Manufacturing Today - November/December 2017 - 45

LillyWorks Inc.

lillyworks clients have
enjoyed benefits of protected
flow manufacturing, including
val zanchuk of graphicast.

confusion about which job to work
on next. Google "Little's Law" and
you'll see that the less you put in WIP,
the faster whatever is in WIP will flow
through the shop. In this way, the start
date of the framework protects you
from putting too much work into WIP.
Once the job is released to WIP and
as time goes by, the job is prioritized
by the amount of buffer remaining
compared to other jobs in WIP. The
less buffer remaining, the higher priority. It's that simple.

The Predictor - A Crystal Ball
for your Shop Floor
"The Protected Flow Manufacturing
software also has the ability to look
into the future," Lilly says. Thanks to
a feature known as "The Predictor,"
users can see a simulation of the execution methodology.
"It knows your capacity, your people, departments and groups," he
says. "It shows you which jobs it is going to run in what sequence and why,
and if a resource becomes free what
job it is going to select to be worked
on at that future moment in time."
The system can simulate hundreds
of work orders in a matter of minutes

and even warn the user about future
problems. "You can see how often
a job ran into another job or people
constraints or why it is predicted to
be late out in the future," he says.
"I can take that information and do
something about it now before it bites
me in the future. The simulation also
gives me a method to commit a delivery date to my customer that I'm very
confident of achieving."

Bringing Benefits
LillyWorks clients such as Graphicast
Inc. and Mid-Continent Engineering
have enjoyed the benefits of the Protected Flow Manufacturing system.
For example, the software allows
users to control how and when to release jobs, manage their buffer sizes
and prioritize based on buffer remaining, which often leads to shorter lead
times and much better on-time delivery performance.
"A six- to eight-week lead time can
become a three- to four-week lead
time," Lilly explains, adding that
some of its clients have been rewarded with premiums.
The system's ability to hold the
release of material until the release

South

date also reduces the amount of
WIP across a firm by at least a third.
"A company with a WIP value of
$500,000, for example, is going to see
$125,000 in cash freed up," Lilly says.
"That's a huge benefit."
But the Protected Flow Manufacturing System also allows LillyWorks' clients to save time. Some, he notes, have
eliminated daily production scheduling meetings thanks to the software.
"Everybody in the company - sales,
production, engineering, management
- is in agreement," Lilly says. "You
don't need [to meet] anymore. The
way jobs are prioritized allows everyone to agree what the most important
job is to be worked on next!"
Val Zanchuk of Graphicast praises
the system. "In PFM, we [can] tell the
customer, 'Your job will ship on Sep.
21,' or as we had been doing all summer [when they were inundated with
work], 'Your job is two weeks late and
it will ship on Sep. 21,'" he says.
"This capability has been very important to us," he continues. "It is
also easy to see the impact of changes in PFM. If we add overtime in one
department, I can run the Predictor in
PFM and see how much it helps.
"Or, if we squeeze in an expedite, I
can see what other jobs are affected,
and by how much," he says. "I couldn't
do this [before PFM]."
Protected Flow Manufacturing
software also can be implemented
with any ERP system. "Currently, we
have it connected to VISUAL, Epicor,
IQMS, SyteLine and M1, so it's really
very open in that regard," Lilly says.
"It's combining lean, theory of
constraints and finite scheduling in a
simplified way that makes sense for
people," he says. "We really see this becoming the de facto means to manage
throughput flow and on-time delivery
for manufacturing companies." mt
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 manufacturing-today.com

45


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