Simio, Sewickley, Pa., partnered with Schneider Electric, a Palatine, Ill., provider of Wonderware MES software,to help customers improve productivity, increase Simio Gantt chartbusiness agility and deepen quality management while reducing the cost of compliance.

“The real-time production data our Wonderware MES software provides is essential for accurate, timely simulation-based scheduling,” says Tom Troy, director, operations and asset portfolio for Schneider Electric. “This has been a challenge with traditional MES offerings. But, our partnership with Simio allows our customers to easily add a real-time scheduling component, using a rules-based engine and deep simulation. It’s an offering unmatched in the market today. To remain competitive, manufacturers need to move beyond command and control and into operations optimization, problem resolution and workforce improvements. This partnership allows them to take that first step, and our customers will be able to rely on Wonderware and Simio offerings to lead the way.” 

“Simio differs from traditional scheduling software because it provides planners and master schedulers a quick way to see the odds they will hit delivery and cost targets, especially after an unexpected situation occurs,” says Dr. Dennis Pegden, chief executive officer, Simio LLC.

For example if a new, important order arrives, a machine breaks down, workers don’t show up or supplies are late, users can re-run their schedule in minutes, taking into account the recent situation to find the best new production schedule scenario.

Simio’s simulation-based planning and scheduling uses a purpose-built simulation model of the production operation to fully capture both the detailed constraints and possible problems in the facility.  Then it uses this model in two ways. The first is to generate a detailed schedule/plan. 

“In this first use, the model is executed in a purely problem-free mode, as if machines do not break, process times are always constant, materials arrive on time, etc.,” says David Sturrock, vice president of operations, Simio LLC. “This is the optimistic view assumed by most advanced planning and scheduling systems today.”

Once the schedule has been generated, Simio then re-runs, in minutes, a new schedule factoring in the recent problems that occurred. 

“Users can then see how changes in production can affect deliveries,” says Sturrock.

The payoff users experience with Simio simulation-based scheduling is a higher percentage of on-time delivery accompanied by decreased overtime, meeting training goals and a more accurate way to evaluate capital investment proposals.