Production planning functions

The main functions of production planning are:


Involves deciding the quantity of products to be produced and cost involved in it on the basis of sales forecast.
Estimating manpower, machine capacity and materials required (bill of material is the basis) to meet the planned production targets. These are the key activities before budgeting of resources (e.g.-production budget is the basis for materials budget, capital equipment budget and manpower budget)


This is the process of determining the sequence of operations to be performed in the production process. Routing determines what work must be done, where and how.

Routing information is provided by product or process engineering function and it is useful to prepare machine loading charts and schedules.

Route sheet

A route sheet is a document, providing information and instructions for converting the raw materials into finished parts or products. It defines each step of the production operation and lays down the precise path or route through which the product will flow during the conversion process.

Route sheets contain the following information:

1.The operations required and their desired sequence.

2.Machine or equipment to be used for each operation.

3.Estimated set up time and operation time per piece (standard time)

4.Tools, jigs and fixtures required for the operation.

5.Detailed drawings of parts, sub-assemblies and final assemblies.

6.Specification, dimensions, tolerances, surface finishes and quality standards to be achieved.

7.Specification of raw materials to be used.

8.Cutting speed, feed, depth of cut, etc., to be used on machine tools for the operations to be carried on.

9.Inspection procedure and metrology tools required for inspection.

10.Packing and handling instructions during the movement of parts and sub assemblies through the operation stages.


Involves fixing priorities for each job and determining the starting time and finishing time for each operation, the starting dates and finishing dates for each part, sub-assembly and final assembly .Scheduling lays down a time table for production, indicating the total time required for the manufacture of a product and also the time required for carrying out the operation for each part on each machine or equipment.

Objectives of scheduling are:

1.To prevent unbalanced use of time among work centers and departments

2.To utilize labor such that the output is produced within established lead time or cycle time so as to deliver the products in time and complete production at minimum total cost.


Facility loading means loading of facility or work centre and deciding, which jobs to be assigned to which work centre or machine. Loading is the process of converting operation schedules into practice .Machine loading is the process of assigning specific jobs to machines, men or work centers based on relative priorities and capacity utilization.

A machine loading chart (Gantt chart) is prepared showing the planned utilization of men and machines by allocating the jobs to machines or workers as per priority sequencing established at the time of scheduling.

Loading ensures maximum possible utilization of productive facilities and avoid bottlenecks in production. It is important to avoid either over loading or under loading the facilities, work centers or machines to ensure maximum utilization of resources.