of orders assigned to a color group using a horizon that limits the selection to operations that are scheduled on the selected resources in a period of a specified number a days after the schedule start.

Note: Because an order has more than one operation scheduled on one of the selected resources in the specified period, you can assign a color group more than once to the order. In this case, the last color group is displayed, that is, the latest setting overrules all previous settings.
Set color on operations This function is used to select a logic for the operation coloring of many reports including the Scheduling Board.
Set distribution order status for release The Distribution Order Proposal statuses are set to 60, which releases the DOP. To select the released DOP, specify the warehouse or the horizon.
Set efficiency on operations This function allows setting efficiency on the selected operations.
Set facility on orders This function allows retrieving the facility that contains the warehouse of the order (item) using the warehouse table, the facility table, or the division table. The facility is inserted on the order header in the field COHFAC.
Set forced resource This function allows setting or resetting the forced resource on the selected resources.
You can use the Operation Selection section to fine-tune the operation selection by performing one of these actions:
  • Leaving out the operations that already have a forced resource or the operations in process
  • Using a defined number of working days as a selection criterion
When using M3 Planning Workbench, this section also enables the creation of an action for each operation that has set or reset a forced resource.
  • These operations are skipped:
    • The operations that do not fulfill the defined capability rules
    • The operations that are APP processed, only for M3 Planning Workbench, that is, the forced resource is NOT set for these operations
  • You cannot set or reset a forced resource on a Load Calculation Operation (LCO). If a forced resource is set or reset on a primary operation that has an LCO as secondary operation, then the effect on the LCO depends on its origin:
    • If the LCO is created as a Local Parallel operation, then a new Work center resource is generated from the parallel operations register according to the resource of the changed primary operation.
    • If the LCO is imported from M3 BE, then the facility part of its work center resource ID is changed to the same facility as the changed primary operation. If no work center resource in the new facility matches the changed work center resource ID, then a warning is displayed and an entry is inserted in the spool file.
Set minimum material status on orders For manufacturing orders, it is important to see the minimum status for supplying materials. This makes it possible to see which manufacturing orders have all materials available and make it possible for the planner to take decisions on which orders to produce first.
Set order overlap This function allows setting the order overlap on all the order links with a component item within a given range.
Set series group number This function allows setting or resetting a series group number on orders.

The Grouping control defines the grouping criterion. The operations on orders with the same item number or the same free group get the same series group number. Additionally, you can use the Group on network priority and Group on Due date options as grouping criteria.

When an operation in a series group is planned, the operation cannot start earlier than any already planned operation within the same group, that is, another operation with the same series group number on the order header.

During automatic simulation, this logic is used when calculating the earliest start or latest end:
  1. Loop through all the already planned operations in the same group.
  2. Calculate the operation end plus series group buffer, from the item on the order header, for all the operations in the same group.
The operation cannot start earlier than the latest operation end plus series group buffer on all the operations in the same group:
  1. Using forward scheduling, an operation on one order cannot start earlier than the end of a previously scheduled operation on another order if both orders have identical series group numbers.
  2. Using Pull-up, an operation on one order cannot end later than the start of an already pulled-up operation on another order if both orders have identical series group numbers.

The series group logic is put on top of the existing logic for calculating the earliest start. First the normal earliest start is calculated, without series group number. Then, the earliest start is calculated for the series group. The resulting earliest start is the latest of these.

Set work center on operation This function allows setting the work center of the selected operations. Only the operations where the forced resource is defined are updated and the included-in-work center on the forced resource is used to update the work center field on the operation.
Swap orders in schedule Fully identical orders that are scheduled right after each other on the selected work center are interchanged so that they are scheduled in ascending order numbers. The order with the lowest order number is scheduled to start first.
The orders in a group must meet these conditions:
  1. Same PEG-ID, which you must specify
  2. Same item number
  3. Same number of operations
  4. Same order status, with the maximum value of 50
You must have identical information for all the operations:
  1. Scheduled quantity
  2. Operation time
  3. Work center
  4. Scheduled Work center resource
  5. Forced start time
  6. Operation Sequence Status 15 or less
  7. Operation Status is not 60.

It is recommended that you apply the sequence 15 to the operations on the selected work center. Consequently, you can keep the sequence. Otherwise, a new simulation will move the operations back.

Timer function This function allows putting the system on hold until the timer has expired. If MRP runs at night time, then the order import is postponed until MRP is finished.

Alternatively, to start the system at a certain time and the order import after MRP is finished, you can use Windows Scheduler or a similar function.

Transfer main warehouse to work zone on resource Based on facility on resource, this function allows finding the main warehouse in the warehouse register and copying the value to the Work zone field on the resource.
Note: If the work zone is already defined, the value is not changed.
Unfirming planned manufacturing order proposals Only the Manufacturing Order Proposals (MOPs) that have been firmed in the Planning application using the Firming order proposals automatic function since the last import from M3 BE are unfirmed.

You cannot unfirm MOPs that have firmed manually from Orders in the Planning application. You cannot unfirm Distribution Order Proposals.

Use shipping buffer on external requirements

This function allows considering the shipping buffer on external requirement. This function allows calculating a start date for the requirement or the start date of the shipping buffer. The value is inserted in the start date for requirement or the start of the shipping buffer in the external requirements. An option allows calculating the remaining shipping buffer and inserting the value in Remaining buffer percentage in the external requirements.

Symbols and buttons

See the symbol and button tooltips in the application.