Effective Campaign Planning for Steel and Aluminum Manufacturing

Discover 3 proven tips for planning campaigns that improve throughput, work-in-progress and delivery performance. By Quintiq

May 15, 2017

Steel and aluminum mills often plan campaigns to manufacture products with the same characteristics in groups. Such planning is critical to ensure the best use of resources and also attain maximum quality and throughput.

Campaign periods span from a few hours to a few weeks. Typically, campaigns are planned for months in advance based on historical demand. However, things don’t often go as planned as not everything can be anticipated. Customers change their orders. Demand may deviate from the forecast pattern. This can result in campaigns not being filled as planned.

In production, things may not go according to plan, e.g. coils for a start-up campaign are not available for the galvanizing line. This may mean that your downstream campaigns would also need to be adjusted. Most planners only have two options to balance these competing pressures:

  • Create campaigns in minute detail months in advance, which reduces flexibility in long-term planning, or
  • Keep things very high level, which causes problems in the short term.

Neither of these options are ideal. Read on to find what the world’s leading metals manufacturers are doing.

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