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SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Work in Process

Horace Johnson


Work in Process | 24 February, 2000

What software package out there that can manage WIP. We are in the process of consolidating two of our SMT lines into three individual lines for equipment utilization. This will create lots of WIP and need a way to manage it. Any ideals

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Re: Work in Process | 24 February, 2000

Horace: Area you in the rainy or the dry portion of the South? ;-)

Now, excuse me from mincing words with you ;-) �, but buying a manufacturing software package is a serious (expensive) endeavor that will leave no part of your company unscathed. I�d suggest that you and particularly, your company be very clear in your goals. On to the mincing:

� There is no "software package out there that can manage WIP." Managing WIP is a people function. The only thing software can potentially do is make it less confusing with correct input to the computer. � I expect that "consolidating two of our SMT lines into three individual lines for equipment utilization" will do one of two things: 1. Improve machine available time, as you say, and end-up reducing WIP, assuming that part of your shop is currently at capacity. 2 If this part of your shop is not at capacity, this change truly will cause your WIP to balloon, at the part of your shop that is at capacity. And you will regret not focusing your limited resources on that part of your shop. � Virtually, every software package, except those tailored to process industries (In MRP software parlance, electronic assembly can be either a batch, job shop, or a discrete product industry, depending on job release, BOM, and production rate factors and such.), can handle your job release/tracing function. More critical functions to assess may be purchasing, job costing, lot and serial tracking, financial accounting, and "business issues."

As a way of cutting through the huddling masses of software houses, eager to sell you their wares, so to speak; the software consulting group of a public accounting firm (that shall remain unnamed) recommended to my wife�s company (a Class III electronic medical device designer and manufacturer) 17 potential MRP software suppliers, based on system cost, broad capabilities, whether they were taken to lunch or not, and who knows what else. Then, they cut that group to 5, based on a rough assessment of the suppliers� software capabilities compared to company requirements. These companies were:

� Ohm Ware � Info Power � Expandable � Visual � Symix

Taking a different tact, I received a disk from Epicor (800.457.3015 Mark Nielson X5260) the other day. Their Vantage system seems to be pretty good, if you can live with a good, but not very robust purchasing function. Not a bad price either.

As a close to all this gum flippin�, check the SMTnet archives for threads on MRP.


Dave F

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