Design considerations of scheduling systems suitable for PCB manufacturing
This paper identifies five key design characteristics of production scheduling software systems in printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. The authors consider that, in addition to an effective scheduling engine, a scheduling system should be able to process a preventative maintenance calendar, to give the user the flexibility to handle data using a variety of electronic sources, to run simulations to support decision-making, and to have simple and customisable graphical user interfaces. These design considerations were the result of a review of academic literature, the evaluation of commercial applications and a compilation of requirements of a PCB manufacturer. It was found that, from those systems that were evaluated, those that effectively addressed all five characteristics outlined in this paper were the most robust of all and could be used in PCB manufacturing.