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Workflow Basics

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    A Workflow is nothing more than the path a product will follow through the lab to completion.    You can think of Workflows as a schedule because when you define a workflow you also define the day of production that you want each step to occur on.  For instance, if you build a product in 4 days, and there are 5 steps to making that product, then you will place each step on one of the 4 days.    It is fine to set multiple steps on the same day.   In the image below, you can see Unpack and Schedule occur on Day 0, this is the day the order was entered.


    Activities are processes or steps that people or machines do to create products. Workflows are made up of Activities.  When you define an Activity, you can also define different ways to complete that activity.  For instance, if you create an Activity names “Model”, you may have one option that indicates you are pouring the model by hand and another option that represents printing the model.   You might even have a third option that represents out-sourcing the model production to a partner.   Each one of these if call a Production Option that falls under the Model Activity.    You can define as many activities as you need to describe your Workflows and as many Production Options to cover your different methods of completing each step.

    Production Options also have cost and time properties.   You can define the cost of production and the time it should take to complete each unit for a Production Option.  To print a Model has a different cost than pouring it.  When you design a case, it takes longer to design for 6 units than it does for 2 units.   In VisualDLP, you can specify the relationship between units and cost and units and time in a non-linear form.  This means 2 units don’t have to have twice the cost as doing 1 unit.  You can assign the cost of the first unit, then specify the cost of each additional unit at a different level.   The same holds for how long you expect each production option to take in the case.


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