SOURCE: Optessa Inc.

December 11, 2007 09:30 ET

Optessa Helps Auto Makers Deliver on Customer Demand With Next Generation Scheduling and Sequencing Solution

Optessa MLS Optimizes Complex Schedules Faster; New Usability Features for Multiple Lines, Simplified Integration With Third-Party Apps

EDMONTON, AB--(Marketwire - December 11, 2007) - The world's automotive makers are on the crest of one of the biggest industry waves in decades. With increasing product variety, auto makers today face the demanding challenge of efficiently scheduling the assembly of thousands of different product configurations. At the same time global brands must fulfill each order with faster delivery times and yet keep the operation lean.

To address these challenges, some of the world's top auto makers use Optessa MLS, to effectively optimize and balance auto assembly planning, sequencing and scheduling across all product lines and constraints. Optessa Inc. today announced the next generation of the Optessa Multi-Line Scheduling (MLS) solution. Optessa MLS 4.2 introduces a key capability to model and schedule, in a single application of the system, multiple lines in a plant at different tiers. Enhanced usability enables mapping of the workflows of a typical assembly operation. The new version is built around a distributed architecture for scalability, load balancing and faster computation to solve large scheduling problems.

"Proper sequencing and scheduling is the critical link between an order and its execution. But the competitive environment and increasing product variety have made the problem very complex. The problem represents the balance between demand, capacity and the supply chain," said Vasu Netrakanti, Chief Executive Officer of Optessa. "Optessa technology has been proven in the largest and most reputed global manufacturing corporations. The system can solve the extremely complex sequencing and scheduling problems faced by high volume manufacturers."

"In the past, OEMs wrote their own sequencing and scheduling software. Now, OEMs have much more complex requirements and are also willing to purchase packaged solutions. No other packaged solutions have been identified for automotive assembly line sequencing, and Optessa has a wide market window for entry," said Ralph Rio, Research Director Production Management solutions, ARC Advisory Group.

Optessa MLS helps auto manufacturers optimize and smooth assembly planning and scheduling so that OEMs can more effectively fulfill customer demand. Optessa MLS achieves this through its unique features:

--  Superior schedules -- Optessa MLS provides an optimized, smoothed and
    evenly favorable schedule for every part and every model months in advance.
--  Fast optimization engine -- Optessa MLS uses modern stochastic search
    techniques to find a near optimal schedule rapidly, e.g. it can solve large
    problems of four million unit-rules -- sequencing 20,000 units against 200
    rules -- in minutes. And the output is a global optimal rather than just a
    local optimal solution.
--  Highly maintainable application -- plant staff can easily add new
    rules/constraints and schedules can be rapidly regenerated with new inputs
    rather than starting from scratch. A Web-based application, Optessa MLS can
    be implemented in any environment in as little as twelve weeks, and has
    built-in capabilities to simplify integration with third-party scheduling,
    SCM and ERP solutions.

Optessa has enabled leading auto makers to address the challenges of increasingly tighter delivery schedules as they move from a push to a pull, lean manufacturing environment. The immediate business benefits of the Optessa approach include: reduced manufacturing cost of goods sold (COGS); smoother production; increased plant through-put; reduced inventories of finished goods and work in process (WIP); and reduced planning and re-planning cycle times. Over the long term, Optessa MLS helps auto makers reduce order-to-delivery lead-time; significantly reduce supply costs; and support a truly flexible manufacturing environment.

"High-volume assembly line scheduling is a fundamentally different problem than what most advanced production schedulers are designed to solve. Beyond availability of resources and changeovers, this environment requires many complex rules to reflect significant interdependencies that limit production sequence. Optessa has solved this from plantwide planning down to automated buffers, a boon for moving to truly demand-driven operations," according to Julie Fraser, Principal Analyst at Industry Directions Inc.

Optessa MLS 4.2 provides several new capabilities, including:

--  Generic Feeder Line -- Optessa MLS can model in-plant feeder lines or
    sub-lines through MLS system configurations. As a result, Optessa MLS
    can model and schedule all tiers and lines within a given plant in a
    single system.
--  Distributed architecture -- Enterprises can deploy multiple
    optimization engines to tackle large processing loads,
    significantly enhancing performance when it's needed.
--  Enhanced usability -- The interface features a new menu structure and
    workflow-based design to make it easier for plant staff to create new
    scenarios, access existing ones, modify constraints and incorporate
    constraint data from third-party systems.
--  Constraint enhancements -- Optessa MLS now incorporates powerful new
    constraint types that are critical to the scheduling and sequencing
    process. A "Constraint Time Window" feature allows specific rules to be
    turned ON or OFF at selected time intervals.  A new "Lag Attribute"
    feature allows specific rules to be applied only to subsequences (e.g.,
    rules applied across the subsequence of a single model, ignoring other
    models). As well as enhanced "Smoothing" and "Ramping" constraints, and
    an all new "Locking" feature.

"The improved usability, performance, sequence quality, and architecture of Optessa MLS v4.2 will allow any user, in any environment, at any process, to develop better quality sequences in less time," said Ashok Erramilli, Chief Technical Officer of Optessa.

For more information about Optessa MLS, download the whitepaper, "Using Modern Scheduling Systems to Delivery to Customer Demand" at

About Optessa

Optessa Inc. is an emerging leader in scheduling and sequencing optimization software for high volume manufacturers. Optessa offers the only software solution that can effectively optimize assembly planning, sequencing and scheduling across all of a manufacturer's product lines and constraints. It solves these complex problems through a unique combination of modern optimization techniques based on patent pending algorithms and extensive domain knowledge. Optessa's customers include some of the largest, global brand manufacturing companies, and its platform is designed to solve the needs of companies in automotive, semiconductor and other high volume discrete manufacturing environments. To learn more about Optessa, please visit

Contact Information

  • Media Relations Contact:
    Mary Erickson
    Reidy Communications for Optessa
    (510) 495-6567
    Email Contact