Authors: Dong Sun, Renfei Huang, Yong Wang, Yuanzhe Chen, Jia Zeng, Mingxuan Yuan, Ting-Cheun Pong, Huamin Qu
Abstract: Production planning in the manufacturing industry is crucial for fully utilizing factory resources (e.g., machines, raw materials, product components and workers) and reducing costs. With the advent of industry 4.0, plenty of data recording the status of factory resources have been collected and further involved in production planning, which brings an unprecedented opportunity to understand, evaluate and adjust complex production plans through a data-driven approach. However, developing a systematic analytics approach for production planning is often challenging due to the large volume of production data, the complex dependence between products, and unexpected changes in the market demand, material supplies and the production process. Previous studies only provide summarized results and fail to show details for comparative analysis of production plans. Besides, the rapid adjustment to the plan in the case of an unanticipated incident is also not supported. In this paper, we propose PlanningVis, a visual analytics system to support the exploration and comparison of production plans with three levels of details: a plan overview presenting the overall difference between plans, a product view visualizing various properties of individual products, and a production detail view displaying the product dependency, the daily production output and production capacity usage in related factories. By integrating an automatic planning algorithm with interactive visual explorations, PlanningVis is able to facilitate efficient optimization of daily production planning as well as supporting a quick response to unanticipated incidents in manufacturing. Two case studies with real-world data and carefully designed interviews with domain experts from a world-leading manufacturing company demonstrate the effectiveness and usability of PlanningVis.