Equipment is designed for companies that primarily make equipment service.

M3 PWB is a maintenance planning tool for decision making on the medium and long horizon. The primary purpose is to get an overview of load and capacity and, if required, make decisions. Data must be aggregated and structured in a flexible way into the information that is required to make these decisions. These decisions are the most important in maintenance planning:

  • Move maintenance in time, for example, premaintenance or postpone maintenance
  • Change capacity
  • Move orders
    • Move to other work centers inside same facility
    • Move to another facility
    • Move to or from subcontractors

M3 PWB is part of M3 Maintenance Planning solution, which covers the extended ERP system. The Maintenance Planning solution has three key elements:

  • Macro Orders

    An aggregation of work orders for planning purposes.

  • Planning Workbench

    A desktop decision support application for planners.

  • Action Log

    A closed loop system for managing and implementing decisions.

This diagram shows the M3 Product Planning solution.

M3 Product Planning Solutio

Macro Orders

Macro Orders are an aggregation of orders on M3 BE for planning purposes. The aggregation is based on user-defined criteria.

Macro Orders dramatically reduce the number of orders for planning and significantly improve simulation performance during planning, and the time for loading data into a memory-resident simulation environment.

Macro Orders transforms a work order with multiple operations into one Macro Order that only contains critical operations and critical material.

Planning Workbench

M3 PWB contains two Workbenches, the Capacity Workbench and the Material Workbench, from where the planner can get an overview and make all the decisions. The Workbenches enable the user to select, aggregate, and structure data to give all necessary information.

The Capacity Workbench is used to display capacity and loading across work centers, facilities, and other relevant dimensions.

The Material Workbench is used to display stock levels, coverage periods, and other material information. Coverage periods are important for critical components.

Action Log

Decisions made in M3 PWB are implemented in M3 BE through the Action Log. Decisions are stored in the Action Log in the order they are made in M3 PWB. Then, from the Action Log, decisions are automatic or manually implemented in M3 BE.

The Action Log is used to manage and implement the decisions that are made in the Planning Workbench. Unlike spreadsheets and many other planning applications, the planning decisions are logged and a status is maintained against them.

  • Supervisors can see the decisions on which they must take action, such as increasing the capacity for a two-week period.
  • The loop between planning and execution is closed so that the status of implementing decisions is taken into consideration in the next planning cycle.

Maintenance Planning solution

The Maintenance Planning solution is designed as a planning tool for decision taking. In M3 BE, orders are aggregated as macro orders. The planner has the correct information to make all the planning decisions.

In M3 PWB, the planner can then select, structure, and aggregate these data to give all the necessary information to make decisions. The planner can then simulate the consequences of these decisions. When all the decisions are made, then the decisions are stored in the Action Log and implemented in M3 BE.

The Equipment industry component is designed for companies that primarily make equipment service and rental.

Equipment Planning concept

An important element in implementing M3 BE and M3 PWB is to identify a planning concept, which defines how the company is run and the different planning levels and how the different planning levels interact.

This diagram shows an example of a planning concept for an Equipment company.

Equipment Planning levels

The company in the scenario has three facilities. M3 PWB is used for planning in each facility. Scheduling is performed using M3 BE Scheduling Board (MOS199). Each facility is divided in two scheduling areas. A global planner uses M3 PWB to get an overview across facilities.

On the short horizon, the M3 BE Scheduling Board is used to perform detailed scheduling at the individual employer level. One or many M3 BE Scheduling Board can be installed in each facility.

On the medium horizon, M3 PWB is used at the facility level for planning at the work-center level or included at the work-center level. The factory planning plan focuses on capacity and material for each facility. The detailed M3 BE plan is respected by M3 PWB and is updated by M3 PWB through decisions and actions at the work-center level.

On the long horizon, that is, global planning, all the facilities are planned together at the work-center level or included at the work-center level. The planning horizon in this scenario can be up to years in the future. Global planning provides a full overview of the entire company. Global planning has many purposes. Inside the same horizon as for the factory planning, global planning primarily allows to validate that the factories plans are correct and that the different factory plans are aligned. For example, this validation allows avoiding overload, overtime, and subcontracting in one facility and freeing capacity in another facility. If required, the global planner can decide to move the load, that is, macro orders, between facilities and notify the affected facilities. Because decisions such as increasing capacity, build new facilities, and use subcontracting, are based on the information that is available in M3 PWB, global planning also interacts with top management.

Orders that are based on operation forecast in status 10 are recreated by the SRP. Therefore, in M3 BE, you cannot implement decisions on operation forecast macro orders. If operation forecast macro orders keep their macro order number, then you can keep the decisions, that is, "Move operation", "Set forced resource", and "Split order", locally in M3 PWB.

Equipment operations

In Equipment, the individual operations on each macro order that is imported from M3 BE are not planned in M3 PWB. Instead, the macro order is planned as a whole and represented by a single Equipment operation in M3 PWB.

In M3 PWB, an Equipment operation is created for each imported macro order. This operation is a normal operation and is assigned a start time, an end time, and an operation time. These times are based on this information from the other operations on the macro order:

  • The planned start, that is, the earliest start of the other operations.
  • The planned end, that is, the latest end of the other operations.
  • The operation time that is calculated in calendar time and from the planned end and the planned start.
  • The due date, that is, the planned end of the Equipment operation.

The Description field on the Equipment operation contains the text "Equipment operation".

All the other operations on the macro order are imported as LCO operations. In M3 BE, LCO operations are called critical non-controlling operations. These operations are created as parallel operations to the Equipment operation and are never planned. The LCOs hold the information necessary for load calculation. Their load can be viewed in the reports. In the plan, their load is distributed evenly from the start to the end of the Equipment operation.