Nowadays, simulation is an established tool for planning, controlling and managing processes in many fields of application. The simulation tools available on the market enable users to comprehensively model and investigate production and logistics processes, for example in order to find weak points and bottlenecks in a production or to discover advantages and risks of certain planning alternatives.
Today, no major investments are made without first simulating the project. However, shortening product innovation cycles and increasingly rapid changes to production processes require precise and fast planning results despite often complex systems and simulation models. With rising model complexity, the input data needed to create the simulation model grows more and more extensive, as does the result data produced by the simulation.
Especially in small and medium-sized companies, this can lead to concerns regarding the escalating complexity of simulation projects. Take, for example, that the effort of data accumulation and data preparation is estimated to account for 30-50% of the overall expense for a simulation study.
Apart from the question of how much data needs to be accumulated, the quality of this data ist also crucial, since the quality of the simulation results depends directly on the quality of the input data.
In order to answer customers’ questions about data accumulation, preparation and analysis, the collaborative project “EDASim” is developing a data assistance. Not only will this data assistance support the information gathering process at the beginning of a simulation study concerning the kind, amount, granularity and quality of the input data to be gathered, it also enables the targeted analysis of simulation result data so as to use it efficiently in the company.
The software components being developed provide a standardised approach to the methods of data gathering, statistical data analysis and data preparation. The assistance function facilitates current efforts to standardise simulation procedures in the manufacturing sector and also in the context of the digital factory. This increases efficiency and quality of simulation projects.
This project (HA-Project-No.: 260/11-06) is funded as part of Hessen ModellProjekte, using funds from the LOEWE – Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlichökonomischer Exzellenz, Förderlinie 3: KMU-Verbundvorhaben. (Federal offensive for the development of scientific/economic competency). SimPlan is consortium leader in this project.