The production of large power transformers weighing up to several hundred tons is exclusively made-to order production. The planner must consider high construction costs, numerous purchased parts with long replenishment lead times, and thousands of hours of skilled custom work. Resources are limited, and every stage of production needs to be well-coordinated.
Bottlenecks in the manufacturing process must be identified and planned optimally, while wait times need to be minimized in order to avoid delays. Finite capacity of resources such as vacuum and paint bays, as well as workforce availability, needs to be considered.
Transformer manufacturing involves numerous purchased components, with the necessity of minimizing semi-finished inventory. Material availability needs to be considered alongside different order specifications and different routings and priorities.
Before final assembly, all intermediate components need to be available at the right time. Primary and secondary windings, whether high, medium, or low voltage, have different assembly times and requirements, and it is a challenge to schedule multiple orders such that every coil, core, and tank can be ready at that time.