Frequently Asked Questions
What is Opcenter APS (formerly known as Preactor APS)?
Opcenter APS is an advanced planning and scheduling software that can be used for long-term strategic planning covering months and years, and in detailed sequencing and scheduling scenarios that can be managed from months, weeks and days, and all the way to hours and minutes.
Whether you are streamlining your current operations, or building the next stage of growth, clear visibility into utilisation and capacity helps you make informed decisions and get ahead of the competition.
What's the difference between planning and scheduling?
Planning helps you to:
- Decide what, when, where, and how much to make
- Understand materials and resources required
- Plan work in the long term (days, weeks, months ahead)
Scheduling helps you to:
- Choose the best way to execute against your plan
- Sequence and synchronize
- Understand priorities, constraints and conflicts
- Monitor execution and manage change
- Plan work in the short term (minutes, hours, days ahead)
Can Opcenter APS cope with assembly lines?
Yes, RMS have implemented Opcenter APS to schedule in the majority of manufacturing environments. Assembly line scheduling, although simple in principle, actually incorporates some of the greatest challenges, particularly where lines need to be switched to different products, products to different (or more) lines, at short notice, and the expected output must be completely re-calculated.
What is the difference between Opcenter AS Standard, Professional and Ultimate?
Opcenter AS Standard uses order-based scheduling to which the user can apply a ranking or weighting to prioritise the orders. It schedules based on the availability of resources, additional constraints and the materials required for the order.
Opcenter AS Professional has several additional schedule optimisation rules to deal with problems such as minimising changeover times, preferred sequencing and campaigning. The user is also able to implement customer-specific rules about how materials are consumed and visualise their assembly process from raw materials through to finished goods and sales orders in the Material Explorer.
Opcenter AS Ultimate includes a developer licence (Opcenter Ultimate Access), which gives access to the full flexibility and customisation available. The database schema can be altered as required, including adding tables and fields, and via the Opcenter programming interfaces, it is possible to create custom scheduling rules to solve specific scheduling problems and create custom data manipulation tools for use with the Opcenter workflow engine.
We're currently using an excel spreadsheet for planning, will Opcenter APS be to complex for us?
Many large companies today still use Excel spreadsheets as a means to perform their scheduling which can be time-consuming and often provides poor visibility to other management and staff members.
Opcenter APS can be installed straight out of the box and is a ready-made solution for any scheduling team. It can be customised and configured where necessary to best fit with your companies requirements. It is an intuitive solution that can be easily picked up and mastered when accompanied by user training from an RMS Consultant
Will Opcenter APS be compatible with my current ERP system?
Opcenter APS is designed to work alongside and facilitate, rather than replace, existing systems. They can be tightly integrated with ERP, spreadsheets, MES and SFDC systems. RMS has worked with countless different ERP systems and are yet to come across as an external software that we cannot integrate with.
As many of the software and systems in the market utilise Structured Query Language (SQL), this allows for connections to be made with ease between them.
Why do we need Opcenter APS when we already have an ERP system?
Most ERP systems use the concept of infinite capacity and backward scheduling. ERP systems do not have the capacity to calculate the projected impact of overloaded work or to calculate the cause and effect of any changes on the available capacity or scheduled completion of orders.
Some ERP systems may have a planning and scheduling tool built-in, but we these are not of the same specification that Opcenter APS can offer.
How long will take to see a return on investment?
As every company is at a different stage, calculating an exact ROI figure can be difficult. However, most organisations begin to realise returns with weeks after a successful implementation.
The return is not only seen in accounting terms, but also in time-savings and improved communications between various departments due to increased visibility of operations.
Why should I choose RMS as my Opcenter APS partner?
We have over 25 years of experience in implementing and developing Opcenter (formerly Preactor) systems. Our experienced consultants and software engineers will ensure the process is as seamless as possible for your company. We are able to offer our first-class support to ensure your system remains operational. Our aim is to help you quickly realise the benefits that Opcenter can bring and offer a healthy ROI.
What is Marshal Shop Floor Data Collection (SFDC)?
Marshal is a flexible and easy to use out-of-the-box shop floor data collection solution. It provides real-time order tracking that enables you to manage and measure your operations.
Read more about Marshal SFDC here.
Why do we need shop floor data collection?
By collecting data it gives the business much better visibility of exactly how they are performing. It enables us to analyse the planned vs actual times meaning you can increase the accuracy of production timings and costs, and more reliable lead times to customers.
Can we use tablets on the shop floor for Marshal SFDC?
Yes. Marshal can be used on any tablet, desktop or laptop with its responsive design. This means no requirement for expensive digital terminals or equipment on the shop floor.
How many workers can we have in Marshal SFDC?
You can add as many workers to the system as you like. There can be a situation where there are multiple workers within one user account. This can be used in the case of multiple workers working together on one work station or resource.
Can we have multiple sites within Marshal SFDC?
Marshal SFDC can support multiple sites. A site can have their own unique user accounts and workers attached to them.
Our organisation doesn't have Opcenter APS, can we still use Marshal SFDC?
Marshal has been developed to work as stand-alone shop data collection or to work in conjunction with Opcenter APS.
It is easy to integrate with any of your existing systems and is the perfect solution to shop floor data collection if your company is already utilising the Opcenter software.
How to get started?
Get in touch via our Contact Us page by phone or email, or fill out the form below and we will contact you!
Online demonstration followed by an on-site visit
We will perform a demonstration of the software over the phone and using screen sharing software. This is usually accompanied by a site visit at a later date to talk in further detail about the exact requirements for your organisation.
Great to have you on board! We begin by working with you to gather data from your current systems so we can start configuring your new software.