Routing the Production and Operation Management

Routing may be defined as the selection of path which each part of the product will follow while being transformed from raw materials to finished products. Path of the product will also give sequence of operation to be adopted while being manufactured.

In other way, routing means determination of most advantageous path to be followed from department to department and machine to machine till raw material gets its final shape, which involves the following steps:

  • Type of work to be done on product or its parts.
  • Operation required to do the work.
  • Sequence of operation required.
  • Where the work will be done.
  • A proper classification about the personnel required and the machine for doing the work.

For effective production control of a well-managed industry with standard conditions, the routing plays an important role, i.e., to  have the best results obtained from available plant capacity. Thus routing provides the basis for scheduling, dispatching and follow-up.

Techniques of Routing

While converting raw material into required goods different operations are to be performed and the selection of a particular path of operations for each piece is termed as ‘Routing’. This selection of a particular path, i.e. sequence of operations must be the best and cheapest to have the lowest cost of the final product. The various routing techniques are:

  1. Route card: This card always accompanies with the job throughout all operations. This indicates the material used during manufacturing and their progress from one operation to another. In addition to this the details of scrap and good work produced are also recorded.
  2. Work sheet: It contains
    • Specifications to be followed while manufacturing.
    • Instructions regarding routing of every part with identification number of machines and work place of operation.

This sheet is made for manufacturing as well as for maintenance.

  1. Route sheet: It deals with specific production order. Generally made from operation sheets. One sheet is required for each part or component of the order. These includes the following:
  • Number and other identification of order.
  • Symbol and identification of part.
  • Number of pieces to be made.
  • Number of pieces in each lot—if put through in lots.
  • Operation data which includes:
    • List of operation on the part.
    • Department in which operations are to be performed.
    • Machine to be used for each operation.
    • Fixed sequence of operation, if any.
  • Rate at which job must be completed, determined from the operation sheet.

4. Move order: Though this is document needed for production control, it is never used for routing system. Move order is prepared for each operation as per operation sheet. On this the quantity passed forward, scrapped and to be rectified are recorded. It is returned to planning office when the operation is completed.

Source: KumarAnil, Suresh N. (2009), Production and operations management, New Age International Pvt Ltd; 2nd Ed. edition.

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