To aid in the production of its new NV200 Van, Nissan Europe Engineering relied on Simio's discrete-event simulation software to validate the layout of assembly lines in the automaker's Barcelona plant.
Over the course of a project – developed with the support of a local Simio partner – the team completed a number of models in a multi-phased approach aimed at obtaining rapid answers to specific issues related with the deployment of the new lines.
Among the challenges facing the team, several aspects were targeted as critical in terms of cost and time requirements:
- Analysis of number of hangers required to meet the projected vehicles throughput
- Validation of the alternative product mixes
- Evaluation of the docking process of various converging lines (bodies, chassis) paced at different times
Simio's ease of use and ability to address the consecutive challenges faced throughout the progression of the project produced favorable results for the engineering team at Nissan Europe.
"We find that the use of objects to quickly build a working model of a plant layout very appropriate. Moreover, the possibility to add additional logic in the case of movement and synchronization of different lines through a set of instructions is easy to implement and expanded our capability to solve more complex problems," said Nissan Europe Project Manager José Vilar.
The simple integration of 3D graphic objects – deemed "stunning" by the team -- allowed Nissan Europe to create a high quality representation of real elements as found on the shop floor, such as different models of vehicles, carriers, monorails, and others. This visualization helped communicate the project – and Simio's abilities --- to Nissan management.
"We expect to continue the use of Simio to try to understand and resolve, through simulation, the potential problems of synchronization of the flow of vehicles on our other lines," Vilar said. "Simio is seen as an effective complement to our other engineering tools."
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. is one of the world's leading automakers with a diverse portfolio of cars, minivans, trucks and SUVs. Their plants are located in all continents.