Simulation provides companies with an unparalleled insight into operations and a unique competitive advantage in the market place. Using models allows for replication, investigation and verification of concepts and system scenarios under real-world, plant-floor conditions, saving time and money. This is part 3 in a three-part series.
Insuring Your System
Simulation is like insurance for a manufacturing system. Insurance for your car protects a few thousand dollar investment, while the use of simulation for your manufacturing system protects a few million dollars directly and, ultimately, impacts the speed to market.
The use of a simulation tool allows the manufacturer to visualize and actually run the new or current production process from end to end. By applying this step in your design process, simulation helps with decisions in space utilization, equipment placement, transportation considerations and overall production efficiency. Simulation provides the ability to address more variables and scenarios without impacting cost or production.
Cost Savings Beyond Your Company
The cost savings within your company are quite obvious, but simulation can impact the environment as well. The environment? Cost savings? How does simulation play into this? The answer is simply one word: waste. By using simulation, you can avoid using unnecessary materials that may not be used again, therefore wasting money on your end and leaving our environment to deal with it.
Questions to Ask
- What do I want to learn from the simulation?
- Do I know enough about the system to create a model?
- How detailed should the simulation be?
- When should we start building the model?
- How many scenarios do I want to test?
Words of Advice
- Consider using simulation early in the design process. There are many different levels of modeling that can be applied to various phases of the project.
- Leave enough time to build and use the simulation. Make sure to leave time in your schedule to allow the simulation results to guide your line design.
- Determine what questions the simulation will answer. Are you planning your conveyor layout? Do you want to examine staffing levels? The questions to be answered will determine which type of modeling is the best fit.
- Don’t expect the simulation to solve all your problems. You may still have issues with materials or operators – but the simulation will take the design of the system out of your list of variables.
- Keep the simulation updated throughout the lifecycle of your system. You can use the model again and again to test future improvements to the line.