We, at Planilog, are combinatory logic experts. We apply combination algorithms to scheduling for companies.
That’s why we know Houdini, Komodo and Stockfish. While watching, on the bottom of the screen, you can choose between one of these three engines to monitor the evaluation of the game in process.
On the right side of the screen, you can read the kibbitizing that goes on before or after each move.
And of course, you can see the game live minute by minute. That’s important, because the time it takes a player to move has a great significance. Has he prepared enough ? Is he in a difficult position ? Is he planning something he hasn’t foreseen ? Is he tired ? Is he stressed ? Is he pretending to take this time pretending he’s not prepared although he is ?
With you watching the game, that adds up to at least 7 players watching the game ! You have the two opponents, you, the three engines and the kibbitizing that can go from one to thousands of comments.
You simply need to be careful. Watching a game is not playing it ! It seems obvious but stress and fatigue are real chess factors. It’s not just about playing best during the game. It’s about chess preparation and physical preparation as well. Then only , in modern chess, does playing chess comes in. Chess preparation has attained huge levels or preparation (openings, plans, endings) with modern players having many assistants, chess coaches, physical training coaches, managers etc. We’re far from the great players that arrived from Europe by boat with no helpers at all for the 1924 New York Tournament !
At Planilog, we have a similar approach for planners who combine activities day in and day out to optimize their companies with visual software and Advanced Planning and Scheduling software. It’s like advanced chess (human and computer). And it’s a real champsionship between competitors !
So Enjoy and if you want to contact us, feel free to ask us any questions you wish about chess engines and scheduling engines. After all, it’s just a bunch of combinations with huge libraries…:) If you can understand chess, then you can understand everything that goes on in planning in a company !
If you save simply save the set up time of several activities on a given resource, you can already save thousands to millions of dollars a year depending on how large a company is.
Let’s say a company has Microsoft Dynamics and several production lines. On that line, a given activity “A” has a set up time of 1 hour and then a duration of 3 hours.
If the same product is scheduled right after this first activity A, a set up time is not necessary. But if a different product is scheduled, then the company will spend 1 hour set this activity up again. And there you go, the company just lost 1 hour x thousands of hours like that during the year.
Sounds simple to make money, doesn’t it ? Just select the right sequence and there you go. Right ?
The problem then is that we’re generally dealing with hundreds of differents products, on a large number of production lines, with thousands of customer orders with various delivery dates, different quantities to produce and many other production scheduling constraints
Planilog offers an extremely cost effective solution at 15€ a user. That cost can be recovered in a few minutes ! Then your profit kicks in ! Of course there might be some configuration and training to do but it’s not going to be a high priced project.
The investor will get profit out of the system in no time and then generate profit that could end up covering the cost of a Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution, for example.
Advanced Planning and Scheduling is a complex approach to planning large numbers of activities. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) starts where all other software stop. Planning a few hundred activities can be done by lots of software on the market. Planning 100 000 activities involves careful and innovative coding. At Planilog, sharing our experience with our customers has helped making many projects benefit from all the other APS projects.
To make things simple, when you build an Advanced Planning and Scheduling solution, your software requires at least three properties :
- all activities must be scheduled automatically in memory
- the data structure must be universal
- heuristics must be innovative
Advanced Planning and Scheduling(APS) has to be 100% automatic.
You can’t ask a planner to drag and drop 10 000 activities on a Gantt Chart, let alone 100 000 activities or more. That would qualifiy as “cruel and unusual punishment” !
Suppose the user moves 10 activities manually on a given ressource.
Let’s say, a global company has a service ressource : delivering by truck to hundreds of thousands of customers from a given warehouse. Imagine everything has been planned but the warehouse encountered an electricity problem for one hour. ALL tasks must now be replanned ! This means thousands of activities : retrieving the products, loading the products on the trucks, transportation time, route time for the truck, trip back to the warehouse, truck maintenance and many more operations.
That’s when an APS will optimize the whole process. That’s basically Planilog Web Aps’s job !
Think of that the next time you order a product online !
Advanced Planning and Scheduling is carried out in memory
If you are automatically planning huge numbers of operations, you simply can’t have hard disk access going on while optimizing the global process of all activities.
Planilog Web APS-Advanced Planning and Scheduling has been confronted with projects in which millions of activities were involved. In one case 60 000 000 activities needed to be optimized on five continents in hundreds of locations.
Trying to do that with a Gantt Chart in drag in drop mode would be ludicrous.
Having hard disk access while trying to globally optimize ALL activities in ONE RUN would slow the calculations down tremendously.
Planilog Web APS, installed on a good server, can optimize up to 60 000 activities a second…on one processor !
If our APS has access to a good server, 8 processors, for example can be used at the same time. This means that 60 000 000 activities planned at 60 000 operations a second can be optimized in 1000 seconds or in roughly 16mn…on one processor. But using 8 processors with Planilog Web APS’s special architecture, it only takes 2mn on an average good server.
On a huge calculator these 2mn can be brought down to a few seconds !
Still want to plan manually or with algorithms that don’t optimize ?
APS data structure must be universal
Considering that it costs at least 2 million dollars to write a good piece of APS software, you can’t content yourself with an Advanced Planning and Scheduling solution that will only work in one field !
Many planning solutions are limited to one or a few fields because of the constraints linked to specific fields of activities :
- manufacturing constraints in the apparel industry, aircraft industry, electronics, etc.
- ressource constraints in the delivery service activites, medical activities, etc.
Many APS designers think that this justifies a special solution for a given field. They’re wrong !
A proper APS data structure can and has to be universal to cope with all types of constraints or it’s useless.
If you’re building a large commercial airplane you need ALL types of expertise : apparel for the seats, metal metallurgical capacity, painting, electricity experts and hundreds of more experts.
How are you going to schedule ALL of that if you have a data structure that is not universal ?
Our data structure was universal from the start which explains how we can carry out global optimization on global data.
APS heuristics must be innovative
To plan 10 000 000 activities, in memory, in one run, in one data structure, you need heuristics. To make things simple for this article, let’s say heuristics are methods.
How do you want your APS to think ? In a linear way ? In a neuronal way like a brain ? In a genetic way like our body ? With ideas like our philosophy of scheduling ? With well known university approaches ?
Oh, you can try. All of these methods will fail !
You need to invent your own heuristics that fit with your “in memory plan”, your data structure and most of all YOUR way of thinking.
Why ? Writing APS software, let’s say in C++ will require thousands of lines of equations. For all of these lines to fit together, you can’t pretend or just apply theory. You need to think for yourself, take the best of all the theories you encountered and invent your own heuristics : which way to cope with huge numbers of activities, how to plan them, how to check if the result is good or not and many other factors.
To sum up this article, a successful Advanced Planning and Scheduling solution, requires software that can run in memory, with a universal data structure and heuristics you need to invent.
Planilog’s R&D team has designed an APS Drone Scheduling and Monitoring system that can be used in many fields. This video shows the basics. Surveillance : airport parking lots, airplane hangers, plants, shops, flats, houses, forests, train tracks.
Step 1 : Planilog schedules the surveillance mission All missions are scheduled : drone pilot, flying time to target area, mission, flying time back.
Step 2 : During the flight, Planilog will monitor the drone’s GPS position, detect the flight time and reschedule the remaing flight time in real time.
Step 3 : Data is constantly streamed into a Planilog Big Data database that can manage Exabytes of data.
One Exabyte =10006=1000petabytes=1millionterabytes = 1billiongigabytes.
Step 4: The gobal planner can retrieve statistics and processes for scheduling improvement purposes.
Step 5 : Flight schedules are updated with better data
Here is short Planilog APS Drone Parking Lot surveillance mission.
The video is stored with GPS and statistical data in Planilog’s Big Data environnement.
Production Monitoring on large outdoor or indoor areas
Step1 : Planilog detects a problem in a production process in a large production environment (train manufacturing, aircraft manufacturing).
Step 2 : A flight plan is initiated (see 5 step Surveillance process).
Step 3 : The drone will fly to the critical area and transmit real time streamlining to the planner-pilot.Example : the train is not painted and the ERP tracking system wasn’t correctly updated.
Step 4 : The planner can then modify his/her schedule and run Planilog APS to reschedule.
Step 1 : A delivery schedule is automatically created with Planilog APS
Step 2 : The planner-drone-pilot will confirm the schedule and run one or several drones with the delivery load to destination
Step 3 : Real-time feedback enables the planner-drone-pilot to adapt the flight and schedule accordingly.
Planilog APS, drones and Big Data on Planilog’s Cloud. Those are powerful innovations ! Let’s take the concepts and applications one by one. Planilog APS can be used for very complex solution solving problems. For example, Planilog APS-Solver has been used to optimise routes taking many constraints into account. This means that Planilog APS has the ability to calculate a route for a vehicule and take constraints into account.
Drones are the present and future of transportation of all kinds. Humans can dwell on the philosphy of it but it’s a fact. Humans will be replaced progressively by drones and robot processes in many fields : warfare, deliveries, firefighting detection, transportation, exploration, etc. Planilog APS has many assets for drone management : scheduling routes taking the many drone constraints into account, taking human pilots into account, taking obstacles into account and all of the drone flying constraints into account.
If we’re talking about real time flying and data collecting (video, sound, travelling data), forget the tiny terabyte world ! We’re at least talking about exabytes (1 EB = 10006bytes = 1018bytes = 1000000000000000000B = 1000petabytes = 1millionterabytes = 1billiongigabytes). So forget the little reliable server. Planilog APS has now entered the Big Data sphere and has access to incredible data storage power.
In septembre 2014, Planilog started its first experimental Planilog-APS drone flying program. Planilog has several ongoing marketing segments. So keep looking here because we’ll be posting blogs with some videos as we explore this area !
Microsoft Dynamics (NAV) like all ERPs has an excellent way to read data directy in their database. We’re not in the XXth century anymore. Every data integration tool possible is available ! Planilog has had acccess to these tools for many years.
We are integrated to SAP, Sage and many other ERPs. But let’s take Microsoft Dynamics as an example. When we started out, we contacted an Microsoft Dynamic distributor. He sent us a standard SQL Server demo database (no applicationrequired). We plugged Planilog Connect technology in it and with a couple of hours had a nice Planilog Web Gantt to display and a few minutes after APS One-Click was activated for automatic scheduling. The cost ? 2 hours work to get the standard connection running with APS One-Click core model. Why APS One-Click ? Who wants to move hundreds of tasks manually when a robot can schedule them taking finite capacity, resources, constraints and other burdens off the user’s shoulders ?
Planilog WEB APS for Microsoft Dynamics contains a very powerful and interface Gantt solution.
You can drag and drop activities. Your Microsoft Dynamic NAV data is automatically loaded and displayed. You can see where you stand and then modify the Gantt.
Planilog Web APS for Microsoft Dynamics NAV also manages links to as many levels as necessary. A group of linked activities can range from 2 to tens of links.
You can also have load and capacity chart chart that is updated in real time. This chart is not just limited to curves and bar charts. You can actually see the precise values per hour, day etc.
Planilog Web APS for Microsoft Dynamics has an embedded APS solution offering scheduling and ressource optimizing. All constraints are taken into account : ressources, purchases, budgets and all other dimensions that are necessary for a given company.
Planilog’s native connection to Microsoft Dynamics NAV database is a strong asset that reduces integration costs to almost nothing.
If you add our low cost offer due to the large number of users we have around the world, Planilog offers you an exciting scheduling solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
At this point, all scheduling software editors can stop pretending they are all “world leaders”. Saying that, writing that and even backing it up with million dollar yearly sales would be comical if they weren’t so serious ! Everybody in almost every company in the world knows that Microsoft Excel is the world leader in scheduling ! Since 1992, almost every company we’ve met has an Excel spreadsheet of some kind involved in the scheduling process. Even Planilog, with thousands of online users, can’t compete with the hundreds of millions of Micrsoft Excel users. Then let’s not forget Google Apps. Google Apps is not just a little web application for fun because the real stuff is on a desktop. That is a pre-historic way of thinkg of it. Google is THE world leader in online applications including a fantastic spreadsheed that is being used to schedule as well. So where does Planilog come in ? Planilog offers a free Gantt view of your spreadsheed data with its Quick Start Import functionality with any of our low cost subscriptions !
Contact us for a free demo and get to work in a few minutes.
APS One-Click is a way to start an APS project in One-Click (see September 5 Blog’s video). Sometimes the APS One-Click model proves to be enough for an APS project. After all, it takes finite capacity, task priorities, links and delivvery dates into account. It’s also extremely cost effective since the project can be started in a few minutes. Why don’t our competitors offer this ? The answer is simple : why is Google mail free ?, why is Amazon cloud player free ?, why is Facebook free ?. Because we’re living in a new virtual world in which free accounts and low cost projects lead to bigger avenues. The bigger picture is “VOLUME”. The more customers you have, the more you learn, the more they learn from you and the more income you get. We’re a small company looking at quality of life more than trying to find huge income through overrated projects. We’ve been around since 1992 and never lost a cent so we know our method is efficient. APS One-Click can make you start an APS projet in no time!
An expert will make the free Planilog demo. During the presentation, we analyze your goals and show you the fastest and most cost effective way to achieve them. Most Gantt projects and APS projects are overrated by our competition because it’s the best way to obtain high priced projects from a customer.
Our policy is quite the oppposite : find the fastest and most cost effective way to get a project rolling ! Why ? Because we’re looking at volume not a just getting a maximum amount of money out of a limited amount of customers. So during the demo, rest assured that we’ll find the fastest way to get your project moving. We also manage projects with up to 1000 users this way and it works fine as it has since 1992.