In this training lesson, we will learn how to set up route and operations and what they are used for.
A route or a production route in Microsoft Dynamics AX brings together a sequence of steps or operations which defines a manufacturing process. Like a production BOM, a route must be approved before it is used in a live production order and must also be marked as active.
An operation within a route is attached to a specific work center, which defines a person, machine, tool, or vendor who is to carry out the work.
A route can be defined and attached to more than one item in the same way that an operation can be defined and attached to more than one route. In this way a company can build up a library of operations which may be reused on many routes.
The following examples demonstrate the principle:
|Route : 0010 – Fairy Cake|
|Operation Number||Description||Work Center||Run Time|
|10||Mix||Food processor||120 seconds|
|Route : 0020 – Fruit Cake|
|Operation Number||Description||Work Center||Run Time|
|10||Soak Fruit||Sink||12 hours|
|20||Mix||Food processor||600 seconds|
Notice that both previously mentioned production routes contain the same operations attached to the same work centers and only the run time differs.
Let’s create a new route for the Chair item:
Note: A route only contains operations and does not depend on BOM components. But, operation parameters can be set up per BOM. In other words, if a chair and a fishing rod use the same route, then the operations to process these BOMs are the same but can consume different time.
An operation is a task or a process connected with the production of an item. To set up operations, go to Production > Setup > Routes > Operations. The Operations form opens.
As you can make sure, the Operations form contains only two parameters: Operation (operation identification) and Name (short description).
That is because an operation can be assigned to different work centers. So, an operation can consume different time in different work centers. For example it takes one hour to paint 4 chairs in one work center, while in the other work center the same operation consumes 2 hours (because the number of workers differs). So the Operations form can’t have multiple parameters because they vary from one work center to another.
When an operation is assigned to a route, the route operation (or an operation with parameters) is created. All route operation parameters are filled in by default from the work center. In the previous training lesson, we have discussed what work center parameters are the default ones for an operation.
Let’s imagine the following chair production process: chiseling chair elements from wooden block (chiseling), varnishing all wooden elements (varnishing), preparing chair elements for assembly (drilling), sewing seat and back for a chair (sewing), assembling a chair (assembly), and packing a chair (pack)
Let’s set up these operations in Microsoft Dynamics AX:
Now, we can create the route operations:
Make sure that the Setup and Times tabs contain the same values as the Setup and Times tabs in the work center. The route operation parameters can be changed. Note: Operation parameters can be set up per BOM item.
Note: When several route operations are assigned to the same work center, all operation parameters are the same. So, time required for assembling one chair and time required for sewing one chair is the same.
If you close the Route form, the “There is more than one closing operation” error message will be shown. Operations in a route must be attached to each other in a logical way to reflect the production process. The operation in a route is identified by an operation number (the Oper. No field) and is linked with the help of the Next field.
Let’s create the simplest production flow in the Route form:
It is the easiest route network, because each operation goes step by step. The real production process can have a complex network. The Microsoft Dynamics AX allows creating the following operation constructions:
But, these operation structures can be created only when the Route network check box is selected in the Parameters form (Production > Setup > Parameters > Routes field group > Route network check box).
Note: When the Route form closes, the route is updated. Actually the user can set up a complex structure (with an independent operation and simultaneous operations) with the Route network check box cleared, but when the user closes the Rote form, the structure will be updated to a simple “step by step” network.
Let’s create an independent operation structure for the Sewing operations, so that workers can start sewing backs or seats for chairs independently from wooden components: Find the DrillingCh operation in the Route form and fill in 50 in the Next field.
Several words about simultaneous operations: they can be used in both simple and complex route networks. A simultaneous operation is a process where several work centers are used at the same time. Simultaneous operations use the capacity of several work centers at the same time, for example, they can use a machine, its operator, and possibly a specific tool. To set up simultaneous operations, you must use the same operation number and the Priority field.
Let’s assume that the Chiseling operation uses the human and the machine work:
When a production order is scheduled, the operation parameters from the primary simultaneous operations are taken into account. All other simultaneous operations are secondary, therefore their capacity is not taken into consideration. We will check how it works in the Times consumed by operation section of this training lesson.
Most of the operation parameters are transferred from a work center the topic that we have already discussed shortly in the previous training lesson.
The main operation parameters are:
In this paragraph, we will discuss these operation parameters in more detail.
In Microsoft Dynamics AX, an operation can be divided into the following parts: Queue before, Setup, Process, Overlap, Transport, Queue after. These parts are called Jobs. Each job is a separate logical unit. Jobs are assigned to employees for processing.
Let’s assume that the Varnishing operation has the following jobs: Setup, Process, and Queue after.
Let’s set up the time required for these operation jobs:
This means that the 011 work center requires 0.5 hr (for preparing a working place) + 3 hrs (for varnishing) + 2 hrs (for drying) = 5.5 hours for varnishing one BOM item. Note that only the run time is quantity dependent. This means that for varnishing two BOMs the 011 work center requires 0.5 hr (for preparing a working place) + 3 hrs * 2 (for varnishing) + 2 hrs (for drying) = 7.5 hours.
We have calculated the process time (the run time) on the basis of the values from the Run time and Process qty fields, but in Microsoft Dynamics AX the process time required for processing job for one BOM item can be calculated in four different ways. It depends on the operation formula parameter which located under Route form > Setup tab > Consumption calculation field group> Formula field.
The Formula field has the following values:
A route can have a complex network with independent and simultaneous operations (as described in previous topic). Let’s assume that a route has the following network:
Time consumed by Operation 1 and Operation 2 can be different. But, what if the production process requires that these two operations end or start at the same time? Unfortunately, in Microsoft Dynamics AX the user cannot set up relations between independent operations.
By default, Operation 3 will start after the longest previous operation ends, or in other word when all previous operations end. We can change the default flow. For example if Operation 1 will run 3 hours and Operation 2 will run 1 hour, we can set up Operation 3 to start when Operation 2 ends (the smallest operation). It is difficult to assume when this flow can be used. For this purposes, the Link type field is available in the Route form. If Operatin3 must start when Operation2 ends, the route should have the following link type values:
Note: In a simple route, a network operation always starts after the previous operation ends.
In our example, we have both independent and simultaneous operations. Let’s check how this works. First, we should set up the run time for all route operations:
Then, we will create a production order and run the job scheduling:
We will learn the Production order life cycle in the next training lesson.
This is because the Cutting operation is performed in the 005 machine work center group. This group uses the Cut calendar. All that you need to do is to create working time for the Cut calendar by going to Basic > CommonForms > Calendar > finding the Cut calendar > clicking the Workingtimes button > clicking the Composeworkingtimes button > selecting the Std-Day working time template, and then clicking OK.
We can see the operations are divided into jobs. The operation 20 is divided to Setup, Process, and Queue after jobs, this is because we have set up the time for this operation parts. The operation 40 is an independent operation and we can see that the generated job starts on 8:00 A.M. 6/16/2011 (independent from other jobs). Simultaneous operations generate simultaneous jobs that start and end at the same time (Oper.No 10). The time consumed by simultaneous jobs is calculated on the basis of primary simultaneous operation parameters. For convenience, the visual view of operations and jobs is available in Microsoft Dynamics AX. In the Production orders form, click the Gantt button. The Gantt chart form opens. Expand work centers and you will see the following picture:
We can see that jobs consume some time from the work center. Microsoft Dynamics AX uses an available work center from a work center group specified on the operation.
One more parameter that influences the time consumed by an operation is the Qty. of work centers which located on the General tab of the Route form). If this field contains, for example, the value 2, two simultaneous jobs will be created in two work centers. It can be used to speed up the operation. Let’s check how it works:
You can view the result in the Gantt chart.
Let’s review. In this topic we have studied the following:
We have already discussed that an operation is divided into jobs. The cost of an operation is a sum of all jobs’ cost. Job cost is defined with the help of cost categories.
Open the Route form under Production > Common Forms > Route details > Find the Wooden chair route > Click the Route button.
On the Setup tab, cost categories are specified:
The cost category contains the rate per hour. We can see that only the Setup and the Process job costs can be specified (with the help of the Setup category and Run time category fields). This means that other job types such as Queue before, Queue after, Transit are used only for calculating the time consumed by operations not the cost (these job types can only be reported as started and ended).
In our case, all operations except Cutting have the same values in the Setup category and Run time category fields because they are handled in the same work center group (these parameters are filled in by default from the work center group).
Let’s check what the cost of the setup time is. In the Setup category field, right-click and select Go to the Main Table Form. The Cost categories form opens.
We can see that the cost of Setup time is 12 per hour. On the Ledger-Work centers tab, the general ledger accounts that will be used for recording costs for this category are available.
The Process time uses the HTSProc cost category and the cost of the Process time is 10. One more cost category is available in the Route form is Quantity category. This cost category specifies the quantity-dependent cost. The Setup and Run time categories contain the time-dependent costs.
Let’ check the cost of a BOM:
We can see that the total cost price of a produced chair is 620.82. The cost price of BOM components is zero (the lines from 2 to 5). The first Chiseling operation contains only 1 hour of run time and 1 product to produce, so the cost of this operation is 1 * 10 (from the run time cost category) + 1 * 1 (the form quantity cost category) = 11 (lines 6-7). The rest of costs are calculated in the same way except the last two lines.
The last two lines are indirect costs. This type of cost depends on BOM or route costs. The rate for indirect costs is set up in the Costing sheet. Let’s check what rates are set up for the LAB_OVH and PLANT_OVH indirect costs:
We can see that the basis for calculating indirect costs is the manufacturing and material costs. The percent of plant overheads cost is 3. The cost rate of operation is set up in the cost categories (the Setup or Run time cost categories), cost categories are united in cost groups, then in the Costing sheet the cost groups are assigned either to material or manufacturing costs. Let’s calculate the PLANT_OVH cost. In our example, the operation setup cost category is HTSSetup, it belongs to the LAB_HTS cost group, and this cost group belongs to the manufacturing cost (see the previous cost sheet image).
The operation run time cost category is HTSProc, this category also belongs to the LAB_HTS cost group, so this cost is also for manufacturing. The quantity cost category also belongs to the Manufacturing cost. Since the operation cost category is transferred to job cost category, the manufacturing cost will be calculated in the following way: Manufacturing cost = jobs’ setup cost + jobs’ process cost + jobs’ quantity cost. PLANT_OVH = 0.03 * Manufacturing cost. We can see the jobs costs in the Calculation form (all lines except the first 5 lines). If we sum all costs, we will receive the 594 amount, if we multiply this amount by 0.03, we will receive the 17.82 amount (exactly the same amount as in the PLANT_OVH line, Total cost price field in the Calculation form). In Microsoft Dynamics AX, it is possible to see all costs summed up in a costing sheet. In the Calculation form, go to the Costing sheet tab.
We already know that an operation can be divided into jobs. A job can be included or excluded from calculation of operation consumed time and cost. This is controlled with the help of a route group. Route groups are set up on operations. Open the Route form under Production > Common Forms > Route details > Find the wooden chair route > Route button.
In our case, all operations use the same route group:
Let’s analyze what parameters are available for the route group: Open the Route group form under Production > Setup > Routes > Route groups.
On the General tab, the following parameters are available:
Compare this image with the previous Calculation form image to make sure that the Setup and Run time costs are not included.
On the Setup tab, the following parameters are available:
Compare this image with the previous Jobs form image to make sure that the end time differs and the Queue before and Setup jobs are not created.
Compare this image with the previous Gantt chart form image. We can see that only the process for the operation 40 starts from the very beginning of the day (not taking the work center calendar into account). All other processes are connected to each other, but why does the process for the operation 10 start at 10:00 A.M.? It is because the Production module is connected with the Master planning module. The default start time for the first production job is taken from Master planning > Setup > Parameters > Planned orders tab > Planned order field group > Receipt time field.
We can see that 5.50 hours are registered for Monday (but the sum of jobs on Monday for the work center group 011 is 7.50 hours) and 3.00 hours are registered for Tuesday. Let’s find out what jobs reserve the time in the work center 01101. In the Work center groups form, click the Work centers button. The Work centers form opens. Select the work center 01101 and the click the Dispatching button. The Dispatching form opens.
We can see that the Queue after job does not reserve any time in the work center.
Good work! 😉 In this training lesson, we have studied the following:
In the next training lesson, we will learn how the Production process is realized in Microsoft Dynamics AX.