What is simulation?

Paradigm shift

The industry 4.0 era is right around the corner! With this new industrial revolution on the horizon, sensors are multiplying in factories, giving decision makers the data they need to make the right choices when it comes to their business’s operations and strategy. The external environment is changing ever so rapidly, exercising pressure on decision-making tools for greater versatility and reliability in order to face this new reality.

What is simulation?

Discrete event simulation is a decision-making tool. With a tool such as Arena, a given system or process (e.g.: an assembly line) is recreated virtually following the real operational parameters. This is called a simulation model.

Once built and calibrated to accurately represent the current system, the model can be modified to simulate operational changes (e.g.: adding/removing a resource, reassigning task priorities, automating a process). The possibilities are endless.

The data extracted from these simulations can then be used by decision-makers to identify the benefits and risks associated to these changes without ever messing with day-to-day operations.

 Why simulation?

Take variability into account. Traditional optimization models don’t have a way to factor in the inevitable variability of operations. How would you consider truck traffic and batching when conceiving mining operations? How would you model random equipment defects and repairs? What about the impact of random weather events? Rapidly, these factors complicate static optimization models, while some simply cannot be modeled using these methods.

Consider the time-dependent factors acting on your operations. With time, equipment wear, don’t offer the same performances and must be maintained. These activities often affect day-to-day operations but are not easily modeled with static tools. With simulation, it is possible to test different reliability scenarios for resources and equipment as well as conduct sensitivity analysis when evaluating new technology.

Know your decision’s outcome before making it. By having a virtual representation of your operations, the impact of operational changes can be evaluated and tested before the first dollar is spent; out with the trial-and-error!

Sharpen your competitive edge and simulate today!