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.)
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.
Lineal’s SQLWorks Software is officially registered as a specialist UK digital technologies provider for manufacturing.
Made Smarter is a UK-Government backed initiative launched in 2017, following a nationwide review of the manufacturing sector – and includes a number of private and public sector organisations helping to modernise industry and drive adoption of productivity-boosting technology in the sector.
Recognised fields include a wide range of next-generation technologies for manufacturing such as robotics & process control, data and systems integration, mobile and wearable devices, sensor innovations, machine learning, additive manufacturing and augmented reality technology.
“We’re delighted to see SQLWorks listed among some of this country’s most advanced and cutting-edge technology solutions for manufacturing” said Lineal’s Managing Director Mike Matthews. “The Made Smarter review highlights adoption of modern technology as a keystone for industry in this country, and we want SQLWorks to underpin real advancement and strength in the industry.”
Businesses can read the original findings of the Made Smarter Review here, and learn more about Made Smarter UK here.
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:
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.
This is a type of manufacturing process – such as assembly, welding, mixing, painting etc, and can be restricted to specific work centres or 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 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
SQLWorks Document management has reached the next level, enabling tagging of engineering documents and automated printing alongside Works Orders.
As shown in our Introduction to Document Management, many types of files can be added and stored within SQLWorks, linked to other data, downloaded or referenced whenever required. Our development team have also enabled tagging of specific files as ‘engineering’ documents so they can be automatically transferred through to production.
Saving a .jpeg or .pdf to a stock item’s document tab is a simple drag-and-drop process, supported by tagging with the engineering tag. When a Works order is created for that Bill of Materials, those supporting documents can be pulled through for printing automatically.
This is especially useful for assembly instructions, photographs, blueprints and similar that help guide during the production process.
Setting specific criteria in ‘Accounts preferences’ and ‘Document Analysis’ which can be found on the Navbar, allows a specific ‘tag’ such as one named Engineering, to be selected when saving a document on a stock item. Tagged documents appear in the ‘Documents List’ in the top right of the Works Order automatically, and when printing or previewing your Works Order SQLWorks finds the associated document and asks you to confirm whether you would like to print the engineering documents.
This feature is especially useful if you have drawings, assembly instructions or diagrams for example, that need to accompany the Works order when sent to the shopfloor/workshop for the build process.
If you would like to find out more about how SQLWorks can make the Manufacturing processes more efficient and less time consuming, please get in touch with our SQLWorks team via email [email protected] or call 01271 441570.
Lineal Software Solutions are excited to announced the public release of our next generation of SQLWorks software.
Version 10 of our flagship business management suite harnesses more advanced manufacturing capabilities for the first time – introducing brand new material requirements planning (MRP) capabilities into our existing integrated accounting, CRM & stock control platform.
Automation is critical to productivity. SQLWorks MRP allows businesses to instantly gauge future demand for stock items & materials based on a flexible time horizon and existing stock availability, automatically generate purchase orders for approved suppliers, automatically roll-up part and cost changes through bills of material, and automatically create works orders for production centres on the factory floor.
“… We are clear that the faster adoption of technology will result in greater investment and in more manufacturing taking place in the UK.”
UK Gov ‘Made Smarter’ Manufacturing Review
These hotly-anticipated new features will help drive real business benefits, especially among manufacturing and logistics companies: including more intelligent and cost-effective purchasing, optimised stock holding, and coordinated forward planning of production.
Factory managers can now backflush manufactured items, auto-attach engineering documents, optionally roll-up updated part-costings from purchasing through the relevant kits, and even import new assemblies from popular engineering CAD software via drag-and-drop.
“… British manufacturing needs a factory reset.”
Mike Matthews, Lineal Software Solutions
MRP is an immensely powerful tool for running a business – and we’ve given users the ability to drill-right down into purchasing and production recommendations – finding the exact source of demand from potentially thousands of orders, to line level, with a simple double-click.
SQLWorks manufacturing abilities integrate seamlessly with other business processes across accounting, CRM and stock control – and we’re planning further extensions to functionality for release later in 2020: including detailed capacity planning, support for ‘Just-In-Time’ (JIT) style manufacturing, and more complex ad-hoc report building.
We’ve also made some updates to the visual identity of SQLWorks with this iteration to help make our software feel smoother and more accessible to new users, and expanded Lineal’s UK Software Development Team of Omnis developers to hasten our development cycle.
Mike Matthews, Lineal’s Managing Director, explained: “This is a terrific new leap forward for our SQLWorks software. The new release is our most advanced ever, and introduces powerful new manufacturing and logistical control to our existing business management tools.”
Measurable Business Benefits
One, fully-integrated platform
Heightened financial visibility
Hours of work duplication saved by automation
Greater manufacturing control
Optimised spending & stock holding
Genuine support for business continuity
“We believe the ability for industry to automatically complete important engineering tasks – like importing newly-designed assemblies, production planning, updating part costs and forecasting future operations – will prove a popular choice among manufacturers.”
“Post-lockdown many firms will be doing some serious soul-searching about whether their systems are really up to scratch. British manufacturing needs a factory reset. If you can’t innovate then you’re at a dead end, and modernisation will be an important part of the UK’s economic recovery.”
SQLWorks Version 10 with MRP is available NOW
Simple, fast and intuitive data entry. Detailed, responsive and targeted data analysis.
SQLWorks includes two levels of security permissions: Group and User security.
User security states which parts of SQLWorks a user has access to (visible within menus) and does not have access to.
Group Security sets permissions for groups of users, including every user in that group and overrides an individual’s security settings.
To review your SQLWorks users, click the ‘System Administration’ button on the main navbar. If you wish to review your users, click ‘Users.’ This displays a table with every valid SQLWorks user at your company, and administrators can double click to view or edit an individual’s user settings.
To review your SQLWorks groups, click ‘Groups.’ This displays a table with your saved Groups of users. You can also add a new group, copy or edit any existing group from this table.
To change your security settings, click ‘Security’ (1). This loads your list of groups in the left hand list, with the users contained within any selected group in the right hand list. By clicking the ‘Add’ or ‘Remove’ buttons you can add or remove individual users to the correct group.
By using the ‘Group Windows Security’ Tab along the top, you can also set the permissions for that group (and therefore the users contained within it.) Grant access by clicking the checkboxes next to each area of the system, and give ‘Basic’ (find, add new or edit) or ‘All’ permissions (find, add new, edit, edit multiple or delete.) (2)
There are no limits on the size or number of groups users can be assigned to, so your permissions structure can be as simple or complex as your internal company policies require. Please ask the SQLWorks team if you need help or advice on setting up security permissions settings, or on IT security best practice.
By default, SQLWorks has one ‘Admin’ group which has administration permissions for the Sales/Purchase Ledgers, Stock Ledger, Finance and CRM sections. This can be changed to different groups in larger organisations – for example to designate a different administrator for sales/purchasing.
Once you have your users and groups configured correctly, simply close the System Administration window, and your SQLWorks security permissions will be in place when each user next logs on.
SQLWorks Security Permissions
Bank Ledger – Security permissions for managing Bank accounts and cash accounting
Bank Accounts – Lets users see Bank accounts within the Bank Ledger.
Bank Transactions – Lets users access options for bank transactions within the Bank Ledger.
To compliment SQLWorks manufacturing and kitting, Stock Ledger allows users to create and manage manufacturing works orders to different degrees of detail.
(For an introduction to SQLWorks manufacturing and kitting, click here.)
Works Orders are accessible from the Stock Ledger screen, under the ‘Products’ module, in the main NavBar (1), by clicking the ‘Works Orders’ tab for a chosen stock item.
The two tables on the left-hand side show ‘Active Word Orders’ still being worked upon, and ‘Completed Works Orders’ which have been finished (2.)
To the right the ‘Build Quantity’ (3) Panel shows the parts needed for that stock item, how many are available in the default warehouse to use for this works order, and the maximum finished items that can be built from these parts.
The lower right panels (4) show a summary of the scheduled builds on a selected works order, and the parts required for each of these scheduled builds (in case the Works Orders vary between builds.)
Users can complete a simple works order by right clicking in the ‘Active Works Orders’ and choosing ‘Quick Build.’ This simplified option checks the correct parts out of stock from their default warehouses, completes a Works Order immediately, and checks in the finished item into stock in its default warehouse.
This is useful for simple builds where no extra works order detail is required and the works order doesn’t need to be drafted in advance.
Full Works Order
Users can create a full new works order by right clicking in the ‘Active Works Orders’ and selecting ‘New Works Order’.
This opens a new works order window for the chosen stock item– these can be given header information including a Total Build Quantity. Parts for kitting will be taken from the ‘Take Stock From’ Warehouse code, and (via the designated build bin) the finished item will be checked into the ‘Build Product Where?’ Warehouse code and Bin number.
Each line on the Works Order represents one ‘schedule’ for building a given quantity of the kit – with the quantity of that schedule enterable on the left hand side. A component list is also shown here, to help inform production numbers.
The middle column (‘Cost Groups’) displays advanced Construction Time / Cost Centre additions for this kit if this feature is turned on in SQLWorks.*
The ‘Build Group Column’ is used for the actual building of the works order: typing a quantity into the ‘Take’ field and clicking ‘Take’ removes the required parts from the ‘Take Stock From’ warehouse, and doing the same in the ‘Build’ field and clicking ‘Build’ assembles the new kitted item and moves it to your designated ‘Build Product Where?’ Warehouse and Bin.
You can also cancel quantity’s from the Works Order by typing a quantity into the ‘Cancel Qty’ field.
On the right hand side of each line the ‘Inspection Group’ allows you to enter up to four custom quality testing/inspection checkpoints for each works order schedule, date-stamped for approval.
Works Orders can be saved without being built (to schedule future work), but when the ‘built’ quantity within the works order and any cancelled quantity added together equal the ‘Total Quantity’ required, the works order will automatically be moved to the ‘Completed Works Order’ list.
*Construction Time / Cost Centres
Advanced users can turn on ‘Default Construction Costs (per Hour)’ and ‘Default Construction Times (per Hour)’ which will appear at the top of the Works Order Tab if used.
This allows the user to save details for time taken, and costs expended, as the finished kit is processed through up to a maximum of six stages to complete the Works Order, and can be factored into sales costs accordingly.
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.