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About Authors:
Birajdar Shivprasad M.*, Mulaje S.S., Patil B.R., Sorde M.B., Dr.Bhusnure O.G.
*Maharashtra College of Pharmacy, Department of Quality Assurance, Nilanga-413521,
Dist. Latur (Maharashtra) India

Production Planning & Control is an important aspect & separate department for any production oriented pharmaceutical industry. The basic objective of the manufacturing organization is to make the products. Thus the production is the nucleus or the centre of entire business operations. It must be emphasized, however, that on signal system of forecasting, preplanning, planning and control is suited to all industrial enterprises, no matter how well it may meet the needs of this on that special company. PPC functions look after the manufacturing activities.

PPC comprises of the planning, routing, dispatching in the manufacturing processes so that the movement of material, performance of machines and operation of labour will contribute to quantity, quality, time and place. Planning and control are two basic and interrelated managerial functions. They are so interrelated that they can be and often are considered as being one function. Planning is the preparation activity while control is the post-operation function. Both of them are so closely related that they are treated as Siamese twins. Planning sets the objectives, goals, targets on the basis of available resources with their given constraints. Control is the integral part of effective planning. Similarly control involves assessment of the performance, such assessment can be made effectively only when some standard are set in advance. Planning involves setting up to such standard. The controlling is made by comparing the actual performance with these present standard and deviations are ascertained and analyzed.

Present article focuses on Challenges in Production Planning and Control, Factors Affecting Production Planning and Control, Procedure for PPC & also the Components in Production Planning and Control System.


In any manufacturing industry, production is the driving force to which most other functions react. The changing business environment in which pharmaceutical manufacturers are acting creates the need for more effective production processes planning and control methods, which are able to deal with uncertainties in internal processes and external deliveries. In this article we have briefly highlighted the challenges and factors affecting Production Planning and Control (PPC) and role of Master Production Schedule (MPS). We will begin this article with the objective of PPC.

The ultimate objective of production planning and control, like that of all other manufacturing controls, is to contribute to the profits of the enterprise. As with inventory management and control, this is accomplished by keeping the customers satisfied through the meeting of delivery schedules. Specific objectives of production planning and control are to establish routes and schedules for work that will ensure the optimum utilization of materials, workers, and machines and to provide the means for ensuring the operation of the plant in accordance with these plans.

Challenges in Production Planning and Control:
Process Planning (Routing)

The determination of where each operation on a component part, subassembly, or assembly is to be performed results in a route for the movement of a manufacturing lot through the factory. Prior determination of these routes is the job of the manufacturing engineering function.

Once the route has been established, the work required can be loaded against the selected machine or workstation. The total time required to perform the operation is computed by multiplying the unit operation times given on the standard process sheet by the number of parts to be processed. This total time is then added to the work already planned for the workstation. This is the function of loading, and it results in a tabulated list or chart showing the planned utilization of the machines or workstations in the plant.

Scheduling is the last of the planning functions. It determines when an operation is to be performed, or when work is to be completed; the difference lies in the detail of the scheduling procedure. In a centralized control situation - where all process planning, loading, and scheduling for the plant are done in a central office- the details of the schedule may specify the starting and finishing time for an operation. On the other hand, the central schedule may simply give a completion time for the work in a given department.

Combining Functions
It is desirable that a minimum changes be made after schedules are established. This objective can be approached if the amount of work scheduled for the factory or department is equal or slightly greater than the production cycle.

Authorizing the start of an operation on the shop floor is the function of dispatching. This function may be centralized or decentralized. Again using our machine-shop example, the departmental dispatcher would authorize the start of each of the three machine operations – three dispatch actions based on the foreman’s routing and scheduling of the work through his department. This is decentralized dispatching.

When jobs are started and completed on schedule, there should be very little concern about the meeting of commitments. Optimum operation of the plant is attained only if the original plan has been carefully prepared to utilize the manufacturing facilities fully and effectively.

Corrective Action
This is the keystone of any production planning and control activity. A plant in which all manufacturing activity runs on schedule in all probability is not being scheduled to its optimum productive capacity. With an optimum schedule, manufacturing delays are the rule, not the exception.

Re-planning isoften required in manufacturing operations for reasons like Changes in market conditions, manufacturing methods, etc.



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Factors Affecting Production Planning and Control:
Market Forecast

It will indicate future trends in demand for manufactured products. Work shift policies, plans for an increase or decrease in manufacturing activity are based upon the market forecast and in turn affect the production planning and control.

Sales Order
It is a rewrite of the customer order specifying what has been purchased (product, quantity and authorizing shipment of the goods to the customer). Variation or changes in sales order will drastically affect production planning and control.

Standard Process Sheet
It is prepared by process engineering group or process owner and it is the source of basic data which may include type of machine to be used, time required for processing, etc. For e.g. if any machine is under breakdown, the standard process sheet will be disturbed which in turn affect production planning and control.

Load Charts
These charts are prepared for each workstation or machine in the plant or may be for groups of machines or departments.

Project Planning Method
The products to be produced are manufactured in required quantities and their total processing time can be measured. The best known methods are Critical Path Method (CPM) and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT).

Planning is the process of selecting and sequencing activities such that they achieve one or more goals and satisfy a set of domain constraints. Schedules should reflect the temporal relationships between activities and the capacity limitations of a set of shared resources. Master Production Schedule is main driver and information source for further material requirements planning and accompanying calls or supplies and allows making detailed production schedules for production system. The high re-planning frequency in order to overcome the uncertainty induces the system nervousness. The system nervousness can be defined as –“Stateof a system when a minor changes in Master Production Schedule creates significant changes in Materials Requirement Planning (MRP)”.

The following critical points can be considered in Master Production Schedule:
·         Frequent changes in MPS result in due-date changes in open orders, quantity and timing for planned order of end products.
·         Mentioned changes are translated into gross requirements changes for products and timing of their delivery.
·         Unexpected changes in MPS effect that materials, needed for a particular order may not be available. The availability of materials is often limited due to the fact that suppliers have similar bottlenecks and schedules variations transmitted from sub-tier suppliers.

The following questions can be considered while scheduling MPS:
·         How to make initial MPS that is as feasible as possible?
·         How to limit the number of re-planning activities?
·         How to be reactive to disturbances in materials flow?
·         How to provide planners with accurate information about material resources available which often lead to bloated inventory and in accurately promised delivery dates to the customers?

Production Planning and Control Procedures:
A detailed discussion of all the techniques and procedures of production planning and control is beyond the scope of this article; many complete text books exist on the subject. It is well known that planning and control practices will vary widely from plant to plant.

Though no production control function can be entirely eliminated, the least control that results in effective operation of the factory is the best control. It must be remembered that production planning and control systems should be tools of management. The objective is not an elaborate and detailed system of controls and records, but rather, the optimum operation of the plant for maximum profits.

Systems Analysis
As with other manufacturing control systems and procedures, production planning, and control lends itself to modern mechanization techniques such as machine accounting and use of computers. Careful study of the control system through procedure analysis will indicate the savings that may be affected by the utilization of modern equipment. These savings may be in the clerical help required in the administration of the system or in the advantages of quick compilation of data, which in turn results in up-to-date control data.

Basic definitions
·         A schedule is an allocation of resources in one or more time intervals to activities to be executed.
·         A scheduling problem consists in finding a schedule such that some constraints are satisfied and some criteria are optimized (objective function).
·         Usually, term machine is used to indicate the generic resource while
·         The term task or operation is used to indicate an activity.
·         A job is a set of tasks technologically related to each other.

A deadline Dj within which job Jj must be completed. Classes of scheduling problems are specified in terms of a three-field classification Viz. α, β & γ  introduced by Graham et al. where:
A.    The first field α represents the shop environment.
Some examples are single machine (indicated with 1), parallel machines (P) and multi-purpose machines (MPM);

B.      The second field β represents the constraints of the problem.
Some examples are release times (ri), due dates (di), deadlines (Di), precedence constraints (prec), preemption (pmtn), sequence dependent setup times (Ssd) and resource unavailability (unavalj);

C.     The third field γ represents the optimality criteria of the problem.

Production planning and control practices will vary widely from plant to plant/organization to organization. Though no production control function can be entirely eliminated, the least control that results in effective operation of the factory is the best control. It must be remembered that production planning and control systems should be tools of management. The objective is not an elaborate and detailed system of controls and records, but rather, the optimum operation of the plant for maximum profits. PPC places an emphasis on the control of work-in-process, the system will be in effect tie together all previous records and forms developed in all planning for the manufacture of the products.

•    Luca Venditti  “Production scheduling in pharmaceutical industry” Roma Tre University Dept. of Computer Science and Automation 30 March 2010
•    Rolf Blumenthal, Werum Software & Systems Parsippany, NJ / Lueneburg, Germany “Manufacturing Execution Systems to Optimize the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain” the German magazine “Die pharmazeutische Industrie”. Pharm. Ind. 66, Nr. 11a, 1414-1424 (2004) Editio Cantor Verlag, Aulendorf, Germany ISSN 0031-711 X
•    D.R. Towill, “The Seamless Supply chain”, International Journal of Technology Management, Volume 13, 1997.
•    G.E. Viera and F. Favetto, “Understanding the complexity of Master Production Scheduling Optimization”, Proceedings of the 18th ICPR, Salerno, Italy, 2005.
•    V.D.R. Guide, R. Shiverasta, “A review of techniques for buffering against uncertainty with MRP systems”, Production Planning and Control, Volume 11, 2000.
•    V.D.R. Guide, “Scheduling using DBR in a Remanufacturing Environment”, International Journal of Production Research, Volume 34, 1996.
•    E. Schragenheim and B. Ronen, “Drum-buffer-rope shop floor control”, Productions and Inventory Management Journal.



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