– The M Language Web Site (Prototype)
After five years of work, the initial M Language prototype has been released. We hope that additional funding will drive the project forward into a full scale, open system. You can use the M Language via web services.
– Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity – Data Center Program
This web site provides background information about the M Language. There are a number of papers relating to the topic.
— Open System for Master Production Scheduling (OSMPS, Alpha Version – Excel 2003 .xls)
Download instructional video of OSMPS Excel 2003
OSMPS (Excel 2007 .xlsb)
Download instructional video of OSMPS Excel 2007
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU SAVE THE .xls or .xlsb FILE TO DISK, AND THEN RE-OPEN TO EXECUTE MODS.
This is a research program at the MIT Data Center with the goal of offering sophisticated modeling capabilities for manufacturing systems. Specifically, the M Language in conjunction with other web standards enable the Modified Dixon-Silver Heuristic (MODS), developed by Stuart Allen and Ed Schuster, to be delivered to users with a new method called Software as a Service (SaaS). This approach allows anyone access to the MODS algorithm located on a remote server using only a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. There is no implementation of MODS on local computing systems and access is immediate. Essentially, the algorithm serves as a calculator and does not store any data from the spreadsheet on the server.
This technique fulfills one of the original goals of the MIT Data Center, set in 2003, to standardize and speed the process of applying mathematical models in practice using the Internet. The M Language dictionary provides machine-understandable semantics for describing data fields that are inputs to MODS. In this way, there can be no misunderstanding regarding the type of data needed to run the model or the meaning of various calculations required for input data. The M Language is also the standard for XML data transfers between the spreadsheet and the algorithm or any other target. This makes the data interoperable. Overall, the SaaS approach, combined with the M Language, quickly puts state-of-the-art modeling in the hands of many users with no local computer implementation other than downloading an Excel spreadsheet.
The MODS model is a powerful way to calculate a master production schedule for situations relating to make-to-stock manufacturing, commonly experienced in the food, consumer goods, and repetitive manufacturing industries. Tested for over ten years, MODS consistently finds feasible solutions involving the trade-off between choice of products to produce and capacity, inventory carrying cost, set-up cost, and set-up time. Solve times for large planning problems involving 50 products and 52 weeks are less than a minute. MODS is robust enough to become the standard for make-to-stock manufacturing worldwide.