Introduction to Backflushing

Backflushing is an alternative method of allocating components or materials to manufacturing, whereby stock is deducted only after production has been completed.

Backflushing makes it easier to work with quantities that would otherwise be highly impractical to ‘pick’ for use on Works Orders, and is a particularly useful technique when:

    • Components are too small or numerous to be ‘counted out’ in a sensible timeframe. (e.g.: screws, nuts, bolts, other low-cost parts used in volume.)
    • When materials are divisible, liquid, molten, gaseous, in lengths, weights, or otherwise issued ‘approximately.’ (e.g.: paint, ingredients, chemicals etc.)
    • Where a ‘spare’ quantity needs to be returned to stock after manufacturing is finished. (e.g.: scrapings, leftovers, recycled material.)

In SQLWorks every component on a Bill of Material (BOM) has a default allocation method – either ‘Standard’, ‘Backflush’ or ‘Return’ which defines how stock of this item will be ‘used up’ in the Stock Ledger. These work as follows:

    • ‘Standard’ – This is the default, and is used for all items that need to be counted out in advance of production. Components will be removed from stock when the user clicks ‘Take’ on the Works Order, before production begins.
    • ‘Backflush’ – Components will only be removed from stock after the Works Order is built, and the user is then asked to specify how much has been used.
    • ‘Return’ – Similar to backflushing, however components will only be removed from stock after the Works Order is built, and the user is then asked to specify a ‘spare’ quantity that gets returned to stock.

By changing a component stock item to ‘Backflush’ on a BOM, nothing will be removed from stock at the ‘Take’ stage, instead being deducted only after that BOM has been ‘built’ on a Works Order. The user can then specify how much has (or hasn’t) been used.

This is significantly more practical for certain items – although production managers may need to initially estimate the stock quantity of a Backflush item that they expect to use on its BOM (e.g.: how much paint an item typically needs.)

The user can edit a component’s default type by right clicking on it in a BOM, and choosing ‘Change Component Type.’ Components set to Backflush will be marked with a small ‘B’ symbol in the BOM.

When ‘Taken’ within a Works Order, only Standard items will listed as being removed from stock, and Backflush items will always show a taken quantity of zero (with the user then prompted after the ‘build’ stage for the correct quantity used for Backflush, or quantity excess for Return.)

backflushing

For many manufacturers, drawing down stock ‘post-production’ in this way may be the only way to accurately update your usage of resources. Using backflushing is an efficient way of tracking manufacturing using more fluid components, and allows SQLWorks to keep your production precise.

Introduction to Production Planning

Production Planning


We’ve extended SQLWorks to include more powerful production planning/process routing in Version 10 – allowing Production Managers to masterplan working spaces, types of work, and employee skills to organise manufacturing capacity more effectively.

Workshop Map can be opened via the Products module in the NavBar, and uses three key elements:

  • Work Centres
These are places where work is done – normally a specific location or tooling area on the factory floor, and remember important data such as available working hours, setup/lag costs and more.
  • Processes
This is a type of manufacturing process – such as assembly, welding, mixing, painting etc, and can be restricted to specific work centres or employees.
  • Employees
This is the employee table used in SQLWorks CRM – listing your company’s available staff.

Each Process Route has a series of numbered steps (carried out in a specific order) called a Work Flow. To organise the Work Flow, the production manager simply chooses the Work Centre, Process, and Employee that is assigned at each step – by dragging and dropping them into the Workflow builder.

Workflow steps each carry associated costs and manufacturing times, allowing the system to build a comprehensive picture of the process route a finished product must follow to be completed in full.

production planning

Production managers can save Template Process Routes and assign these to Bills of Material – with the right default process routes being loaded automatically on new Works Orders to save time. Expected completion times are estimated automatically, and progress can be logged as each step of the Workflow is underway

Any Process Routes that are currently in use will be shown in the ‘Active Process Routes’ table, along with the details of the BOMs being produced which follow that process route.

Production Managers can also use this part of SQLWorks to generate reports (either from the perspective of Work Centres, Processes or Employee) to see outstanding and current Works Orders, and to gauge capacity from each.

This helps inform staffing decisions, shift patterns or identify production bottlenecks. Where there is a clash (for example, if a ‘Welding’ process employee has more welding hours due on Works Orders than is available in the calendar), SQLWorks will display ‘CLASH’ in red next to that Bill of Materials.

Overall SQLWorks’ Production Planning gives Production Managers the power to coordinate working spaces/resources, types of work, and personnel for maximum control. Production Routes help structure and streamline the manufacturing process, and organise manufacturing capacity more intelligently.

 

For expertise and software assistance, please contact our SQLWorks Team today

Manufacture and Kitting

manufacture

SQLWorks includes a manufacture and kitting tool able to budget for and build manufactured products using a selection of saved kits.

Manufacturing is accessible to users of the SQLWorks Advanced Stock, and can be found within the Stock Ledger screen under the ‘Products’ module in the main Navbar (1).

Clicking the ‘Kit Details’ Tab opens the kitting information for the selected stock item (2), and users should click the ‘Setup’ button if using these tools for a given stock item for the first time. By default, SQLWorks saves up to 3 alternate builds for each manufactured item (although more are available) with saved descriptions for each build (3).

Each stock item in your SQLWorks stock ledger can be both a ‘parent’ (made from its stock item ‘children’ – its components) or a ‘child’ of another stock item ‘parent’. Right-clicking opens options to ‘add child’ (component part) including values for both the components and associated labour costs.

Saved builds can include many components, sub components, and more levels as needed.

On the right hand side of the panel (4) are fields displaying the ‘Base Component Cost’ (the total value of the component parts as worked out by your saved SQLWorks stock valuation model) the ‘Marked Up Component Cost’ (the total markup value once percentage markups such as labour or assembly costs have been applied to each component for this build) and the ‘Current Kit Cost’ with your assigned sale cost for the finished product.

The kit price will be re-calculated automatically as component parts change, or if you have disabled this feature, by pressing the ‘Re-calculate’ button. Users can update the cost details for a build, allowing for any recent changes to stock ledger components, their value or assembly markup costs. You can also use saved shortcuts in the quick select menu of the Stock Ledger to view ‘Parent Items’ and ‘Child Items’ for easy searching.

SQLWorks manufacturing gives you a toolkit to organize the manufacture of kits from countless components, and to keep track of costs at every stage of the production line.

 

For specialist manufacture and kitting tools – speak to us about SQLWorks Stock Control today.