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Example: Sizing Panels

Cutting large panels or sheet goods down into smaller ones is a common practice in manufacturing. Some examples would be cutting bulk sheet materials such as plywood, polystyrene, or aluminium down to smaller sizes so they can fit in other machines or otherwise be converted into the finished goods.  Factory Superstar can deal with the sizing of such panels, including taking care of inventory, calculating costs, and telling your team what to do. To implement it is relatively simple, though the concept itself is a bit tricky. Just follow along with our examples and you'll be up and running in no time.  Remember that once you've configured sizing a panel once you can then use it for multiple products, so you really only need to set up once!

Sizing a Panel Let's say you buy in big panels of wood. These panels have dimensions length, breadth, and thickness. These panels are 'bought' items - you can't specify variables other than the 'Each Unit Contains / Units' values you entered when adding the 'bought' item. But these panels undergo a process that modifies all three of these dimensions. What do you do? First, add a bought item. Call it something like 'Wood Panel - 240 x 120 cm'. for the Each Unit Contains / Units we'd recommend you input the length of the panel. Then, you need to define an intermediate definition, one that just covers cutting it to length. So call this intermediate definition 'Wood Panel - 240 x 120 cm - Cut to Length'. Add a variable 'length' with units centimetres (or whatever length units you use) and leave the value of the variable blank, and add the original bought item as the only subcomponent, setting its length equal to 'length' (literally type the length  variable name into the subcomponent length box).  Ok, so we've just added the intermediate definition. Now to add the main one that allows us to specify the entire dimensions.  Add a new definition. Call it 'Wood Panel - 240 x 120 cm - Sized'. Add variables 'length', and 'depth', don't add a value for the variables, and choose the unit you use for length (e.g. centimetres). Now, add the intermediate definition as a subcomponent.  For length, just type 'length' (you want whatever is chosen for the length to be the length of the intermediate panel). The quantity  field that now appears is what allows Factory Superstar to configure the stock usage: Let's say the original depth of the panel was 60 cm. If we've requested a depth of 60 cm, then we want the length that we've asked for, but only half the material, or 60/120 = 1/2 the quantity. So when defining the quantity of the intermediate definition as a sub-component, set quantity = depth/120  (where '120' is the stock depth of the panel).  There's one final thing to do: On the page for the Definition we've just made, under 'Sub-Components' make sure you check the Link?  box. This tells the system to hide the intermediate Definition from the production screens and always show the main definition, just to make things neater. Now, whenever we go to size a panel Factory Superstar will ask you what length and depth, and will calculate the correct quantity required.