Production planning and control is an essential part of every company. Over time, various planning methods have been established and continuously developed. The industrial revolutions have contributed significantly to this. A systematic review of the literature in the field of the metalworking Industry shows that the boundaries between long and short term planning are becoming appreciably blurred. The preferred flow principle is the batch production. The production systems are mainly designed for a continuous flow. Planning is an extremely complex process in which a variety of criteria has to be considered. The essential factors are costs, cycle time and on-time delivery. Modern information technology is increasingly being included in the planning process. The introduction and development of artificial intelligence occupies a Special position in the current literature. The decoupling of human activities, towards an automated procedure, to a large extent is a key issue for future developments. A case study of a multi-variant production compares different priority rules. The Task comprises a so-called job-shop problem. None of the applied elementary planning rules provides consistently useful results. The established program code enables the implementation of novel planning methods. The modular design of the code allows an easy expansion of the task. As a result, the function can be used to test highly complex algorithms. The treatment of the case study demonstrates the high potential of optimization algorithms. Their use could significantly reduce personnel deployment in the planning process or the planners could be essentially relieved in their decision-making.