Hessian consortium successfully completes AssistSim research project
Simulation of logistic processes in the automotive sector
The use of computer simulation has long since become standard in many companies. Production and logistics systems can be simulated on the computer under realistic conditions with the help of simulation software. The system can thus be tested and modified accordingly during ongoing operations or already in the course of preliminary planning with the help of various analysis tools, statistics and diagrams, thus saving time and costs.
The task of the AssistSim project was to create a software prototype that supports the user (occasionally referred to as the simulator) in planning and conducting simulation experiments with the computer model of a system. AssistSim’s target industry is the automotive industry, which is considered an innovation leader in simulation.
The project, which is supervised by Hessen Agentur as project sponsor and funded by the Hessian Ministry of Economics, started in June 2009, was recently completed and rated “very good” by the project sponsor.
In addition to the consortium leader SimPlan AG, the Goethe University Frankfurt (Chair of Business Informatics and Simulation), the University of Kassel (Department of Production Organization and Factory Planning), INCONTROL Enterprise Dynamics GmbH, UST Umweltsensortechnik GmbH and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) were involved in AssistSim.
The prototype AssistSim consists of several components: The planning assistant supports the user in transferring typical logistical questions about an existing simulation model into an experiment design. For this purpose, the user specifies relevant investigation objectives and the measured variables to be observed in the simulation. Preconfigured elements (questions, objectives, measured variables) are available in a knowledge database.
In the execution assistance, the simulation runs that are reasonable for the user, expedient under computation time aspects and necessary under the aspect of statistical security are determined. A network component is then responsible for the execution of the simulation runs. A client-server combination is used here, which enables distributed simulation in a network.
The development of the software was specifically tailored to the needs of industry and tested by partners of the VDA – three German OEMs – in a model factory. The simulation tools Plant Simulation (Siemens PLM) and Enterprise Dynamics (INCONTROL) were used for this purpose. With the end of the project, an already extensively evaluated prototype of the assistance system is now available, which will be used and further developed in the first customer projects.
This project (HA project no.: 185/09-15) was funded by Hessen ModellProjekte as an SME model and pilot project (MPP) with funds from the state of Hessen and the European Union (European Regional Development Fund – ERDF).