Production Management

5 Tools and Techniques of Production Control

According to Fayol, “Control consists in verifying whether everything occurs in conformity with the adopted plan and established principles. The objective of control is to point out weaknesses and shortcomings, if any, in order to rectify them and prevent recurrence. It operates on everything viz. material, equipment, men, operations etc. For control to be effective, it must be applied within reasonable time and be followed-up by sanctions.”

Thus production control is some scientific procedure to regulate an orderly flow of material and co-ordinate various production operations to accomplish the objective of producing desired item in right quantity of desired quality at the required time by the best and the cheapest method i.e. to attain highest efficiency in production. Alternately, production control is the function of management which plans, directs and controls the material supply and processing activities of an enterprise; so that specified products are produced by specified methods to meet an approved sales programme. It ensures that the activities are carried in such a way that the available labor and capital are used in the best possible way.

Tools and Techniques of Production Control

Production control ensures regular and smooth flow of material and co-ordinates different manufacturing operations through the methods of programming, ordering, dispatching, progressing and inventory control.

1. Programming : Production programming regulates the supply of finished product in desired amount at the due date in accordance with the production plan. Programming ensures most efficient use of labor, equipment and capital. In production programming three main decisions are taken (a) nature of the product to be manufactured, (b) amount or quantity to be produced and (c) when to produce. It is observed that if any manufacturing system lacks in efficient production programming then it often results in late delivery to customers.

form, where the first column specifies the nature of the products to be manufactured and the columns of first row specifies the periods which can be days, weeks, quarters or months. The quantity to be produced for each type of product is written at the intersection of various rows and columns.  The production of any product is said to be complete (i) when the last operation in the sequence is over, (ii) the product has passed through final inspection and (iii) it has been dispatched.

2. Ordering : It takes into consideration the targets prescribed in a programme by planning the output of the desired components from some external supplier and the processing department of the organization. It contains the quantities to be produced by the supplier and by different departments as well as the time by which the work should be completed.

In other words it is process of placing orders on the buyers and the processing department for the material and other parts needed to manufacture the product and to arrange the ordering quantity and delivery schedule in such a way that all items are delivered in time to meet the production programme.

Rules to be observed in an ordering system

(i) No work can be carried out without an order.

(ii) All orders authorizing the manufacture, purchase or any other expenditure should be issued in writing on a standard form.

(iii) All orders should bear a number and, date.

(iv) Orders should be issued by an authorized authority.

Information required for ordering

(i) Production Programme,

(ii) Product specification; namely parts list, drawings, materials etc.

(iii) Production planning route cards or operation layouts.

The main decisions in ordering system

Following are the main decisions in ordering

(i) the desired total quantity of various components,

(ii) the delivery date,

(iii) how much to order?

(iv) when to issue the order ?

(v) in what quantities the parts are to be procured and the purchases are to be delivered.

(vi) nature of the components namely product, spares and scrap.

There can be three kinds of ordering systems namely make to order. system, stock controlled system and flow controlled system.

3. Dispatching : Dispatching is the routine of setting production activities in motion through the release of order and instructions in accordance with previously planned times and sequence embodied in route sheets and schedule charts. It considers each processing department one by one and plans the output from machines, tools and other work centers so as to complete the orders by due date.

After ordering, next step is to bring together the inputs i.e. plant, labor, special tools and material required for each production operation on each part and assembly. The concerned operators are issued necessary instructions. In other words, once a job is in an area where an operation is to be performed, some one must determine that when and by whom the job will be performed and also the sequence in which the waiting orders are to be processed. The complexity of the system depends on the nature of the system e.g. barber shop, aircraft, hospitals etc.

The decision of assigning various jobs to different machines is known as Dispatching. It is one of the limited areas where the foreman still exercise his discretion within the context of a well developed production control system. . A schedule usually sets general priorities on jobs and the date by which each job should leave an area but the foreman takes the final dispatching decisions hopefully within the constraints setup by the schedule.

Function of Dispatching

(i) to check the immediate availability of materials,

(ii) ensuring that all production and inspection aids are available for use.

(iii) to obtain the appropriate drawing, specification or material list.

(iv) to collate jobs, operation layouts, routine etc. with the design.

(v) Processing information or inspection schedule.

(vi) assign the work to definite machine, work place and men.

(vii) to issue necessary materials, tools etc. to correct points for use.

(viii) to Issue production order note stating the start and finish times.

(ix) to inform the Progress section about the start of the work.

(x) instruction to start the production.

(xi) to return the acquired material and other aids to the correct location.

(xii) maintain all production records viz. time lost in production and the causes for delay; incidence of machine breakdown; change in capacity etc.

The dispatching function is greatly affected by machine breakdowns, tooling breakdowns, material delays and absenteeism.

4. Expediting or Follow-up : Follow-up is the most important step of production control. This step is taken to ascertain from time to time that the production operations are progressing according to the plan. The chaser is responsible for observing that any detail which is overlooked or not properly executed is set right. This ensures proper coordination of production plan and to take corrective measures if necessary. Follow-up can be done at three stages, for materials, work in progress and stage during assembly and execution. It discovers causes of delay which may be uneconomic lot sizes; schedule beyond the capacity of the machine, underestimation of material, tools and manpower, errors in processing and inspection etc. Expediting is the function by which one can give an early warning when actual production deviates from planned production and thus makes it possible to take corrective action. Expediting or follow up can .be in the form of :

(i) programme control.

(ii) order progressing,

(iii) progressing of shortages,

(iv) Daily plan progress and

(v) Departmental progressing.

5. Inventory Control : Inventory is an important part of any organization. The constituents of an inventory can be,

(i) all materials, parts and in process or finished goods recorded on the. books by the organization and kept in its stores, warehouses and plants.

(ii) a list of names, quantities/or monetary values of all or any group or classification of items.

Control of the quantities of these items at predetermined level or within. safe limits is the basic object of Inventory Control. The size of an inventory depends on:

(i) nature of the material flow system,

(ii) amount of protection against shortages,

(iii) difference between input and output.

The main aim of inventory control is to observe the stock investments and to ensure that it lies within the limits which the organization can afford. The various techniques of inventory control include setting mini-max limits, Fixation of EOQ, ABC analysis, value analysis etc.

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