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Published on Sep 1, 2015
A wire harness is a combination of electrical cables and connectors that are connected together for supplying power and transmitting signals. Wire harnesses are used in automobiles, electric appliances, and so on. The production process of wire harnesses is divided into two major processes. One is the sub assembly process in which electrical cables are cut and connected to connectors. The other is the assembly process in which several sub assembly items are combined together to produce a wire harness. There are numerous combinations as wiring is different depending on the product in which a wire harness is used. In the wire harness industry, production and shipping on a strict time basis are required to achieve just in time (JIT) production. This is an extremely important issue in car parts. The key to meeting this requirement is the detailed production planning on a time basis. The schedule planner first calculates the estimated daily quantity from the customer forecast information. Next, based on the estimated daily quantity, the planner procures raw materials and adjusts worker assignments. Automation is increasing in the sub assembly processes, which is greatly reducing labor costs. However, technically skilled workers are necessary in the adjustment of production machinery and modification of setup when production items are changed. The assembly process requires workers because automation of wire harness assembly is difficult. The production scheduler can be used to quickly create production schedules with constraints on the number of workers. This enables highly accurate schedule planning and improved response to help achieve JIT production. Here, we will first introduce the master object required for planning production schedules and the scheme of finite capacity schedules. Then, we will introduce how to calculate daily quantities based on customer forecasts and how to plan production schedules for received orders. Finally, we will explain how to plan production schedules with constraints on the number of workers and future manpower planning.