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What is short interval scheduling program?


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April 13, 2009 4:46PM

Short interval scheduling is a technique that predates WWII. It was innovative then and even though not acknowledged as such, serves as the philosophical foundation for much of today's "lean, JIT, and agile manufacturing" concepts. Unfortunately there exists few cookbook-style references and to those of us who have actually deployed it successfully, it seems to enjoy a mystery about it ala...

At its essence, it looks at production capacity much in the same way we look at lot quantities today. In effect, "kan-ban'ing your productive capacity." It works best in process shops with a diverse series of products sharing similar processes. Similarly it is deployed in situations where the volumes are relative low. It is an excellent tool for project driven activities like construction, aircraft, and the like where you are deploying resources instead of materials. Again, the focus is on configuring the deployment of the capacity (in buckets) to meet the demand.

The unfortunate part of SIS is that it is best understood by doing, for that there is no substitute. I had it explained to me at least 100 times but it was not until I applied it a screw machine cutting tubes that I was able to understand the significance of both its simplicity and effectiveness. Try it and keep trying (and reading) until you hit that "aha" moment. Then you will understand. As they say in North Carolina, "Ain't nothing to it but to do it."