EFI PrintFlow Dynamic Scheduling (Booth 2000) helps companies relieve bottlenecks, reduce waste, increase productivity, adjust to rapidly changing conditions and optimize business operations. EFI PrintFlow now offers features for both employee and tool constraints and can optimize a print company’s complete schedule automatically, taking into consideration multiple, concurrent constraints including:
- Proof dates, material dates and outside vendor dates
- Automatic load balancing on parallel (group) cost centers
- Switchover/makeready minimization
- Capacity utilization and optimization
- Employee constraints, including skills and calendars
- Cost center constraints, including capabilities and calendars
- Tool constraints on cost centers
The new PrintFlow employee and tool constraints include the following capabilities:
- Employee Pool Scheduling: Used to schedule one or more pools of interchangeable employees in which each employee in each pool knows how to operate the same work center(s)
- Employee Skill Scheduling: Matches work centers requiring special skills with employees that have those skills
- Direct Employee Scheduling: Used to schedule cost centers that, in order to run, require one or more specific employees
- Tool Scheduling: Schedules pools of interchangeable tools that are needed to run a work center. You might, for example, define a pool of four inkjet heads that can be used on six binding lines.
PrintFlow is based on the principles of TGO, the Theory of Global Optimization (TGO) which EFI’s Udi Arieli developed many years ago. The fundamental message of TGO is that the total optimization of all manufacturing process resources, including employees and tools, increases throughput and therefore profits.
“We at EFI, particularly among the PrintFlow team, are very proud and excited about this achievement, which, to our knowledge, is the first on the market,” commented Udi Arieli, PrintFlow Director of Product Management. “A few competing products claim to manage these constraints, but our clients and prospects have told us that other systems lack optimization and automation—the two most important aspects of constraint management.”