Processes are the second half of a recipe and are necessary for the workflow needed to manufacture a product. The terms Operations and Processes are used interchangeably, and in M-Power, they mean the same thing.
Processes can be found on the Settings (1) page, under the Processes (2) tab are created in the system using the Add New Process (3) button.
Adding a New Process
After pressing the button, you will be presented with a popup form as seen below:
The Process name (1) will appear on the list of processes.
The display name (2) allows the name to be displayed differently on job cards.
Each process is assigned a formula (3) which allows the system to estimate the time required to perform the process and the quantity processed on a given job. A detailed description of the formulas is listed here.
The Setup Time (4) is expressed in minutes (but can be changed to hours in advanced settings) and represents the default time it is expected to take for the process to be prepared before performing it on the first unit. For example, In a digital printing process, it may take 15 minutes to load a roll onto the machine and make a head test pattern before the job is run. For projects (which don't have a quantity), the total time can be entered in the setup area.
The Run Time (5) (Also known as cycle time) is the time required to complete the operation on one unit. It defaults to units per hour, which can be changed in advanced settings. For example, if a person is packing a moulded part and packs 200 each hour, then 200 would be entered in this box.
The Charge Rate (6) is the dollar value you change for the process based on the selected formula. This is an hourly rate for processes charged on a time basis. For example, if the chosen formula were "Square metres", the dollar value would be the charge rate per square metre.
Once the fields have been completed, press the Add (7) button, which then creates the process and opens Advanced Settings
An explanation for advanced settings is below:
A Single Setup (1) can be assigned to a process. If the process is repeated multiple times using an entry in the passes column, then the single setup button only adds the setup time for the first pass. For example, A printing process requires the items to be placed in the machine once for each colour. Therefore, it takes 15 minutes to set up the machine and 30 mins to process the sheets. If the single setup is not selected, then the time for the process will be calculated as follows:
- Colour 1 | Setup time + runtime = 45 mins
- Colour 2 | Setup time + runtime = 45 mins
If the same colour is printed two times to give greater opacity, then there is no need to set up the machine for the second pass of the same colour. The time is calculated as follows:
- Colour 1 | Setup time + runtime = 45 mins
- Colour 2 | Runtime = 30 mins
The Setup time (2) is explained in the previous section as Setup Time (4)
Entering a Setup Charge Rate (3) allows the setup time to be charged at a higher rate than the charge rate for the process. This is useful if higher-skilled people are doing the process setup and lower-skilled people are operating the machine. It may also be helpful when the process is carried out on a machine that does not need an operator, and you wish to account for the operator's time setting the machine up.
Entering a Setup Cost (4) allows you to add a cost to the calculated cost of the process. For example, a process is charged at $100.00 per hour. It takes 15 minutes to set up the process and 30 minutes to run it. The process cost is 15 + 30 = 45 mins = $75. If a $20.00 setup cost were added to cover consumables (for instance, the ink used in head testing), then the cost of the process would be charged at $75.00 + $20.00 = $95.00.
The Run Rate (5) is explained in the previous section as Run Rate (5)
The Run Rate units (6) allow you to specify what the run rate means for clarity. Common Run Rates are worksheets per hour and square metres per hour.
The Charge Rate (7) is explained in (6) in the previous section.
A single scan process (8) is one where the user is not prompted to enter the start and end times for the process when scanning their time. Instead, upon scanning the barcode, the system enters a simultaneous start and end time, marks the process complete and updates the work-in-progress to the subsequent progress.
If a minimum or maximum cost (9) and (10) is entered, these will override the calculated cost of the process. For example, if the minimum cost is $15.00 and the calculated value for the process is 7.50, then $15.00 will be used in the quote.
The standard cost (11) is optional and used for job costing reporting purposes. The charge rate (7) calculates the price that will be charged for the process within a quotation. This rate is determined by considering overhead costs, desired profit levels, and market constraints. The standard cost, however, reflects the actual cost of providing the labour, often including the average wage paid, superannuation, work cover, holiday allowances and other direct labour costs.
Run rate description (12), Unit description (13) and Charge Description (14) are used to personalise the display of the process in costing reports making it easier to understand the numbers shown in the calculation.
The Pricelist (15) is an optional feature that allows you to substitute a different Charge Rate (7) based on the quantity to be run through the process. While some companies see value in this, it makes formulas overly complex, and the same outcome can be obtained by setting a higher or lower setup time.
Process presets allow you to apply a group of these settings above to a specific process in one convenient operation. Examples would include:
A digital printing machine has several print modes - CMYK High Quality, CMYK + White. Depending on the mode selected, the speed of the process will change. By adding a preset to represent each mode, we can easily apply the appropriate settings to the process.
Process Presets are explained in more detail here - [Using Presets]