A Dissection of the Key Fields in Work Centres

At its most simple, any manufacturing requires the resources to make it possible. Work Centres represent the locations that make that possible. Work Centres can consist of a room filled with mechanical, ear-busting drills, or alternatively a room with a sole person equipped with a hammer. The beauty of Business Central’s flexibility to define what the Work Centre is allows you the opportunity to reveal what a Work Centre is to your company. But the simple premise stands, this is where the manufacturing will take place.

The Work Centre Card in Business Central has a lot of fields which cater to the uniqueness of each business situation. This blog hopes to break down some of those key fields into bitesize pieces and show you how you might want to use them within your system.

Shop Calendar Code

A calendar and working hours will need to be established for each Work Centre. This field allows you to capture working days and hours for each week, but also holidays.

Now, holidays will have to be entered into each year. It’s vital that the users keep on top of this. To access this, click ‘Shop Calendar Code’, ‘Select from full list’ and after making sure the relevant Shop Calendar is highlighted, click the ‘…’, followed by the ‘Related’, ‘Shop Cal.’, then either ‘Working Days’ or ‘Holidays’.

The Unit of Measure field is a massively significant field. It’s advisable that against a routing which is taking place in a work centre, make sure the unit of measure matches. It’s incredibly easy to slip up where you’ve got a routing down as ‘8’, which is minutes for the Routing but hours for the Work Centre! You may need to go into ‘Settings’ and then ‘Personalise’ to add Unit of Measure field to the Routing Line.

Efficiency

The efficiency field displays how accurately the people or machines are keeping to schedule. The routing will not be confined to what’s been entered. Where a Work Centre’s Efficiency is lower than 100%, the routing time will be affected. Let’s look at an example.

The image below displays the Work Centre Card. The Efficiency is set to 50. The Work Centre in question has a standard 9-5pm open time, defined by the Shop Calendar Code.

The second image shows the Routing Card for the relevant item, showing it has a Run Time of 10 hours and is made within the Work Centre ‘CAP’.

Image three shows a Line on a Released Production Order. It takes 20 hours to create the item.

Whether you use this or not is largely dependant on how the data has been set up. If there’s a Run Time of 10 hours but that factors in necessary checks after manufacturing and relevant toilet and coffee breaks, then you might not feel the need to use the Efficiency field. But where the Routing is 10 hours with people working as fast as they can, lowering the Efficiency to say, 80% can be a great way to take into account those inevitabilities which take up the designated time.

Capacity and Concurrent Capacity fields

The Capacity field defines the maximum output a Work Centre can produce. Having a Capacity set to ‘one’ will mean that work will occur on that task, and only after that task is finished can work begin on the next. By virtue of this, having a Capacity of 10 means that 10 things could occur at any time.

The Concurrent Capacity is what determines how many people or machines can work at the same time. You’ve determined that there’s a Capacity of 10 and so there are 10 people or machines available. But it might not be efficient to do so. A helpful analogy I’ve found helps when considering this, is the idea of painting a wall. Imagine in a building, the Capacity is 10 as that’s the number of painters available. But, the Concurrent Capacity is five. The reason for this is that with 10 painters all up ladders at once, they are bound to get in each other’s way. So in this instance, a maximum of five painters working at once is the most efficient way of working.

Where you change the Capacity of the Work Centre, make sure you change the Concurrent Capacity on the Routing where it’s appropriate. This and keeping the calendars accurate are so important to keeping the schedule to how it has been envisaged.

Consolidated Calendar

Where you are using Machine Centres tied to the Work Centres, this field will accumulate the total working hours of the set machines per day. In order to do this, this field will need to be turned on. Then go ‘Related’, ‘Planning’, ‘Calendar’ and ‘Show Matrix. At this stage, the relevant Work Centre is likely invalid or empty. To refresh, ‘Actions’, ‘Functions’, ‘Calculate’. After it’s done, it may not show the difference immediately. Come out and then ‘Show Matrix’ again and it should have updated. Below is an example using three Machine Centres we set up, each with 8 hour working day. 

As you can see above, there are several Work Centres with a combined working time of 24 hours or more per day. This is only possible by specifying the individual Machine Centres. If we click into the entries themselves, we can see this laid out for us clearly.

Whilst the Galvanise Work Centre has a Capacity of one, when looking at the Machine Centres attached to it we can see there’s three machines, each working 8 hours per day equating to the 24 hour time displayed on the Work Centre Matrix.

Hopefully this blog has helped clear up a few doubts regarding Work Centres and the individual fields you can use to accurately manage your production. If there are any lingering doubts, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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