Using Project to auto-schedule machine jobs RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I work at a machine shop where we have a few CNC machines. I was hoping to take our job load for each month and have Project auto-schedule it throughout our machines. However, some of our machines can only do certain types of jobs. I was wondering, when I create a new task, if I could assign a certain 'type' identifier to the task, and edit each resource so they can only do certain 'types' of jobs.

    In other words, let's say there are three total types of jobs (Type 1, Type 2, Type 3) that I'm trying to assign. For example, Machine A can only do Type 1 jobs, Machine 2 can only do Types 1 and 3 jobs, Machines 3-4 can do any type, and Machine 5 can only do Type 2 and 3 jobs. 

    Is there any way to set up the resources/tasks options to put these restrictions in place when Project is auto-scheduling? 

    Monday, January 30, 2017 2:00 PM

All replies

  • MfgEngineer,

    The simple answer, no. I think you may be reading too much into the "auto-schedule" concept.

    You will have to do the machine assignments yourself although depending on how you set it up, Project potentially could prevent machines from being overallocated.

    I suppose you could develop an algorithm for a macro to do the assignments, but that is likely more effort than doing machine assignments yourself.

    Hope this helps.

    Monday, January 30, 2017 2:39 PM
  • Project does compute a schedule (what I think you mean by 'auto-schedule') based on your input of the tasks, logic, etc. If you assign resources, it will level the schedule based on the logic and number of resources.  However, Project will not automatically assign resources for you.  

    I can see how with effort one could build a production model which uses the algorithms you outline above to develop a production schedule, assigning machines to tasks based on your rules and machine availability and perhaps even doing some sort of optimisation--but that probably not a trivial activity and I would suspect there are already developed some commercially-available tools for machine scheduling you could purchase.


    Monday, January 30, 2017 2:50 PM
  • It is certainly worthwhile to use MSP to model your project as the typical critical path network, with tasks, resources etc, which will be bound to yield some insight.

    But MSP does not know how to assign the resources, and it does not optimise, but still very useful.

    Your problem sounds like the "assignment problem", which is one type of "minimum cost flow problems", and there is software for it.

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 12:18 AM

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 12:21 AM