SECTION 11 - The CARGOMANAGER BestCont Facility.
(Covers: Configuration of active containers; Data Entry; Selecting BestCont mode; Interpreting results)
In all the previous sections of this manual the focus of discussion has been on the packing of a single selected container size in the most efficient manner. A container size is selected, a set of cargo defined, and the best packing of that cargo set into one or more identical containers is carried out.
It should perhaps be emphasized that having carried out a packing into a container / containers of a given size it is easy to step back, change the container size in just a few seconds, and re-pack using another container size. However the two facilities described below make such repetitive actions un-necessary.
CARGOMANAGER provides users with THREE facilities to tackle problems where the container size / sizes to be used are uncertain, and assistance is required to determine the most suitable container size for use with a given consignment.
The BESTCONT mode of operation (described in this Section) tackles problems where the final consignment is likely to require just a SINGLE container, and the user wishes to determine which of a number of available container sizes is most suitable for the load.
The MULTICONT mode of operation (described in Section 12) tackles problems where a number of identical containers are likely to be required for a consignment, and the user wishes to determine which container size is most effective / most economical for loading the given cargo.
The MIXEDCONT mode of operation (also described in Section 12) tackles problems where a given cargo needs to be packing into multiple containers and TWO sizes are available - in this mode CARGOMANAGER determines the number of containers of size A and size B which would be needed to load the full consignment testing and reported on ALL combinations of numbers for containers A and B.
The remainder of this section considers the BestCont option in which multiple container sizes can be examined and ranked in efficiency in a single step.
Container Selection & Configuration.
As in all previous modes of operation the container database is the starting point when carrying out a BestCont analysis. The ContBase option on the opening screen provides access to the database of 50 container sizes which can be edited to meet you own container / trailer sizes and configurations. This screen is shown overleaf:
What is important for using BestCont mode are:
That suitable dimensional and description information is held for each container / trailer size which might be considered for use. If the dimensional / description information needs to be changed details then this is achieved using the Contbase option on the opening screen.
That those which are to be made available for BestCont mode are marked as Active. (This selection can be changed immediately prior to running as will be illustrated below).
Having configured the Container Database appropriately the next stage is to enter details of the consignment which is to be loaded.
Data entry in this mode follows an identical procedure to that used in other modes of operation. If a new data set is to be input then firstly a container size is selected (for the purposes of this mode of operation this may or may not be one of those Active containers in the database. Then cargo items are input as in other modes of operation. Alternatively a previously saved cargo dataset may be selected. Having entered all cargo items the Cargo Summary Screen is shown as below:
The buttons at the base of screen allow 3 different packing procedures to be followed - the description of the function of each is clearly shown on the above screen.
When BestCont is selected you once again have an opportunity to define Active containers for examination in this mode, though on this occasion you are not able to modify the container dimension and descriptions. This screen is shown below. Remember that (depending on version) up to 50 containers may be available in the database - scroll down for further entries.
Having made any changes necessary to the set of Active containers the continue button leads you on the a screen where you are kept informed of the progress of the analysis:
following which the a results summary screen is shown.
Results Display and Interpretation.
The results screen then displayed is shown below. In this instance just 4 containers have been listed but all 50 containers (plus the container size entered during data entry) could be marked as Active and examined in a single step. As you will see the time taken to perform such an analysis is usually just a few seconds per container size.
The results are ranked according to their performance. All (any) containers which fit all the stated cargo are listed at the top, with those that fail to fit the entire cargo listed below. For those fitting all the cargo they are ranked with the container with the highest utilisation (i.e. that with the least remaining space) highest on this list. Where the consignment has zero weight then (naturally) no figures will be displayed in the % weight packed column.
Having examined these results you then need to highlight the result you wish to examine in more detail and then select Solution. This will then perform the analysis needed to draw the load arrangement and, prior to this, allows you to examine in tabular form the quantities of each product loaded / excluded for your chosen container.
It is important to note that:
The solutions obtained for each container are identical to those which would have been achieved had the specified container size been selected originally and used with the cargo set in 'normal' single container PackCalc mode.
If the container size originally entered and that of one of the active containers match exactly, then the duplicate entry will not be examined.
The Options used when packing each of the containers are once again identical to those which would be used in either PackCalc (or MultiCont) mode, as specified on the Options Selection screen.
After carrying out a BestCont analysis the tabular results for the selected container sizes can be accessed from following screens using a BestCont button - thus you can display the tabular / graphical results for any / all of the containers before selecting which to use.
If the Back button is used to return to the Cargo / Container data entry screens then the container size then in use will be that originally entered during data entry and not any entry highlighted and examined in BestCont mode.
The ranked list will be deleted once a new cargo set is entered / loaded, additional cargo added or the packing options changed. You can then choose to run BestCont again (with perhaps a modified cargo list or modified list of Active containers).