Operational Production Planning

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Planning, Operational Production


a system of calculations for the ongoing control of the course of production, designed to ensure that the work of an enterprise progresses in a balanced fashion. Operational production planning is an organic component of intrafactory planning.

Operational production planning involves the development and timely distribution to the shops and sections of production assignments and work schedules of individual work positions. It is also concerned with scheduling output and assuring steady production. Operational production planning aims at ensuring that the planned list of products will be produced, that production deadlines will be met, and that the stipulated mix of articles will be produced. It also serves as a control on quality of output and on the efficiency with which production resources are used.

Operational production planning has the important functions of keeping daily records on fulfillment of plan assignments and of organizing the plant administration to keep a constant watch on the course of production. At the enterprise level the tasks of operational production planning are carried out with the help of intershop and intrashop planning units and the enterprise’s traffic control system.

The task of spatial and temporal coordination of production processes generates a need for special calendar-plan standards governing the size of production runs of individual articles, the length of production cycles, the required lead time for starting or completing the processing of semifinished and finished articles, and the size of backlogs at individual work positions, as well as intrashop and intershop backlogs.

There are many different systems of operational production planning, because of the need to take into account the varying characteristics of different types of production. The content of each system is the result of the interaction of such factors as the technological complexity of the manufacturing process, the scale of production, the product assortment, and the stability (continuity) of production assignments. The major differences between these planning systems stem from the specific features of the plan report unit that is selected and the corresponding degree of detail included in reports. These choices predetermine the extent to which operational production planning will be centralized.

Under conditions of single-unit production, the standing-order system is generally used. In this system the plan accounting unit is the set of parts that makes up a composite assembly or article. Based on the type of work assigned to each shop and the corresponding time rate, volume-cycle charts are worked out, in which the shop deadlines for completion of all orders are coordinated with the deadlines for fulfillment of the assignment for each product on the product list.

In the mass-production of a relatively small number of articles (parts, assemblies) the item-by-item system of planning is used. If the list of items produced is large and the enterprise planning and traffic control department is unable to monitor effectively the movement of each article in the production cycle, decentralized systems called batch planning systems are used. Batch planning systems employ consolidated plan report units that are based on the sets of parts and assemblies that make up a machine or instrument.

The system of continuous operational production planning, which was first introduced in a number of plants in the years 1963–65 and which grew out of the experience of the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant, has been widely adopted. It makes use of new principles for devising plan report units and provides new foundations for operational production planning. Using a single, comprehensive plan diagram for all shops and sections and thereby providing a uniform means of recording the fulfillment of assignments, the system ensures the even flow of production processes. The Novocherkassk system uses two kinds of plan report units. The first of these is the standard article defined as the article on the product list that is produced in the greatest volume over the longest period. All articles manufactured by the enterprise during the plan period are reflected in the plan report unit according to their share in the standard article. If there is nothing on the product list to qualify as a standard article, the second type of plan report unit, which is known as the 24-hour unit, is used instead. The 24-hour unit includes the average daily quantity of all articles to be produced in the planning period.

The item-by-item system of planning is used in mass production, which is distinguished by stability in the list of articles, parts, and assemblies produced and the types of work done and by use of the flow method of organization. Under this system, each assembly line and production section within the shops is assigned targets for the start and completion of production of distinct parts, and plan calculations are used to keep intershop production backlogs within established norms.

In all types of production, the production plans for shops are calculated in reverse order relative to the order of the production process. Thus calculations are first carried out for the finishing shops, then for the manufacturing shops, and finally for the initial-processing shops. The shop assignments are delivered to the production sections, and everything necessary for the balanced fulfillment of the plans is provided.

After the plan assignment has been drawm up and delivered to the section, the schedule of parts and operations that the assignment calls for is distributed to the individual work positions, and the work load for each position is established. The movement of parts through the assembly line (in parallel, parallel-sequential, or sequential order) is planned, and the order of performance of jobs is determined. Performance of the jobs stipulated by operational production planning is monitored by the traffic control office, which is given the necessary technical equipment and administrative authority. In particular, the traffic controllers use production charts that help them maintain operational checks on the movement of production.


Tatevosov, K. G. Osnovy operativno-proizvodstvennogo planirovaniia na mashinostroitel’nom predpriiatii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.
Omarov, A. M., and A. Ia. Griaznov. Novaia sistema operativno-proizwdstvennogo planirovaniia v deistvii. Moscow, 1965.
Slodkevich, N. I. Voprosy operativno-proizvodstvennogo planirovaniia na predpriiatii. [Moscow, 1967.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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