The Gateway Work Center (WC) field in Fourth Shift is maintained on the ‘Item Master Planning Detail’ screen. However, most companies don’t know what it is used for and often leave this field blank or use the default value of ‘GATEWC’. Let’s take a quick look at why this field exists and how your business could be leveraging this functionality.
Within Fourth Shift, a work center can be represented as both a location and as a resource item. As a location, a work center functions as a stocking location within the facility where work is being performed. A work center location in Fourth Shift has a Stock ID of ‘WC’ and the bin is the actual work center name. As a resource item, the work center would be created on the item master as a resource, or ‘R’ type of item. For example, WC-PAINT represents the PAINT work center location, and WC[R]PAINT represents the PAINT work center resource item.
The Gateway work center for an item is the initial work center where activity is to be performed when a manufacturing order (MO) for the item is released to the shop floor. However, as a resource, a work center can be used to track both costs and capacity/load associated with an activity or entity of production. Below, let's explore how to view a work center as a location.
If a work center is assigned to the Gateway WC field for a manufactured item on the planning detail screen, when Material Requirements Planning (MRP) creates a planned order to replenish the item, the Gateway WC will automatically be assigned to the planned order. This is visible on the Planner Action (MOAN) screen. Then, when the manufacturing order is released, this work center appears in the header of the manufacturing order. This assignment helps the shop floor scheduler determine where orders need to be routed to begin work. However, this functionality, doesn’t end here.
If there are additional work centers on the pick-list for an MO, as work is completed at the current work center and the order is moved along, the Gateway WC field can be updated in the MO header making it easier to track the order’s progress.
For companies who use backflushing to automatically consume inventory, there is a feature within the Backflush task to consume inventory from the gateway work center associated with an order. Using this method of automatic material consumption can provide much more granular control of how inventory is consumed for orders.
Interested in the possibility of how this function could transform your business or have additional questions regarding the backflushing feature? Our team of experts at ICG are here to help. Drop us a line to get started.