Implementation of simulation tools
Prevalence of simulation technology
In many large companies, simulation technology has been an everyday tool in the planning and optimization of processes for many years. In the meantime, in the context of industry 4.0 and the necessity to introduce a digital twin, many small and medium-sized companies have also recognized simulation as a component of their planning and are looking for support in the selection and use of simulation technologies.
Simulation and especially process simulation is nowadays an integral part of study programs at universities and vocational schools. This has the positive effect that many young professionals are already familiar with the topic and have gained their first technical experience. Nevertheless, it is still a tool from experts for experts.
Knowledge in the company
The knowledge of software selection in companies can already be available through trained employees. At the same time, however, there is also a certain influence that influences the future user when purchasing a simulation tool. He will probably favour a tool whose application he already knows and possibly not the technically correct one.
At first glance, there is nothing to be said against this, because this knowledge base helps to enter a project quickly and effectively and to achieve results. In the long run, however, this can lead to topics not being dealt with efficiently because they cannot be reused by the customer’s own modules. Or strategic elements such as embedding in an overall solution via interfaces were not considered.
The focus of a selection is on the user and the intended use. Ideally, a criteria catalogue should be drawn up together with the internal users and / or a neutral provider of simulation tools. The latter has the necessary experience in the use of the software and the handling of simulation projects.
Criteria for the selection of software are e.g:
- Existing building block elements (conveyor technology, employees, machines, robots, etc.)
- Interfaces for import and export of data or to external systems such as ERP or SPS
- License model for using the models
- Programming effort and language
- License costs for development and application
- animation quality
Here the support of specialists can provide good services in order to create and weight these criteria individually.
Even if previous knowledge should be available in the enterprise, the execution of service projects in the apron of a software acquisition can be a good way to test the characteristics of the software at the own question without having to take a commercial risk.
In addition to validating the appropriate software, the know-how about the creation of simulation studies is transferred from service providers to manufacturing or logistics companies parallel to the project. Experience shows that about 50 percent of the scope of a simulation project is not spent on the application itself, but on analysis and preparation.
As an independent service provider, we would be happy to advise you on the selection of the simulation tool best suited to your purposes. We are partners with the most common manufacturers of simulation software and supplement them with maintenance, training, our own module boxes and supplementary tools. Get a first overview on our software pages.