Covid-19 Induced Hoarding and How Simulation Technology can help

The Covid -19 pandemic which has affected global supply chains, social gatherings, education, aviation, and the economy as we know has become the topic of the day. Its effect on these areas of life have been touched on by practically every news source since February but one commonly overlooked aspect is its effect on the individual.

Across the globe, from the Americas to Africa, Covid-19 initiated an unprecedented rush for essential resources as ‘stay at home’ directives were given. This hoarding effect led to facilities being overrun by customers looking to purchase goods that last for extended periods of time. In a few cases, the rush for essential products led to physical altercations which went against the idea of having minimal contact in these times.

Storekeepers and managers also struggled with keeping the peace, minimizing contact within their facilities, and ensuring available products got to everyone. The hoarding effect and the challenges faced highlight the importance of capacity planning and predictive analysis during a pandemic. It is worth remembering that in times such as these, society is only as safe as its weakest individuals. Thus, underlining the need to ensure hoarding is minimized and everyone gets the essential products required for living.

Reducing Hoarding through Capacity Planning

Although capacity planning is generally applied to manufacturing facilities, any enterprise providing some form of service can take advantage of it. For storekeepers, marts, and supermarkets, capacity planning can be an effective tool to ensure stores remain open, effectively staffed and provide the essential services needed in these times.

In this scenario, Simulation technology is a willing tool for analyzing current capacity, determining service level requirements and creating plans to meet these requirements. One example is the use of a discrete event simulation (DES) model to develop efficient queuing systems that reduce the waiting time for every customer.

The application of DES models in large markets has helped businesses improve waiting times by 26%. In this case study, the 26% improvement led to a 5-minute reduction of the time a customer spent paying for an order. Applying this to the Covid-19 induced rush that continues to occur in some stores can reduce the anxiety customers show anytime they come out to purchase goods.

Integrating enterprise resource management data such as inventory lists into simulation models can also help with rationing goods among customers. In the United Kingdom, it was discovered that the elderly and healthcare providers struggled with picking up essential goods as available products were purchased before they got to stores. To eliminate these challenges, ‘elderly hours’ were created to ensure the vulnerable and healthcare providers could make their purchases before the normal customer rush hours.

Simulation software can enhance these plans by providing insight into the number of hours the elderly spent shopping and how long they spend at cash-out points. With this information, stores can choose to reorganize their shop floor layouts to make shopping a more comfortable experience. Thus, the products most likely to be purchased such as hand sanitizers can be placed closer to check out points and in easily accessible carts or shelves.

Simulation can also help with developing effective rationing policies for essential products. According to a UK survey, one in ten consumers is stockpiling or hoarding essential products which put others at risk. Today, stores such as Tesco, Waitrose, and online stores have put limits on the number of essential products individuals can purchase. Most of these stores chose arbitrary numbers to determine their rationing policy which is an area where simulation can shed more light.

With the use of historical shopping data and inventory lists, store owners can access the insight needed to create more accurate rationing policies. The more accurate a rationing policy is, the easier it becomes to deal with hoarding during these uncertain times. Simulation models can also integrate risks such as supply chain delays and other logistics challenges that are by-products of the coronavirus pandemic. The insight gotten from these models can help stores know the timelines to expect new products which, in turn, determine new rationing policies.

Minimizing Physical Contact with Simulation Technology

Although all social activities have ground to a halt, going out to purchase essential goods or services is expected to continue until the pandemic has been dealt with. During outings, the surest path to protecting oneself is through social distancing and avoiding contact with other shoppers. The recommended distance to keep is 6 feet or 72 inches. Physical stores have taken this to mind and in many cases, allotted standing spaces have been provided for shoppers to stand in while they wait.

The effectiveness of standing spaces is only as good as the patience of the individual waiting in one. In some cases, hoarders have overlooked the need for social distancing to get what they want. Therefore a means to enforce social distancing to minimize physical contact is still needed.

Simulation can help speed up waiting times and also determine the maximum wait time a customer should spend at cash-out points. Stores can make use of the data to set timers for both cashiers and electric door locks with timers visible to cashiers. The timers will help cashiers be more efficient while the door keeps out anyone who intends to jump the queue and distort social distancing norms.

Planning for the Future

From all indications, the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to be contained sometime in the near future and with it comes the start of normal economic activities. Simulation as a planning tool can help enterprises prepare for that future today. This includes manufacturers who’ll have to ramp up supply to meet increased global demands after rationing and healthcare providers who will have to gradually scale down capacity without reducing the quality of care they provide.

At the end of this pandemic, one thing is certain; traditional business practices will be redefined and no business norm will be left unscathed. Thus, enterprises with the ability to plan for changes to supply chains, manufacturing, and service delivery will stay ahead of the competition. Simulation software provides you with the ability to plan accurately and receive the actionable insights that will put you ahead of your competitors.

The Importance of Simulation Training for Professionals in Preparation for Epidemics

The Great Influenza Epidemic or Spanish flu in 1918, did not announce itself with fanfare. It simply spread from one region to another with travelling individuals which led to a global economic depression within 1918 and 1920. As with the Spanish flu, Covid-19 is been spread through travel and from all indications, it has the ability to slow down economic activities across the world. But thankfully, this is not 1918 and we have experienced the effects and benefits of digital transformation technologies.

Digital transformation technologies such as collaborative tools, simulation software, edge computing, and robotics have become game changers as the world faces another epidemic. These tools have made working from home where applicable possible and have opened communication lines for stakeholders and employees to share ideas and progress as a community. Simulation applications have also provided the tools needed for planning around the limitations of an epidemic across every industry.

Simulation Software as a Planning Tool

Simulation software applications are the ultimate solutions for planning for industrial enterprises and facility managers. How you may ask? The answer lies in between its ability to include constraints into simulation models and its capacity to provide diverse results that serve as the actionable intelligence needed for decision making.

Starting with manufacturing, Covid-19 has hit supply chains and logistics management is at an all-time low. The lack of manufacturing supplies has, in turn, turned into the many pictures of empty supermarket shelves making the rounds across every social media platform. An understanding of available supply inventory and expectations from third-party suppliers can help manufacturers to keep manufacturing essential commodities at some capacity.

This is because a DES application can double as a scheduling tool that ensures the wheels keep spinning by creating schedules that ensure shop floor workers practice social distancing when on shifts. A simulation tool like Simio can be used to develop an agent-based model which focuses on workstations as the active components within a facility. This makes planning shifts around specific workstations possible thus minimizing contact among shop floor workers.

In these uncertain times, the healthcare facilities across many regions have been pushed to breaking point due to the number of patients coming through the doors. To cater to an increasing influx of patients and adequately testing both asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, capacity planning is needed. Simulation provides the best tool for capacity planning and determining the effect of increased patient inflow and available bed space.

Simulation models also provides healthcare workers with a tool for analyzing performances with a view to optimizing resource use and the care patients receive. Here, simulation serves as an analytical tool and not as a troubleshooter pointing out all the ills within healthcare facilities. The human and relationship angle of healthcare is one of the more important aspects of treating patients and this cannot be simulated. But with simulation, accurate analysis of the number of additional bed spaces and healthcare providers, as well as, their impact can be known. The actionable intelligence simulation provides simplifies capacity planning and advises decision-makers on the best ways to utilize healthcare facilities during an epidemic.

The Importance of Simulation Training

Simulation software platforms such as Simio are modern digital transformation tools that can be used to create 3-dimensional models which bring 3D visualization to the table. Simio is also intuitive which simplifies its use while making it easy for anyone to learn the fundamentals of simulation before undertaking advanced courses.

Training in simulation provides additional advantages to healthcare professionals, engineers, manufacturers, and senior employees. One of these advantages is the ability to create realistic scenarios or models of real-life occurrences to better predict or understand outcomes. It is an effective and affordable tool or process to learn about capacity planning which could help healthcare professionals provide better care.

Although no one expects active healthcare professionals to undertake the learning of simulation during an epidemic, this too shall pass and the opportunity will present itself in the future. For now, R&D departments and project management professionals within healthcare facilities can undertake simulation training to introduce an extra layer of accuracy into decision-making processes.

Industrial manufacturers and service providers working from home can see this as an opportunity to add applicable knowledge about developing simulation models to your CVs. Regardless of the industry you currently work in, simulation can be applied as a learning tool for employees and also as a decision-making tool. By simulating different scenarios, facilitators can introduce some color to the dull on-boarding materials used in teaching employees.

Simio Simulation Training Options

If you are interested in learning about simulation during this period, the Simio Fundamentals Course is the best way to get started. The course consists of exciting interactive videos and practice materials to get you started with developing simulation models with ease.

Simio Fundamentals introduces the basics of simulation, modeling, animation, and debugging models using the Simio software. The course consists of 14 interactive models designed by professionals with over two decades of experience in simulation modeling. The modules consist of 35 to 90-minute videos which can be paced according to how you choose to learn.

You can choose to learn simulation for personal applications, as well as, participate in the online workshops to get certified by Simio. A Simio certification highlights your understanding of the fundamentals of simulation and its application in the real world. This gives you an edge when seeking employment or professional growth in industrial niches such as manufacturing, oil & gas, aviation, maritime, analytics, and transportation.

All modules including workshops and practice sessions are available online. You can take advantage of the time available to you during this period and kick-start your professional development today by learning the fundamentals of simulation.

For more information about Simio Fundamentals and Simio solutions, contact us here.  

Strategic Planning in Healthcare Using Simulation in Preparation for the Coronavirus

The last couple of weeks have witnessed the Coronavirus dominate every news cycle worldwide and not a day passes without new statistics of its spread and the decisions been made to combat it. This week new cases in Italy and across the globe convinced the World Health Organization (WHO) to officially announce the situation as an epidemic. What this means in terms of healthcare is an exponential increase in the number of patients seeking medical help which is expected to test the capacity planning abilities of healthcare facilities.

The process of developing excellent strategic plans for expansion while taking into consideration factors such as increased demand for services, available assets to work with, and scheduling is the forte of simulation. In regions where the Coronavirus situation is projected to escalate, simulation technology provides healthcare centers, manufacturers of testing kits, and epidemiologists with an excellent tool for capacity planning and data analysis.

Capacity Planning in Healthcare Centers with Simulation Software

 Unexpected increases in patient inflow provide challenges for every healthcare facility but in this case, things are a bit different. We are currently in an epidemic and unaffected regions as of today have been advised to take precautionary steps and prepare public and private healthcare facilities for an influx of patients. This cautionary recommendation means now is the time to develop strategic plans and implement them before welcoming patients in the coming months.

Simulation software simplifies the planning and implementation process in many ways. These ways include optimizing bed utilization, determining the waiting time for diverse situations, and simulating demand with intent to respond to increased demand. Research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) puts how simulation optimizes capacity planning in healthcare centers in perspective.

The research used data from The Office of Health Policy under the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and data-sets of patient inflow from a couple of health centers in Kentucky to develop a discrete event simulation (DES) model. The data used spanned the duration of 5 years across healthcare centers in Kentucky and included patient gender and age to ensure high accuracy levels. With the DES model, patient flow within facilities, patient wait time, and bed utilization were mapped out. This made it possible to estimate and measure the level of services patients received within specific Kentucky healthcare facilities. It also measured the effect of increased capacity against increasing patient inflow. The DES model determined that a 5% increase in accommodation capacity ensures a high quality of service is given to patients if inflow increases by approximately 20 to 30%.

The study also made use of OptQuest, an optimization solver in Simio, to search for optimal solutions for enhancing service quality while taking into consideration capacity limitations. The model showed a 2% annual increase in a hospital’s capacity could maintain 80% of the service quality a facility offers as patient inflow increases.

Applying this to the Coronavirus situation means simulation can be used for designing community-based care frameworks for affected patients in record time. Simulation models can also take into consideration the pattern of care different patients will need and determine the optimal wait time that ensures every patient gets the care they deserve. The results from these simulations will then serve as the strategic plans needed to increase the capacity of healthcare centers in the worst-hit areas.

Logistics and Supply Chain Planning in Laboratories

During an epidemic, speaking about the positives helps everyone realize that solutions to the problem are being worked on. And here is one. The US, Israel, and China are currently working on vaccines to tackle the spread of the virus and its effects. It is expected that functional vaccines will be available within 12 to 18 months and clinical trials are already being done.

To mass-produce working vaccines, require a vibrant logistics and supply chain that ensures laboratories get the materials they need to work with. A functional global supply chain is also required to bring the final product to healthcare facilities where they will be sorely needed.

Simulation provides a solution for planning the re-routing of supply chains through affected regions to the laboratory. Test kit, safety equipment, and vaccine manufacturers can take advantage of simulation to schedule manufacturing activities within their facilities. In this case, scheduling manufacturing processes while taking the reduced capacity of a facility into consideration will help manufacturers retain a good percentage of their optimal working capacity. Thus, continuously manufacturing the items needed to successfully eradicate the novel virus.

Simulating the Coronavirus Epidemiology and Control in Affected Areas

Epidemiology models have provided realistic predictions on the spread or epidemiological outcomes of existing illnesses or viruses. Models of malaria epidemiology are examples of how simulation has been applied to determine spread and control strategies that can reduce it.

The OpenMalaria platform initiative is one example. In this scenario, individual-based stochastic simulation models of patients and a DES model were developed to study the spread of malaria within a population of 10,000. The study led to the discovery of a seasonal pattern for malaria. It also highlighted the fact that measures such as indoor residual spraying within certain timelines were effective in reducing the number of affected patients.

Although Coronavirus is still in its infancy, simulation of the coronavirus epidemiology in the future will help with preparing healthcare workers and facilities to tackle epidemics head-on.  Today, the WHO and China have developed simulation models that help with contact tracing and isolated healthcare. This measure has helped with tracing suspected patients and creating isolation buffers to slow or stop the spread of the virus across China.

Conclusion

The effects of the novel coronavirus are being felt across all walks of life as work reduces and schools close. The best way to slow its spread and provide adequate healthcare for infected patients is through strategic planning. Simulation serves as one of the best tools, alongside educating the public, that government agencies and healthcare providers can employ in developing effective strategic planning and implementation policies.

The Effects of Covid-19 on Supply Chains and How Simulation can help

Coronavirus cells in microscopic view. Virus from Wuhan casusing pandemic around the world. 3D render

The outbreak of Covid -19 has been the most defining occurrence in 2020 and its impact is been felt across all industries including the manufacturing industry. Its effects on manufacturing and production facilities have been varied depending on the nature of the product being produced. For discrete manufacturers in affected regions, daily operations are slowly grinding to a halt while for restaurateurs, it has proved to be a boon.

Meituan, one of the biggest food delivery companies in China, claims it receives four times more request than it before Covid-19 but there were challenges and the challenge? Delivery requests have become more difficult to fulfill as the Coronavirus has reduced the efficiency of its supply chains. Meituan’s case highlights the challenges enterprises currently face with handling logistics and managing supply chains in a time like this.

Since the spotlight was placed on the novel Coronavirus early February, US companies had begun to note its effects on global supply chains and strategize on limiting its effects on trade. Now, with the announcement of a few cases in the US, its effect on supply chains may become local. The reported case of an employee at ‘Amazon Brazil’ offices in Washington and the corresponding quarantine period of that facility mean an enforced downtime will occur. Thus, affecting optimal deliveries or the supply chains associated with that particular office.

The Challenges Coronavirus Introduces to Supply Chains

The ‘Corona leg-shake’ which has gone viral provides the perfect background for exploring the challenges coronavirus brings to supply chains. First and foremost, direct human contact using bare hands is not recommended and this makes things difficult for a large percentage of couriers that support the local supply chain.

The fact that the virus survives for hours on surfaces also puts shop floor pickers and employees at risk. Thus contact of any kind with bare surfaces such as material handling equipment is being shunned by most people. Coronavirus is also a novelty and lack of information about how it spreads has made many consider putting on surgical masks to avoid contamination. These limitations have led to reports and deductions showing that Coronavirus may shut down supply chains by mid-March which will force thousands of enterprises to halt operations.

One example of the effect of these challenges is Fiat Chrysler Automobile temporarily halting operations in Serbia and other locations in February. Others such as Hyundai are also expected to temporarily stop production due to breaks in their supply chain which affected their ability to source parts from China.

Mitigating Supply Chain Challenges with Simulation

Simulation provides enterprises with an assessment and predictive tool to determine the impact of the Coronavirus to their supply chains. In this case, simulation software can be used to evaluate various strategies to keep logistics and supply chains running at some capacity.

In a worst-case scenario where economic activities are suspended, results from simulations will help manufacturers come up with effective strategies for managing available inventory. This will ensure production continues for as long as possible until a resupply line can be established.

The use of simulation alongside interrelated emerging technological solutions such as robotics, autonomous vehicles, and drones could help ease the movement of supplies across local communities. These solutions could also ease fears about having to make contact with couriers or delivery men when taking possession of an order.

Simulation software can ensure the impact of unmanned delivery systems can be assessed and new delivery routes planned before implementation. For example, with Simio, Coronavirus can be modeled as a system dynamics problem alongside supply chains. Modeling the propagation of the virus and its effect on supply chains will provide multiple results on how best to keep supply chains functional if the virus continues to spread.

Simio offers two system dynamics features which make modeling the propagation of the Coronavirus and its effects possible. The Infection Propagation Using Continuous Flow, models disease propagation and it can also be applied by scientists in the healthcare industry to understand available patterns about its spread.

In Summary, government agencies believe the Coronavirus could have a major effect on manufacturing on a global scale for months. This leaves the task of keeping supply chains working in the hands of manufacturing stakeholders and relying on simulation can ease the difficult decision-making process ahead of everyone involved with manufacturing. This article focuses on Coronavirus and its effects on supply chains and does not seek to provide health tips on dealing with the virus. Staying informed and following the directions provided by healthcare and agencies concerning working in public facilities is what we recommend.

Why More Manufacturers are betting on Simulation Software in 2020

In the past decade, the manufacturing industry struggled to increase its production rate even with the implementation of lean manufacturing concepts within shop floors. A major cause of the stagnant productivity levels manufacturers’ encountered was strategy planning and its implementation. In many cases, the inability to accurately assess how strategic changes affect production led to downtime, resource waste, and an increase in expenditure. This is where simulation software as an advanced planning tool helps.

Statistics from 2018 showed that approximately 60,000 manufacturing enterprises worldwide made use of simulation as a planning and scheduling tool. The reason for the low adoption rates was because most enterprises see simulation as a fad which may not work as expected when assessing business strategies. For others, the tried and tested traditional planning tools such as excel and intuition is more than enough when developing business strategies. This left the task of sensitizing the manufacturing industry in the hands of simulation software vendors.

By 2020, the number of manufacturing enterprises using simulation had increased to 110,000 which highlights the efforts vendors such as Simio have put into simplifying simulation for everyone. Progress in the development and features of simulation software is also playing a part in convincing manufacturing enterprises to consider simulation software as planning tools. An example is the addition of 3D modeling and animation into simulation platforms which provides more detailed visuals which explain KPI’s better.

The growing reliance on simulation as a planning and scheduling tool is due to the benefits it offers both discrete and continuous manufacturing facilities. These benefits include enhancing risk analysis procedures, forward scheduling, and effective monitoring of existing systems. Below is a holistic view of these advantages simulation offers.

Risk Analysis with Simulation Software

Risk analysis is the process of identifying and analyzing potential challenges that could negatively affect the manufacturing process and an enterprise’s ability to meet production timelines. Once the limiting factors or issues have been identified through risk analysis, decisions to mitigate them can then be taken.

Simulation software is an excellent tool for risk analysis within manufacturing facilities and operations. With simulation, a manufacturer can determine if available resources such as an inventory list, number of equipment, and workstations are enough to meet production schedules. An example is conducting a risk analysis to determine the probability of meeting an order with the resources available to the manufacturer.

In this instance, Simio is used to conduct a risk assessment which will provide the risk percentage attached to supplying the requested order. Risk percentage refers to on-time probability for an order with considerations for the number of replications run using the simulation software. We recommend running at least 10 replications to determine the risk percentage. This is because it provides a more accurate risk analysis for producing the order within the specified time frame. You can learn more about risk assessment with Simio here.

If the result for the ‘risk measures’ after running a risk analysis is within the 80 to 90% mark, this is a good sign that the order will be fulfilled on-time. A risk measure of less than 30% is a sign that more resources are needed to ensure an order is produced on-time. The manufacturer can then choose to make design or operational changes to ensure production is on-time. Here, a design change could mean adding an extra assembly line or purchasing more material handling equipment to speed up operations. Operational changes refer to expediting a material or working to extend the due date of the requested order.

Making these decisions reduce the challenges that affect manufacturing procedures such as downtime, resource waste, and overshooting production timelines. Eliminating these challenges or keeping them at bay comes with its benefits which include revenue growth and enhancing customer experience.

Forward Scheduling with Simulation Software

In advanced planning, forward scheduling refers to a feasibility analysis of manufacturing plans before implementation. This allows the schedule to take into consideration all known constraints and condition of a system that could affect production, unlike backward scheduling which makes assumptions without considering some important constraints.

The application of forward scheduling in manufacturing provides enterprises with a valuable tool to make plans with the resources currently available, as well as, plan for the future. An example is scheduling the production of an order of 100 items. Forward scheduling will consider the available inventory and its ability to support the order. If the available materials are not enough, this constraint is taking into consideration and the system sends out a purchase order for more supplies. In a situation where the start date has elapsed or the demand exceeds the manufacturer’s capacity, forward scheduling continues to create schedule past the due date.

This information gives stakeholders options. The decision to be made here may involve trying to push the due date forward or outsourcing a percentage of the order if the delivery date cannot be changed.

Planning before Implementation with Simulation

Simulation software is a virtualization tool built for planning factory layouts or settings to enhance productivity. Manufacturers intending to build new facilities or add new workstation or production lines to existing facilities can predict their impact before executing the implementation procedure.

An example is assessing the impact of adding an assembly line to a discrete manufacturing facility. With Simio, a discrete event simulation assesses the speed of the new system and the scheduling probabilities it offers. This assessment provides a glimpse into the future manufacturing system and if the prognosis looks good for optimizing productivity, then real-time implementation comes next.

Assessment before implementation also applies to planning new shop floor layouts that optimize available manufacturing assets and workspace. An agent-based simulation highlights the effects or impact of individual assets to the entire facility. With this information, an enterprise can place assets in specific sections while modeling the entire facility to take advantage of the location of assets. On implementation, a properly planned shop floor layout reduces workplace traffic, speeds up production activities, and optimizes available resources.

Conclusion

The value-added proposition simulation brings to the table is why manufacturers are expected to spend approximately $2.5billion annually on simulation software. Simulation software is used by machinery and appliance facilities, the automobile industry, in aviation, healthcare and any other industry where goods are produced or services are rendered. You can learn more about how simulation software has been applied to simplify manufacturing processes within your industry by going through the list of Simio case studies.

Simio Announces Keynote Speakers for Simio Sync: Digital Transformation Conference

At this year’s Simio Sync: Digital Transformation conference (May 4 – 5), Simio is planning a bigger event covering all things digital by increasing the number of programs and expert speakers compared to last year’s event. The goal is to cover the expanding ecosystem around digital transformation while providing a platform for attendees to experience practical examples of its application across every human endeavor.

To this end, we are enlisting great speakers with years of hands-on experience in digital transformation to lead expansive sessions on application, strategy, and charting a course using digital technologies. Today, Simio is excited to announce two great speakers who will be sharing their experiences with digitally transforming supply chains and the manufacturing industry.

We are happy to announce Martin Barkman, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Solutions Management for Digital Supply Chain at SAP. Martin leads the strategy and go-to-market for SAP’s Digital Supply Chain solution portfolio, which encompasses software for R&D, engineering, supply chain planning, manufacturing, logistics, and asset management.

He will be speaking on the role digital transformation plays in enhancing supply chain management and implementation strategies. His session will also provide practical examples for enterprises interested in driving their supply chain strategy using technology. These practical examples will leverage on the 12 years’ experience he gained providing on-premise and cloud-based solutions for optimizing supply chains at SmartOps. 

We’re also pleased to announce Indranil Sircar, CTO Manufacturing Industry at Microsoft. Indranil has considerable experience with logistics and supply chain management using disruptive technologies. He has helped big businesses develop intelligent supply chain strategies using the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, and the digital twin.

At Simio Sync, the veteran with over 30 years of experience at Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, will be speaking about the use of digital transformation to set and drive manufacturing visions or strategies. He will also share practical examples about using high-tech and edge solutions to accelerate digital transformation, as well as, how they bring value to enterprises.

The distinguished speakers will also be available to take questions from members of the audience which provides you with the opportunity to present the specific challenges you have faced with digital transformation.

You do not want to miss this and the other events including the networking dinner with industry stakeholders from Lockheed Martin, Exxon Mobile, BAE Systems etc. and Simio Spouses Agenda that we have lined up for you. Get your early bird tickets today.

Top Trends in Simulation and Digital Twins Technology for 2020

Digital Twins refers to the digital representations of people, processes, and things. It is used to analyze operations and receive insight into complex processes. As 2019 comes to an end, the need to define digital twin technology still exists and hopefully by this time next year, its growth and popularity will make this need obsolete…

In 2018, digital twins were included as a top technology trend by the big names covering the tech industry. According to Orbis research, the digital twin market is expected to grow by 35% within a 5-year time frame and 2020 is right in the middle of this period. But before highlighting the trends to expect in 2020, it is only right to do a recap of the year so far. This is to note if earlier predictions have come to pass before mapping the future.

In terms of popularity, coverage of the digital twins is definitely on the right track as continuous studies by Gartner and other publications show. Today, many professionals across the technical and non-technical divide understand the digital twin concept and how it can be used to drive business processes and concepts. This is why many industries are currently integrating digital twins to bolster business insight and understand data.

The biggest adopters of digital twin technology in the geographical sense remains North America. Enterprises within the US and Canada currently leads the way in terms of adopting digital twin technology. North America accounts for approximately 59% of the digital twin market and economy while Europe and the Asian pacific comes next.

The very nature of the digital twin and simulation, as well as, the solutions they provide makes them attractive business tools for the manufacturing industry and this fact is backed up by data. The manufacturing industry’s affinity to digital twins is powered by Industry 4.0 and the varied ongoing processes that occur within shop floors. The use of smart edge devices, equipment, robots, AI, and automation also fits nicely into the digital twin concept thus making it attractive to manufacturers.

In 2019, manufacturers account for approximately 36% of the digital twin market. Other industries such as the energy and power industry, Aerospace, Automobile and Oil & Gas complete the top five industries who make use of the digital twin to enhance operations. Analyzing this trend highlights the fact that digital twins are important to simplifying complex processes where hundreds or thousands of variables and relationships are needed to successfully accomplish set tasks.

Is the Digital Twin for Only Production-based Industries?

Although the Oil & Gas industry, as well as, the energy and power sector are not tagged as manufacturing industries, a case can be made for it. Therefore, many may assume or wonder if digital twin technology is only useful within production-based industries where discrete or process manufacturing takes place. And the answer is No.

The digital twin is also being used in other industry verticals such as the hospitality industry and in restaurants. One example is the use of Simio by CKE Holdings Inc. to ease workloads in its Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s restaurants. The Digital twin is also being used to support discrete event simulations in hotels, real-estate, and tolling facilities.

The use of interconnected devices and automation within service and hospitality businesses are the driving forces behind the adoption of digital twin within a variety of industries. And the coming year is expected to witness continuous growth as more industries and professionals understand what the digital twin brings to the table.

Top 5 Trends for the Digital Twins and Simulation Technology for 2020

Interrelated Technologies will Boost Adoption Rate – The growth and maturity of interrelated technologies such as 3D printing, metal printing, and mapping will play a part in accelerating the adoption rate of digital twins in 2020. This is because of the need to monitor and consistently improve these technologies and the systems that drive them.

Using 3D printing as an example, many manufacturing outfits are currently making use of 3D printing clusters to speed up their production requirements. 3D printing clusters or farms refers to facilities where hundreds of 3D printers function simultaneously to manufacture physical items. Although these 3D printing clusters have dedicated software for managing the printing process, material delivery, scheduling, and managing the entire supply chain within these facilities are handled manually.

Digital twin solutions can eliminate the manual management and handling process in 3D printing farms to great effect. If properly executed, a digital twin of a large scale 3D printing cluster will provide a data-driven approach to optimize supply, scheduling and the manufacturing process. This will reduce expenditure including the energy expended in 3D printing cluster facilities.

Industry 4.0 will Continue to Drive Adoption – The growth in Industry 4.0 and the devices, as well as, communication channels driving the smart factory is expected to increase the adoption of digital twin solutions. In 2019, Industry 4.0 witnessed the creation of new standards from the OPC Foundation that supports the collection of data from the deepest corners of brownfield facilities. These data were collected from dumb equipment with legacy technologies using smart edge and embedded devices.

The success of this approach, means that digital twin technology can now integrate the data collected from dumb or legacy equipment when developing digital representations. This increases the accuracy levels of the representations thereby enhancing simulation results and scheduling plans. Thus, increasingly accurate digital twin ecosystems and results will create more use cases that will drive the adoption of digital twins in 2020.

IoT and IIoT to Drive Digital Twin Adoption Rate – The move to more interconnected environments across both manufacturing and service-based industries also have roles to play in 2020. As stated earlier, Industry 4.0 will enhance the adoption of digital twin technologies and this also true for the industrial internet of things (IIoT). The widespread adoption of IoT and IIoT devices or equipment have created a race to develop the best management solution to monitor interconnected activities.

This creates an avenue which digital twin service providers are currently taking advantage of and will continue to do so in 2020. The ability of the digital twin to create digital representations of IIoT devices and also integrate the data they produce creates multiple use cases enterprises will explore in the coming years. These use cases include running simulations in complex interconnected facilities to produce accurate results or to access processes that involve the use of IIoT technologies.

Digital Twin for Cybersecurity Challenges – With every passing decade, the cybersecurity challenges enterprises face keeps changing. The millennium brought Trojan horses and other viruses which were effectively stopped with anti-virus software apps and by 2010, attackers pivoted to using phishing attacks and malware. Today, ransomware, spyware, DDoS, and business email compromise attacks have become the new challenges enterprises face. Thus highlighting the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats.

To cater to these threats and attacks, digital twin solutions will be enlisted by enterprises in 2020. In this scenario, the digital twin will be used as a penetration testing tool to simulate the effects of successful data breaches or ransomware to an organizations business processes. Within the digital twin environment, attacks to core equipment can be simulated and the result will be a response pattern that ensures the crippled equipment does not lead to extended downtime.

2020 will also be expected to witness an increase in the cybersecurity threats facing cloud-based digital twin solutions. Thus, more secure communication protocols and standards regulating data use will be developed to protect enterprises making use of digital twin technology. This means developers and service providers will have an increased role to play in securing digital twin environments.

Simulation-based Scheduling – The drive to deliver real-time scheduling is expected to continue in 2020 as enterprises seek more accuracy with managing business process. The need for real-time scheduling is also driven by how enterprises intend to apply simulation and digital twin tools. An example includes the need to make business decisions in real-time, handle unforeseen occurrences such as machine downtime, and reschedule operations.

These challenges fall into the category of issues discrete event simulation (DES) software can handle. Once the required data is accessible, DES and digital twin applications can conduct simulations in real-time and provide accurate solutions to dealing with changing scenarios also in real-time. This will drastically reduce downtime and enhance performance within facilities and warehouses.

Although some DES software offers real-time simulation scheduling, many are still process-based scheduling applications and this is set to change in 2020.

Quantum Computing – If real-time simulation, scheduling, and process management is to be achieved, then digital twin solutions must take advantage of the speed, scalability, and high-performance quantum computing offers. Today, digital twin solutions currently leverage the cloud to provide stable and scalable services to enterprises and only a few integrate the use of high-performing computers to enhance or manage really large workloads.

In 2020, further strides will be made to speed up simulations within digital twin environments using high-performing computers. The success of this initiative will speed up real-time scheduling and complex process management for the foreseeable future.

Planning for 2020…

The benefits of the digital twin have played an important role in ensuring its adoption across diverse industries and the expected trends of 2020 will continue the increased adoption rate that came with 2019. Although digital twin solutions have become more interactive and intuitive to use, enterprises still require the assistance of experienced professionals to get the best out of their digital twin environment and this is where Simio can help.

IT managers, cybersecurity experts, and project managers can take advantage of the Simio Fundamentals Course to learn more about simulation and Digital Twin technology including its application in real-life scenarios.

Evolution of Discrete Event Simulation Software

Today, discrete event simulation (DES) software and the benefits it provides are currently being used across a majority of industries to simplify business operations, make predictions, and gain insight into complex processes. But before modern simulation software such as Simio could be used to create shiny models and execute real-time simulations, there were earlier technologies that formed the foundation built upon by modern simulation software. As you can probably tell, there is definitely a story behind the evolution of simulation software and today, that story is being told.

To accurately tell this story, the evolution must be arranged in chronological order. The traditional order currently in use today is the order outlined by R.E. Nance in 1995. This chronological order will be used here but with slight edits to accommodate the earliest memories of simulation software and the current strides being made. This is because the most referenced order outlined in 1995, did not take into account the efforts of Jon von Neumann and Stanislaw Ulam who made use of simulation to analyze the behavior of neutrons in 1946.

RE. Nance’s chronology which was written in 1995 could not and did not account for the recent paradigm shifts in DES software. This understandable omission will also be highlighted and included in this post. Therefore, this paper on discrete event simulation should be seen as an update of the history and evolution of DES software.

The Early Years (1930 – 1950)

Before discrete simulation came to prominence, early mathematicians made use of deterministic statistical sampling to estimate uncertainties and model complex processes. This process was time-consuming and error-prone which led to the early DES techniques known as Monte Carlo simulations. The earliest simulation was the Buffon needle technique which was used by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Compte de Buffon to estimate the value of Pi by dropping needles on a floor made of parallel equidistant strips. Although this method was successful, simulation software as we know it got its origin in 1946.

Sometime in the fall of 46’, two mathematicians were faced with the problem of understanding the behavioral pattern of neutrons. To understand how neutrons behaved, Jon von Neumann and Stanislaw Ulam, developed the Roulette wheel technique to handle discrete event simulations. The light bulb moment came to Ulam while playing a game of Solitaire. Ulam successfully simulated the number of times he could win at Solitaire by studying hundreds of successful plays.

After successfully estimating a few games, he realized it would take years to manually observe and pick successful games for every hand. This realization led to Ulam enlisting Jon von Neumann to build a program to simulate multiple hands of solitaire on the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). And the first simulation software was written.

The Period of Search (1955 – 1960)

The success of both mathematicians in simulating neutron behavioral patterns placed the spot light on simulation and encouraged government agencies to explore its uses in the military. As with all technological processes, the growth of discrete simulation software could only match the computing units available at that time. At that time, analog and barely digital computers were the springing board for development.

Around 1952, John McLeod and a couple of his buddies in the Naval Air Missile Test Center undertook the responsibility of defining simulation concepts and the development of algorithms and routines to facilitate the design of standardized simulation software. In the background, John Backus and his team were also developing a high-level language for computers. The efforts of the multiple teams working independently of one another led to the development of the first simulation language and software that would lead to the evolution of DES software.

It also highlights the general theme of how technological advancements and software evolutions occur which is through advancements in diverse interrelated fields.

The Advent (1960 – 1965)

By 1961, John Backus and his team at IBM had successfully developed FORTRAN, the first high-level programming language for everyday use. The success of FORTRAN led to the creation of a general-purpose simulation language based on FORTRAN. This language was SIMSCRIPT which was successfully implemented in 1962 by Harry Markowitz.

Other general-purpose simulation software and systems also sprang up within this period as competing contractors continued to develop simulation languages and systems. At the tail end of 1965, programs and packages such as ALGOL, General Purpose Simulation System (GPSS), and General Activity Simulation Program (GASP) had been developed. IBM computers and the BUNCH crew consisting of Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, Control Data Corporation, and Honeywell were developing more powerful computers to handle complex simulations.

One of the highlights of this period was the successful design of the Gordon Simulator by IBM. The Gordon Simulator was used by the Federal Aviation Administration to distribute weather information to stakeholders in the aviation industry. Thus highlighting the first time simulation was used in the aviation industry.

Here again, the increase in processing speed and the prominent entry of a new term known as computer-aided design was to play a role in advancing the development of simulation software for use. At this stage, early simulation packages and languages were still being used predominantly by the government, as well as, a few corporations. Also, ease of use, intuitive, and responsive packages were slowly being integrated into simulation software such as the GPSS which had become popular in the 60s’.

The Formative Years (1966 – 1970)

The formative years were defined by the development of simulation software for commercial use. By this time, businesses had begun to understand simulation and the role it plays in simplifying business process and solving complex problems. The success of systems such as the Gordon Simulator also got industry actors interested in the diverse ways DES software could be employed.

Recognizing the need to apply simulation in industrial processes, the first organization solely dedicated to simulation was formed in 1967 and the first conference was held in New York at the Hotel Roosevelt. In the second conference, 78 papers on discrete event simulation and developing DES software were submitted. Surprisingly some of the questions asked in the 1968 conference still remain relevant to this day. These questions include:

  • The difficulties in convincing top management about simulation software
  • How simulation can be applied in manufacturing, transportation, human behavior, urban systems etc.

The Expansion Period (1971 – 1978)

 The expansion period was dedicated to the simplification of modeling process when using simulation software and introducing its use in classrooms. At this stage, diverse industries had begun to understand the use and benefits of simulation software to their respective industries. This, in turn, led to discussing the need to prepare students for a world that integrates simulation.

Also, advancement in technology such as the introduction and wide spread use of the personal computer made the case for developing simulation software for dedicated operating systems. This led to the development of the GPSS/H for IBM mainframes and personal computers. The GPSS/H also introduced interactive debugging to the simulation process and made the process approximately 20 times faster than previous simulation packages. In terms of technological evolution, the GASP IV also introduced the use of time events during simulations which highlights the growth in simulation software available to industries at that time.

By the fifth simulation conference tagged the ‘Winter Simulation Conference’ of 1971, diverse tutorials on using simulation packages such as the GASP2 and SIMSCRIPT had become available to the public. The growing popularity of simulation also led to increased commercial opportunities and by 1978, simulation software could be purchased for less than $50,000.

The Consolidation and Regeneration (1979 – 1986)

The consolidation age was defined by the rise of the desktop and personal computer which led to the widespread development of simulation software for the personal computer. Simulation software also witnessed upgrades through the development of simulation language for alternative modeling (SLAM). The SLAM concept made it possible to combine diverse modeling capabilities and obtain multiple modeling perspectives when handling complex processes.

These upgrades or development made simulation for production planning possible and the manufacturing industry began to take a keen interest in simulation software. The increase in computing and storage capacity also led to the creation of factory management systems such as the CAM – I. CAM – I effectively became the first simulation software used solely for closed-loop control of activities and process within shop floors.

By 1983, SLAM II had been developed and this was an industrial-grade simulation package ahead of its time. SLAM II provided three different modelling approaches which could also be combined at need. These approaches included discrete event modeling approach, network modeling, and the ability to integrate discrete modeling and network modeling in a particular simulation model. More importantly, SLAM II cost approximately $900 which was relatively cheap at that time. This can be signified as the moment where discrete event simulation came into its own as commercial software options for discrete event simulation modeling became available to the general public

The Growth and Animation Phase (1987 – 2000)

The 90s’ witnessed a consolidation of the strides made in the earlier years and many interrelated technologies and processes also came off age within this decade. This era focused on simplicity, the development of interactive user-interfaces, and making simulation available for everyone including non-technical individuals.

In the mid-nineties, simulation software was being used to solve even more complex issues such as simulating every event and process in large-scale facilities. The Universal Data System example was a first in those days. Universal Data System was stuck with converting its entire plant to a hybrid flow-shop which enhanced production. To achieve this, the company made use of GPSS and the end result was a successful flow that enhanced daily operations and the entire process was modeled and simulated within 30 days.

In 1998, vendors began to add data collection features to simulation software. These features included the automation of data collection processes, the use of 3D graphics and animation to make the simulation process more user-friendly and non-technical. Needless to say, the technological advancements in animation, modeling, graphics design, and UI building played roles in enhancing simulation software during this period.

The Flexibility and Scalability Phase (2000 – 2019…)

Finally, we come to the last evolutionary phase of the DES software as we know it. Once again, advancement in interrelated technologies have made scaling simulation and speeding up its process possible. The evolution that came with the new millennium saw DES vendors leverage the use of cloud computing, AI, and high-performance computing to take simulation to greater heights.

Other changes that came within these decades was the evolution of production-based scheduling process to a simulation-based scheduling process. This shift allowed for real-time simulation scheduling, processing, and decision-making. This shift also comes with the fourth industrial revolutions were data collection, automation, and interconnectivity rule. Simulation software of this generation has evolved to become tools capable of digitization and the development of digital twins.

Discrete event simulation software such as Simio are examples of the comprehensive simulation technologies that are needed to drive Industry 4.0. This is because new age DES software must be able to collect and store its own data, model accurate 3-D graphics, animation, manage real-time scheduling, and digitization. They must also be equipped with features that market it possible to leverage cloud computing, integrate enterprise resource planning applications, and high-performance computing. These features all work together to ensure the most complex simulations are executed to deliver accurate answers or insights when applied in professional settings.

Summary

The future of discrete event simulation is by no means set in stone as the experiences from previous eras have shown. This means with the advancement in interrelated technologies and simulation software, more industrial concepts and business models will be disrupted in the coming decade. 

Simio Showcases the Digital Twin at INFORMS Annual Meeting 2019 – A Recap

The INFORMS Annual Meeting for 2019 has come and gone with multiple keynotes shared, workshop activities, and hundreds of excellent companies sharing their experiences and solutions from brightly colored booths. Once again, Simio was at the thick of things evangelizing the benefits of simulation and Digital Twin technology to the world. As with all annual meetings, the focus was on the strides been made in operational research and analytics. And the meeting provided the chance to explore emerging technologies and its applications across all ‘works of life’.

The term ‘all works of life’ wasn’t used lightly as sessions covering social media analytics and e-learning to applying analytics to human trafficking were explored. As for Simio, our role was somewhere in the middle and as stated earlier, our participation was centered around the digital twin. But before going into details of how the event panned out and Simio’s roles, here is an outline of what the INFORMS Annual Meeting is about for interested individuals.

INFORMS Annual Meeting

INFORMS which stands for the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences is an umbrella organization for professionals plying their trade in operations research and analytics. INFORMS currently boasts of approximately 12,500 members across the globe which highlights its global or international reach.

The organization also sets standards and guidelines to ensure research and analytics within its field are ethically done. To bring its thousands of members together under one roof, the INFORMS Annual Meeting event was created and it holds once a year. The event features keynote sessions, workshops, publication presentations, and an exhibition area for member and enterprises to showcase their wares.

The INFORMS Annual Meeting also coincides with its community service drive to assist non-profit organizations with meeting their obligations. This is done through the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics section of the organization. If you are wondering why the information about Pro Bono Analytics is included here, then I ask for patience as it will all make sense in the end.

Now to the annual meeting of 2019!

The 2019 INFORMS Annual Meeting was a 3-day event which ran from the 20th of October to the 23rd. This year’s event was definitely a success as more than 5,000 people breezed through the different sessions, exhibition areas, workshops, and lunch areas throughout the 3-day event. The convention center buzzed with activities through these days and we are proud to say Simio capitalized on these activities in different ways. Our participation included a dedicated Simio booth highlighting the use of Simio digital twin technology, a session handled by Jason, and workshop presentations from Renee.

Keynote Sessions and Workshops of Note at the INFORMS Annual Meeting

Tens of session covering operations research and analytics were covered throughout the event which makes mentioning and discussing every one of them impossible. So, the focus will be on simulation, digital transformation, cloud computing, and digital twin sessions.

One of the exciting sessions within the above category was the session about the computational infrastructure for operations research, COIN-OR, initiative. The IBM project focuses on providing open-source technologies solely for computational operations research. The end goal is to provide an open-source library of tools which will ensure researches do not have to start from scratch when handling complex research. This creates a foundation that will be built on and maintained by researchers over the years.

The session ‘Robust Optimization and Learning Under Uncertainty’ was also interesting as it discussed the challenges stakeholders face with decision-making and policy creation. Han Yu, a PhD student at the University of California spoke about how important data collection, and an understanding of history should drive real-world decision-making. The session also discussed how modeling and robust optimization techniques can enhance the decision-making process.

Other notable sessions highlighted or raised questions about the role digital twin and simulation could play in enhancing agriculture and the healthcare industry. According to Greg from Syngenta, AI, computer vision, and bioINFORMSatics modelling currently assist Syngenta with making data-driven seed selections and breeding. This raises the question of the role of the digital twin in agriculture which may be explored in other blog posts.

In the ‘Healthcare Modeling and Optimization’ session, Dr. Zlatana Nenova spoke about the role modeling and data analytics play in improving healthcare. Her speech also touched on the use of digital technology to analyze medical care policies for both off and on-site healthcare delivery. In terms of on-site healthcare, there are certainly diverse ways the healthcare industry can benefit from digital twin technology. Although this was not covered in this year’s event, it highlights the possibilities of applying digital twin to the healthcare industry.

Simio’s Events at the INFORMS Annual Meeting

Now, to Simio and our role at the INFORMS conference. In last year’s event, Ms. Renee Thiesing, the VP of Strategic Alliances,  spoke excellently on the role Simio plays in driven discrete event simulation and the digital transformation of brownfield systems as the move to Industry 4.0 continues. She also highlighted the importance of real-time event scheduling and how Simio can help enterprises solve real-time scheduling challenges using Simio.

In this year’s event, Ms. Renee built on her earlier foundation by focusing on the digital twin capabilities of Simio and its application in diverse industries. Her session titled ‘New Innovations: Cloud Computing, Real-Time Scheduling, Industry 4.0 and more’ discussed how Simio leverages cloud computing to deliver high-performing scheduling and simulations.

Through the session, she discussed how Simio leverages the computing power of Microsoft Azure to support complex applications. Simio’s compatibility with Schneider Electric’s Wonderware was also discussed in detail. This includes the leveraging of Wonderware to achieve detailed production scheduling in real-time, as well as, manage real-time risk analysis. The new Simio features such as Simio’s cloud portal and OptQuest were also covered during her workshop. She highlighted OptQuest abilities to optimize scheduling and simulation with the aim of delivering optimal solutions to complex business problems.

Jason Ceresoli also spoke on the benefits of using Simio’s 3D modelling capabilities to solve real—world problems. His presentation covered Simio’s features for system design and operation. Practical examples of how Simio’s rapid 3D modeling, planning and scheduling, and optimization capabilities can be used by enterprises were also discussed by Jason. Finally, his session highlighted the difference between Simio and other simulation tools with a focus on how professional researchers and analysts can use these features. 

Our participation at the INFORMS Annual Meeting will not be complete without recounting our experiences at booth 28 in the exhibition area. The targeted message used in the Simio booth drew its own audience of professionals, entrepreneurs and business representatives interested in the digital twin. This gave us the opportunity to showcase Simio’s features and real-world applications to interested individuals. We can categorically say our booth played a role in the sales leads and opportunities we got from the event.

Simio and the Pro Bono Analytics Event

I remember introducing you to the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics and now here we are! This year, Pro Bono Analytics partnered with a Seattle-based non-profit organization, FareStart, to assist individuals interested in building careers in food service and culinary arts. At this year’s INFORMS Annual Meeting, Simio alongside other participants made donations to the FareStart initiative.

The event was a success and according to Elise Tinseth, Community Engagement Manager with FareStart, shared, “The INFORMS Pro Bono micro-volunteer opportunity of creating hygiene kits is impactful to eliminating barriers our students who are experience poverty and homelessness have to getting jobs in the food service industry.’ She also thanked everyone who made out time and donated resources to help FareStart meet its goals.

INFORMS Annual Meeting Awards and the Future

And lastly, the INFORMS Annual Meeting Awards. Although Simio did not bag any of the awards, the pomp and pageantry, as well as, the strides made by researchers are worthy of a mention in this post. Hopefully, the prize for teaching operations research and management science may be ours. That being said, the 2019 event was a success and Simio will continue to be a part of the INFORMS Annual meeting for the foreseeable future.

Simio Training and Certification – Introducing Simio Fundamentals

Learn from Simulation Experts, Advance Your Skills and Knowledge.

Organizations across every industry need individuals with simulation, modelling, and digital transformation skills to help transform their business processes. Simio Fundamentals will help you learn, relearn, and validate your simulation and modelling abilities with this introductory course. Simio Fundamentals is an online course which consists of 14 modules. Each module was designed and created by simulation experts including Dr Jeffery Smith, a professional with decades of experience in teaching and solving simulation-related problems.

The 14 modules that make up the Simio Fundamentals training are all video instructions consisting of practical information that eases you into the technical aspects of simulation, animation, and modeling. Although the course is focused on Simio’s simulation software, the knowledge and skillset to be gained can be applied in other simulation ecosystems. This is why interested students, educators, employers, and employees should view this course as one that covers the fundamentals of simulation.

Is the Simio Fundamentals Course for You?

The course was designed for Simio customers and students across the globe who currently use Simio simulation software and digital twin solutions for learning and simulating business processes. Individuals within this category can up their skills and accomplish more with Simio by taking advantage of the information and practical solutions in the fourteen modules.

Simulation, modeling, and digital twin solutions are currently being employed across diverse industries to monitor and manage complex processes, as well as, implement new business concepts. Thus, system integrators, project managers, data analyst, and engineers can also take advantage of the information in this course. Simo Fundamentals offer you, regardless of your experience with simulation, the opportunity to re-learn simulation from scratch and an entry point to mastering digital twin technologies.

Employees can also take advantage of the certification opportunity that comes with completing the Simio Fundamental course and the certification process that comes with it. A Simio Fundamental Certification will highlight your abilities in simulation and modeling tasks. The certification will also highlight your ability to apply simulation processes in solving complex business operational challenges and real-world problems. Employers can also take advantage of this opportunity to teach staff about the basics of simulation and train them on its application within a facility. This ensures everyone is on the same page and understand the integration of simulation technology into business processes.

How Important Is Simio Fundamentals to Your Industry?

Simulation and its interrelated fields such as scheduling, digital twin, and process control are used across every industrial niche where business operations take place. This means regardless of your industry, some knowledge of simulation and its processes will be helpful to an individual’s career and business growth. 

In the tech or IT industry, simulation is widely used to test and explore different business processes, implement new strategies, and analyze prototypes. The Simio Fundamentals course include modules that cover modeling and animation which are important for testing new ideas, hardware designs, and IoT devices to note how they will function in the real world. This is where knowledge in simulation and taking advantage of the Simio Fundamentals course comes into play.

In education, Simio simulation software is currently being used in 800 universities across the globe to teach students about STEM-related concepts. This includes modeling and animation which are staples of engineering and computer science. Educators and students can now learn the fundamentals of simulation and working with Simio by studying the modules in this course.

In banking and finance, simulation is being used to design check out points to deliver enhanced customer services to clients. Simulation and modelling can also be used to organize the layout of banking halls to optimize productivity within a workforce. Managers, stakeholders, and decision-makers can take advantage of this course to learn about simulation and its ability to gain business insights from the banking and finance industry.

Taking a look at manufacturing, simulation plays an important role in streamlining manufacturing process including production, material handling, and the varying relationships that go on in today’s shop floors. The rise of industry 4.0 has also created an avenue were simulation thrives. With knowledge of simulation, manufacturers can implement new strategies and industry 4.0 business concepts in facilities. Simulation also provides the opportunity to explore concepts of generative design for complex systems and products.

Like the manufacturing industry, production-based industries such as in Oil & Gas, mining, and the pharmaceutical industry, simulation also has an important role to play. Knowledge of simulation can be applied to enhancing material handling processes, digitizing shop floors, and determining time dependencies and other related modeling tasks. The facility management and hospitality industry can also take advantage of simulation to implement new processes and monitor the diverse ongoing systems within a facility. The Simio Fundamentals course provide the foundation needed to apply simulation and modelling techniques in these industries.

Gaining an understanding of Simio through the Simio Fundamentals Course gives you the knowledge needed to apply simulation in your industry however you choose. This includes solving real-world problems, educating students, and implementing new business concepts.

Introducing Simio Fundamentals

Simio Fundamentals is a course offered by Simio University and it covers the fundamental of simulation and Simio. The course is made up of 14 modules which include the following subject matters:

  1. An Introduction to Simulation – This introduces simulation and defines its application and impact.
  2. Introduction to Simio & Success Tips – This provides an overview of Simio, its interface, and simulation tools.
  3. Introduction to Animation – This introduces basic animation concepts and the use of animations in Simio.
  4. Simio Modelling Framework – This introduces Simio’ modelling framework, interfaces, and commands.
  5. Simio Standard Library Fixed Objects – This module includes workshops that introduce the resources available to you when using Simio.
  6. Balking and Reneging – A workshop that focuses on balking and reneging.
  7. Task Sequences – This introduces the basics of task sequencing and an introduction to materials.
  8. Controlling Movement
  9. Material Handling – This introduces the use of Simio to simulate material handling and the basics of manual and automated material handling.
  10. Working with Model Data – This introduces the management of data tables and scheduling with Simio.
  11. Process Logic – This module is an introduction to processes and its related concepts.
  12. Debugging Tools and Techniques – This introduces the debugging techniques available with Simio.
  13. Optimizing with OptQuest
  14. Building Custom Object Definitions – This introduces you to Simio’s object libraries and how to make use of them.

Each module was designed by simulation experts and Simio professionals who have acquired real-world experience with applying simulation in diverse situations for decades. The modules are in video form and each module runs for 35 to 90 minutes depending on the topic. Simio Fundamentals modules are designed in such a way that you can complete the entire course within two weeks. The modules also consist of 23 workshops that provide you with the opportunity to get hands-on with simulation with Simio. Educators can also make use of these workshops as teaching tools for students.

It is also important to note that this course is licensed for and per individual use. Thus, educators who intend to use it in their classrooms can contact us to learn more about how we can help. Subscribing to the course gives you access to the videos and workshops in every module. This means you can pace the learning process to fit your schedule. If you would like continuous access to the course, you can choose the licensing option that makes this possible.

Next Steps…

The benefits of having an understanding of simulation and its application in the real world are varied for students and individuals. These benefits include:

  • Providing prospective employees with an entry point into industries that deal with simulation.
  • Helping students to learn about simulation with Simio and prepare them for the challenges in today’s workspaces.
  • Receiving business insights from simulated models of real-world processes.
  • Acquiring a Simio certificate that proves you understand simulation and its applications.

Simio Training and Certification – Introducing Simio FundamentalsThese benefits are why over 800 universities and hundreds of enterprises make use of simulation and Simio simulation solutions to solve complex challenges. Get started with Simio and simulation today by registering for the Simio Fundamentals course.