Preactor is a family of products. Although all Preactor systems are based on exactly the same core code, they have different levels of functionality and price points so that the user can select the version that meets their specific needs and the budget available. Because all versions share common code, upgrading from one version to another is easy and straight forward.
Preactor Express is a fixed configuration version of Preactor with the goal to be deployed quickly and easily by small companies. Its scheduling algorithm uses priority or due date to decide the order sequence, and generates a good, achievable schedule, days, weeks, even months ahead. All product information such as routing (operational steps, setup and run rates) resources, workcenters and shift patterns are held in SQL. Resources, products and orders can be imported from Excel or added manually. Schedule information can be exported to Excel. Microsoft Reporting Services is used to provide the textural and graphical reports. Preactor Express also has features such as a capable to promise enquiry tool and user definable operation and product attributes but cannot be customized to the same degree as higher versions of Preactor.
PREACTOR 200 FCS
The Preactor 200 FCS is the starting point for users wishing to integrate their solution with other packages such as ERP, MES and data collection tools. The SQL database is fully customizable allowing its structure to be altered to fit the needs of the user. When generating a plan or schedule Preactor 200 FCS allows more than one type of resource to be occupied, for example a machine, operator and tool, at the same time. The primary resource is treated as finite (only one batch can use it at one time) while the usages of other resources are displayed as plots. These plots can display the number of each resource required over the period of the schedule and the user can interact with them to overcome violated constraints. Additional scheduling features available in Preactor 200 FCS include the ability to define different run speeds for an operation from one resource to another, have sequence dependent changeover times based on product or operation attributes, allow overlapping (transfer batching) and splitting of operations, automatic schedule repair. Reports are available to compare one saved schedule with another. The Preactor API is available in Preactor 200 FCS. This interface allows macros, typically written in VB.NET or C# to be added to Preactor for data validation, integration, reporting, etc.
PREACTOR 300 FCS
Preactor 300 FCS has a number of extra features over and above Preactor 200 FCS. Firstly, at a detailed scheduling level P300 FCS has additional features including multiple finite resource constraints for each operation, routing control depending on resources selected, modelling of multiple batches on the same resource such as ovens and tanks, and mid batch updates on completed quantities. The most common use of these additional features is to model the impact of additional constraints on the start of an operation. For example a task may require any one of a group of machines, an operator who has the correct skills and a specialized tool. Each must be taken into account in determining when work can begin.
PREACTOR 400 APS
Preactor 400 APS has a number of schedule optimization rules built-in to deal with such problems as minimizing changeover times, preferred sequencing, bottleneck scheduling and campaigning. Composite rules can be built using Preactor's Event Script Processor to selectively apply a sequence of the standard rules. However, if these rules do not meet the exact requirements, then unique rules can be added using VB.NET or C#. Material control via the concept of order pegging is also a feature of Preactor 400 APS. Typically the MRP process will create separate manufacturing orders for each component at each level of the BoM and may also consolidate parts for many different sales orders. Preactor 400 APS can use the BoM structure together with user definable pegging rules to link or peg orders together. The result can be viewed in the Material Explorer. This shows a graphical view of the dependencies as well as plots of materials over time. The user can see where shortages will occur and choose to keep them as a constraint or ignore them. These links are used during schedule generation so that if, for example, the material produced by an order is delayed then the impact on the order(s) it supplies can be established. This can be extended to purchase orders for bought-in items and to sales orders so full material traceability is available. Synchronization of plant capacity constraints with materials purchasing provides a major benefit and ROI by reducing on-hand inventory levels.
PREACTOR 500 APS
Preactor 500 APS takes material control a step further. It has an Advanced Materials Control (AMC) feature. In this, materials can be produced or consumed at any operation step within an order. This means that both by-products and co-products can be modelled in Preactor and used as constraints. Preactor 500 APS also has a Preactor BoM eXploder (PBX). Although other Preactor systems have a Capable To Promise (CTP) function, when a BoM explosion and/or netting off of current stocks and work in process is required to produce the order promise response, then the Preactor 500 APS is required. As an enquiry is entered into Preactor 500 APS, orders for each component at each level of the BoM are created, including routing. It then links or pegs the orders together and overlays them on the current schedule taking into account all resource and material constraints, to give a realistic promise date.
This product has six P500 APS licenses (Master license and 5 run-time licenses) included and is attractive to companies who have multiple license requirements either within a single plant or across multiple sites. Each license can run different models and different data sets. Models are created on the Master License and then compiled to run on a run-time license. Additional run-time licenses can be purchased as required when rolling out across other sites.