Glossary Item

Finite Capacity Planning


A method of planning production that assumes that the available capacity is a defined constant - that recognizes your actual factory work center capacity limits, when you schedule your shop orders against the capacity of your factory.

The algorithms used in finite capacity planning assume, for example, that a particular machine is only available for a maximum of 16 hours in a 2 shift operation, and schedules for that.

While this may seem logical, the reality is that there are always options: both in terms of what can go right and what can go wrong.

If we need to produce more product in a finite time, then we can run an extra shift, or obtain extra capacity from subcontractors. On the flip side, we may find that we run out of an ingredient, personnel, or have a power failure and cannot produce the planned product at the planned time.

The concept of infinite capacity planning has gained more acceptance in recent years.

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This page last updated: 08/30/2011