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World Player within the Automotive Industry Orders Optimization Tool

apixxo has supplied a multinational industrial company with a tool for strategic decisions.

Key data

  • Factories  >           25
  • Items       >       7'000
  • Forecasts   >  100'000
  • Planning variants  >   10e+90

The data is kept - as usual with apixxo - In-Memory. This allows extremely quick response and computing time.

The strategic decision tool provides the company with a cost optimized rolling wave planning. The allocation of the production orders and forecasts to factories is planned and optimized for the coming twelve month period. The company’s planers and decision takers get the full set of production forecasts and are able to decide on the basis of hard facts on the capacity utilization, possible relocations, opening or closing down of a factory.

Built-in algorithms allow for an impartial assessment. The brief response times completely changes the way planers work. They used to input planning options, run batch programs, wait for hours or days for the results of the complex computations and then refocus to their original thoughts and assumptions. Now they can work interactively with the system, weight one option against another one within no time, be more creative, more precise and more efficient.

The software allocates the items to be produced to factories around the world on the basis of optimized total costs. Following costs are considered:

  • Transport costs between factories and also from factories to customers
  • Production costs per item and factory, as it might vary
  • Costs linked to the specific capacity utilization of a factory

Solution specific challenges
Major fluctuations the types and volumes of items to be produced as well as the need to get whole-number results are the main challenges of this type of optimization.

A typical PC brings up to 100 optimization cycles per minute. Each optimization cycle outputs the production costs forecasts for the next twelve months and the adjusted production plans. 

The core of the optimization is based on an impartial assessment according to the method of the „Simulated Annealing“.

Hardware requirements
Standard PC

Embedding in the technical environment - Interfaces
Interfaces allow the exchange of data from and to the existing ERP, the peripheral systems and the optimization solution.

Software Technology
The tool has been realized on featherlite, apixxo in-house Platform. It combines the generic software components of APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling) und Optimization. The specific In-Memory architecture supports speedy development and maintenance of software throughout its whole life cycle. Flexible modelling makes it economically interesting to realize customer specific needs and thus play out own competitive advantages.

Customer’s benefits

  • Optimization potential is expressed in total costs. Optimized production plans are attached.
  • Each optimization cycle brings savings.
  • The interactive software makes it easy to the user to assess and compare different strategic options.
  • With a standard PC, one gets up to 100 optimization cycles per minute.
  • The data model and the software are expandable. Here are some examples of possible extensions or changes: 
     - A customer’s new or improved process can be modelled in the software.
     - Additional cost elements can be taken into account.
     - New time frame for planning and optimizing can be defined.
     - New algorithms can be integrated into the model.
     - Low operating costs: software runs on a standard PC and does not need respectively depend on a database.

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