Regardless of the design technology of the board, we use shop floor management software that: * Calculates the period that it takes to assemble a job. Obviously, we enter product-manufacturing information [ie, BOM, material receipt dates, process flow, step-up time, resource use, job release date, required ship date, etc.] when the job is accepted. * Assesses the capacity of the resources used to assemble the job, given the production schedule. * Allows for rescheduling of jobs on a resource to establish a proper schedule, if the resource is capacity constrained.
Previously, we used spreadsheets to do this planning.
Check with production planning and scheduling people at http://www.apics.org for background. There is probably a group of these people on your campus.
The basics are: * Determine process flow. * Calculate time for each process step. * Evaluate production capacity for each process step.