What is simulation
Simulation software explained
Simulation is the imitation of a system, based on knowledge or assumptions about the behaviour of the parts of that system, with the purpose of obtaining insight in the behaviour of the whole system.
VDI (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure, Society of German Engineers) guideline 3633 defines simulation as the replication of a system, including its dynamic processes, in a model one can experiment with.
It aims at achieving results that can be transferred to a real world installation.
In addition, simulation defines the preparation, execution and evaluation of carefully directed experiments within a simulation model.

Simulation is a powerful analysis tool that helps engineers and planners make intelligent and timely decisions in the design and operation of a system.

Simulation itself does not solve problems, but it does clearly identify problerns and quantitatively evaluate alternative solutions.

As a tool for doing "what if' analysis, simulation can provide quantitative measures on any number of proposed solutions to help quickly narrow in on the best alternative solution.

Simulation is a versatile tool that has been used in a number of different ways including the following :

  • Systems design, when used primarily as a design tool, whether in designing a new system or modifying an existing system, simulation addresses such areas as methods and technology selection, optimization, capacity analysis and support to control system decisions
  • Systems management, simulation assists in making decisions such as Production, Resource and Maintenance Scheduling, Work Prioritising, Flow, Delay Inventory and Quality Management.
  • Training and education, since simulation contains only the driving elements of a system, it provides a clear insight into the system dynamics. Simulation can help operators, service representatives, or supervisors learn how a system operates, and what happens when alternative management decisions or operating policies are implemented and prepares operating personnel to be more effective when working with the actual system.
  • Communication and sales, in communicating and selling system innovations, the animation displayed during 3D simulation provides an excellent visual aid for demonstrating how the system will perform. An animated simulation is especially convincing in demonstrating the effectiveness of a concept when attempting to sell a solution to a customer or client.
  • Public relations, business that adopt leading technologies tend to be viewed as progressive, forward thinking conpanies. Simulation is a highly visible technology that elevates company' s image both in the eyes of the public as well as the eys of its customers.

The Advantages of Simulation

Much of the reluctance to using simulation comes from the mistaken notion that simulation is costly and very time consuming.

The cost of simulation consists of the initial investment and startup costs and the individual project modelling costs. The initial investment, including training, is often recovered within the first project or two. The ongoing expense of using simulation is estimated to be between one and three percent of the total project cost.

In most of the applications, the savings from the project far exceed the cost of the simulation. Much of the effort that goes into building the model is in arriving at a clear definition of how the system operates, which needs to be done anyway.

Simulation helps achieve the greatest improvements in manufacturing and service system performance in the shortest amount of time, providing several rpoject and design benefit:

  • Reduced costs of systems and processes by optimization and quantitative comparison of alternatives.
  • Reduced cycle times of production engineering by increased user productivity.
  • Increased engineering quality by detailed understanding of systems and processes.
  • Reduced risk by running what-if scenarios.
  • Better decision making & communication by lifelike presentation of verified solutions.
  • Knowledge repository.

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