Functions of production planning and controlling is classified into:

  1. Pre-planning function
  2. Planning function
  3. Control function

Production Planning and Control Functions

The functions of production planning and controlling are depicted in the following figure.

    Pre-planning is a macro level planning and deals with analysis of data and is an outline of the planning policy based upon the forecasted demand, market analysis and product design and development. This stage is concerned with process design (new processes and developments, equipment policy and replacement and work flow (Plant layout). The pre-planning function of PPC is concerned with decision-making with respect to methods, machines and work flow with respect to availability, scope and capacity.
  2. Functions of production planning and control

    Functions of production planning and control

    The planning function starts once the task to be accomplished is specified, with the analysis of four M’s, i.e., Machines, Methods, Materials and Manpower. This is followed by process planning (routing). Both short-term (near future) and long-term planning are considered. Standardization, simplification of products and processes are given due consideration.
    Control phase is effected by dispatching, inspection and expediting materials control, analysis of work-in-process. Finally, evaluation makes the PPC cycle complete and corrective actions are taken through a feedback from analysis. A good communication, and feedback system is essential to enhance and ensure effectiveness of PPC.

Parameters for PPC
The functions of PPC can be explained with the following parameters:

  1. Materials: Raw materials, finished parts and bought out components should be made available in required quantities and at required time to ensure the correct start and end for each operation resulting in uninterrupted production. The function includes the specification of materials (quality and quantity) delivery dates, variety reduction (standardization) procurement and make or buy decisions.
  2. Machines and equipment:This function is related with the detailed analysis of available production facilities, equipment down time, maintenance policy procedure and schedules. Concerned with economy of jigs and fixtures, equipment availability. Thus, the duties include the analysis of facilities and making their availability with minimum down time because of breakdowns.
  3. Methods:
    This function is concerned with the analysis of alternatives and selection of the best method with due consideration to constraints imposed. Developing specifications for processes is an important aspect of PPC and determination of sequence of operations.
  4. Process planning (Routing):
    It is concerned with selection of path or route which the raw material should follow to get transformed into finished product. The duties include:
    1. Fixation of path of travel giving due consideration to layout.
    2. Breaking down of operations to define each operation in detail.
    3. Deciding the set up time and process time for each operation.
  5. Estimating:
    Once the overall method and sequence of operations is fixed and process sheet for each operation is available, then the operations times are estimated. This function is carried out using extensive analysis of operations along with methods and routing and a standard time for operation are established using work measurement techniques.
  6. Loading and scheduling:
    Scheduling is concerned with preparation of machine loads and fixation of starting and completion dates for each of the operations. Machines have to be loaded according to their capability of performing the given task and according to their capacity. Thus the duties include:
    1. Loading, the machines as per their capability and capacity.
    2. Determining the start and completion times for each operation.
    3. To coordinate with sales department regarding delivery schedules.
  7. Dispatching:
    This is the execution phase of planning. It is the process of setting production activities in motion through release of orders and instructions. It authorizes the start of production activities by releasing materials, components, tools, fixtures and instruction sheets to the operator. The activities involved are:
    1. To assign definite work to definite machines, work centers and men.
    2. To issue required materials from stores.
    3. To issue jigs, fixtures and make them available at correct point of use.
    4. Release necessary work orders, time tickets, etc., to authorize timely start of operations.
    5. To record start and finish time of each job on each machine or by each man.
  8. Expediting: This is the control tool that keeps a close observation on the progress of the work. It is logical step after dispatching which is called ‘follow-up’. It coordinates extensively to execute the production plan. Progressing function can be divided into three parts, i.e., follow up of materials, follow up of work-in-process and follow up of assembly. The duties include:
    1. Identification of bottlenecks and delays and interruptions because of which the production schedule may be disrupted.
    2. To devise action plans (remedies) for correcting the errors.
    3. To see that production rate is in line with schedule.
  9. Inspection:
    It is a major control tool. Though the aspects of quality control are the separate function, this is of very much important to PPC both for the execution of the current plans and its scope for future planning. This forms the basis for knowing the limitations with respects to methods, processes, etc., which is very much useful for evaluation phase.
  10. Evaluation:
    This stage though neglected is a crucial to the improvement of productive efficiency. A thorough analysis of all the factors influencing the production planning and control helps to identify the weak spots and the corrective action with respect to pre-planning and planning will be effected by a feedback. The success of this step depends on the communication, data and information gathering and analysis.

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