Scenario Files

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Scenario Files

Create a New Scenario

To create a new scenario, go to File>New Scenario from the Line Balancing module.  You will be taken step-by-step through a wizard.



Scenario Details:

The first frame of the Scenario Wizard lets you specify basic information about how you would like to set up the scenario.


Scenario Name You can name the scenario as you wish. Letters, numbers, and spaces are allowed, although some special characters will not be accepted ( i.e. , = ' " ( ) [ ] % ! ).


Notes This section provides space for you to include detailed notes about the scenario, if desired.


Target Date This date has a dual purpose. It serves as a date to filter tasks to be included and also serves as the date that the scenario gets applied. Remember that:

Activities that have an Effective From Date after the Target Date will not be included in the scenario.

Activities that have an Effective To Date before the Target Date will not be included in the scenario.

Applying the scenario back to the database will result in timing out and copying existing activities, timing in the new copied activities, and updating their station assignments.


Time Rank This lets you choose the order in which activity times will be used. If you have assigned a time in more than one activity time category (estimated, observed, and calculated), this lets you decide the order in which those times will be used.  For example, if you set the time rank to 'Observed, Calculated, Estimate,' the scenario will look at each activity individually, and if an activity has an Observed Time>0, it will use that value as the activity's time in the scenario.  If not, it will move to Calculated Time, and if an activity has a Calculated Time>0, it will use that value as the activity's time in the scenario.  If not, it will use the value in Estimated Time as the activity's time in the scenario.


Enable Schedule Driven Balance A schedule-driven balance automatically calculates model and option demand percentages based on a set of orders.


Product Line Type This is where you specify whether you're assessing a single or mixed model assembly line.

Single Model: This is for a line with only one product model being manufactured. This is typically the case with batch production.

Mixed Model: This is for a line with a number of models being manufactured. A mix percentage for the line based on the demand for each model will be defined later.

Line Type

Single Sided: This is for a line where the operator can only work on one side of the product, or can work on any side of the product with no restrictions.

Multi Sided: This is for a line where a station has multiple areas (work zones) for an operator to work.  Setting up a multi sided scenario typically means you want to restrict certain tasks to certain stations due to work zones, or assign certain tasks to certain operators that only work in certain work zones.  For example, one operator could be working in the Front and Right work zones of a station, while another could be working in the Rear and Left work zones.


When you are finished entering and selecting your information, click Next.



Order Details:  

The second frame of the Scenario Wizard will only be shown if you have created a mixed model scenario in the first frame. It lets you specify which orders to consider when calculating the model and model-option demand percentages.


Fetch order from schedule database: If orders have been loaded into the Order Data Management control under Data Mgmt, you can retrieve orders from there to use in your scenario.

Single Day Study: Check only if retrieving orders from a single day.

Select the day or date range using the calendar drop-down menus. Make sure the dates are compatible with the orders you are reading.

Select Assembly Line: Use the drop-down menu to select which assembly line the orders have been assigned to.

Get Orders from Build List Only: Orders can be stored in the Order List or in the Build List; if this box is checked, only orders currently in the Build List will be retrieved.

Get Orders: When you are ready, click this button to retrieve the selected orders. They will appear in the spreadsheet in the lower half of the Order Details window.


Load orders from external excel file: Browse to and load a preformatted order file (the file format must be .xls and must be closed before loading). The .xls file must contain the following column headers: Unit Serial No, Order No, Model ID, and Schedule Date. Optional column headers are Line Unit No, Model Description, Options, Series, Machine Serial No, Has Sequencing Info. Once the file is loaded, the orders will appear in the spreadsheet in the lower half of the Order Details window.


Once the orders appear, you can use the Exclude, Move Up, and Move Down buttons to rearrange the orders. While you can move orders up and down in this screen, it does not have an effect on the scenario (as only total demand percentages are being used) nor on the orders in Order Data Management.


When you are finished entering and selecting your information, click Next.



Routing Details:

This frame lets you specify the routing for which you want to create the scenario as well as the model and option details.  


Routing  Click on the 'Select' button to bring up the routing search window. When you search, make sure you have selected the correct plant from the Plant ID drop-down. Choose your routing and click 'OK.'  Information about the Routing Type and Plant ID will be filled in automatically based on your routing selection.

Model Details  For a single model scenario, the Model Details control will be disabled.


After selecting a routing for a mixed model scenario, the Model Details will automatically be populated with any models mapped to the routing. However, you may remove models from the scenario by checking the 'Exclude' box next to the model. Checking this box will remove the model completely from the balance you create.  Alternately, you can leave the percentage for that model at zero and a bar will still appear in the balance graph representing the model, with a time of zero.


Schedule-driven balances will automatically populate the percentages for the 'Models' and 'Model-Option Mapping' information.  Otherwise, you need to specify the proportion of demand that each model comprises. Keep in mind that the percentage column must add up to one (or 100 if you have checked the 'Use Percentage' box). If it does not, an error message will appear and you will not be able to navigate to the next frame. Since line balances are typically done to prepare for projected changes in demand, you may not have exact percentages; use the best estimates you have.


Model-Option Mapping  In this tab, specify the percentage each option appears on each corresponding model listed.


When you are finished entering and selecting your information, click Next.



Task Details:

All activities in the selected routing that are effective as of the scenario's Target Date will appear in the Task Details frame. Since this is meant to give you a preview of task data that will be brought into the scenario, you cannot edit the data shown in the spreadsheet.  


Time Unit  Activity times will be converted to the time unit you select from the dropdown list.

Task Details You may choose to include or exclude specific tasks by selecting them and then clicking the 'Include' or 'Exclude' buttons. By default, all tasks are included. Tasks that have been excluded will be displayed in gray text instead of black.

*Note: Excluding activities may affect precedence within a scenario. For example, if your precedence network says that Activity2 must follow Activity1 and Activity3 must follow Activity1, and you exclude Activity2 from your scenario, you will not see a precedence violation if Activity3 precedes Activity1.


When you are finished reviewing and entering your information, click Next.



Station Details:

The station details frame allows you to specify the stations that will be considered in your scenario.  By default, if a Work Center is mapped to any operation in the selected Routing, that Work Center, or Station, will be listed by default in this screen.


If you have created stations in the Plant Editor, you can choose "Add Existing" to select additional stations for the balance scenario.  This is recommended especially if you have mapped resources to stations and are planning to use the Monumental Resource constraint, and/or if you're planning to Apply your scenario.


You can also 'Add New' and create stations that will exist only in this scenario. These stations will have no resource information associated with them (necessary for the monumental resource constraint).


The third option is to not associate any stations with the scenario; all of the stations necessary will be generated by Assembly Planner if you run the automatic balancing. These stations also will not have any resource data associated with them.


Order The order of the station in the line and the order in which it will appear in the balance graph. You can move stations by selecting a row and clicking the up or down arrows on the right.


ID Station ID


Description Station Description, which is automatically populated based on the Station ID.


Status This will either be 'Existing' or 'New' and is automatically populated.


Work Zones Comma separated list of Work Zones that exist in each station.

Note that the station work zone column only appears for multi-sided scenarios. If you do not see it, check your scenario details.


Operator Count Number of operators available to work in each station.  You can change this value at any time.  It is important to note that while the Default Balance can add stations to the balance, it cannot add operators to a station, so you are responsible for defining how many operators can work in each station.


Exclude Check this box if you wish to exclude work in this station. The station will no longer appear in the balance, and any tasks assigned to the station will be hidden and ignored as well.  The station and its tasks can be brought back into the balance simply by returning to Edit>Station Details once the scenario is created, and unchecking the Exclude button.

*Note: If you wish to remove the station, but still include the tasks assigned to it, you can select the station in this list and click the Remove button.  This will remove the station from the balance, and will send its tasks to the Unassigned List when you close the Station Details window.


Setup Time If there is any setup time associated with the station (work that has to be done in the station for every unit that enters), enter that time here.  Setup time is shown in certain chart types; see the Chart Display section for details.


Setup Description Define any details about the setup work.


When you are finished reviewing and entering your information, click Finish to create the scenario.



*Note: When your scenario is created, you will see a chart and the task assignments based on the current work center/operator mapping in the process library.  One indicator of whether a line is balanced in a scenario or not is whether a red TAKT time line exists on the graph - if it does not, chances are, the line has not been adjusted since the scenario was created.


Use the Scenario Manager

To open the Scenario Manager, go to File>Open Scenario from the Line Balancing module.


Open: Opens the selected scenario to edit or view. If another user has the scenario open, the scenario will open in read-only mode.


Rename: Allows you to change the name of the selected scenario.


Delete: Will permanently delete the scenario.


Clone: Creates a copy of the scenario. The clone can then be modified; this is useful if you want to see how the balance would be affected by minor changes.


Import: Will open an zipped XML folder containing a Line Balancing scenario that was perhaps created in another Assembly Planner database.


Export: Writes the scenario out as a zipped XML file, so it can be opened in another Assembly Planner database.


Move: Moves the selected scenario into a selected folder.


Folders: This opens the Folders Management window, where you can create and manage folders and subfolders to store scenarios, to help keep them organized.


Permissions: This allows you to control the users that can create and edit a scenario file.  All users are able to see and open all scenarios in the Scenario Manager, but some may only be able to open scenarios in the read-only mode.  Any administrator and the creator of each scenario can edit and set permissions on a scenario.

To create a new scenario for a given routing, a user must be mapped as the Line Supervisor in the Plant Editor for the stations in that routing.  Administrators and users with custom roles can edit the Line Supervisor mapping.

*Note: This feature is only enabled for certain clients, though all users will see the Permissions button.  For some clients, all users will have write permissions to all scenarios by default.  



Scenario Manager Notes:

There is an icon to the left of each scenario in the list; it will be a lock symbol, a check mark, or a caution symbol.


The lock symbol indicates that the scenario is "checked in" and that you may open and edit it.

The check mark indicates that you have the scenario "checked out" and are the only one who can edit it.

The caution symbol indicates that someone else has already opened the scenario to edit. Their user name will be listed in the Currently Used By column. In this case, you will only be able to open the scenario as 'read-only.'


To avoid keeping a scenario "checked out" by mistake, always go to File>Close Scenario when you are finished editing a scenario.