Release 4, Sprint 58

We are very pleased to bring you Simio Release 4 - our fourth major release in just over two years. Simio continues to aggressively introduce innovations that are changing the landscape of discrete event simulation.

Many of our customers have cited Simio's flexibility, ease-of-use, and great support among the reasons why they have adopted Simio -- often switching so they can do things that are difficult or impossible with other products. This document highlights just a few of the wealth of new features that have been added since Version 3 to make Simio even more powerful and easy to use and produce more compelling 3D animations. For more detail, please refer to the full release notes.


3D Animation

We have added significant new controls for manipulating the 3D camera position and orientation, moving to any view angle including Walking Mode. You can now also attach the camera to an object in the system and move with the object, track the object from a fixed position or follow behind/sit in front of it. New object-building features allow you to animate selected activity inside an object so you can better view hierarchical models at varying levels of detail.

Enhanced Modeling Functionality

There are too many new features to adequately cover here, but a few of the more significant ones include:

  • Server, Combiner and Separator objects now directly support flexible use of secondary resources, state assignments, and transfer in and out constraints. All nodes also now permit collection of Tally observation data. Combined these make the library objects much more powerful and eliminate the most common needs to specify process logic.
  • We have added a 'Processing Time Based' failure type to standard library objects.
  • We've significantly enhanced table-based arrival capabilities. Options now include specifying multiple events per time slot, a deviation around the arrival time, and a 'no-show' percentage. This is particularly handy for specifying stochastic arrivals associated with a schedule, such as at a doctor's office.
  • Our previous schedules interface has been changed to be more consistent with our tables interface, making it much easier to work with.
  • Several "Math" functions have been enhanced or added including adding the capability to Math.If() to test multiple conditions and return one of a defined set of expressions.

Simio Express Edition and New Evaluation/Training Version

For those with no need or interest in building objects, we have introduced the new, lower-priced and easier to use Express Edition. This allows you to use the full power of the Standard Libraries to solve a broad range of problems. And this under $4900 product includes all of the tables, material handling, advanced experimentation, and output features Simio is known for, and even includes full integrated 3D animation.

The free Evaluation software that you can download and run without activation now permits you to save small models and run experiments on them. This makes it suitable for learning the software across multiple sessions and is ideal for use in a small in-house training course. The evaluation version retains its prior capability to build large models as well, but without the ability to save those large models.

SimBit Solutions

We now have almost 100 SimBits which are small well-documented models that help you learn by example. We also added more example models and added a SimBit Solutions search mechanism to make it even easier to get to know Simio. We also have many new training videos available at no cost on our web site to help you get up to speed quickly.

Material Handling Capabilities

We have made many enhancements to Simio's worker and material handling features. New turn-around options allow more accurate modeling of objects that can turn around to go back the way they came. New parking options have been added during loading, unloading, and servicing to better model and animate certain situations. A Vehicle or Worker may now accept multiple reservation requests. New steps and new options on existing steps have been added to provide more flexibility in processes. New entity alignment options have been added to conveyors. And finally, several performance improvements allow conveyors to run significantly faster in many situations.

Enhanced Model Debugging

We have enhanced error detection and now generate more warnings to help you detect potential problems (like accidentally destroying entities, or having an entity or transporter deadlock). We have significantly enhanced the Trace capabilities to make it easier to follow model behavior. We added many new "run", "population", and "string" functions to provide better information for runtime decision-making and model output. The new Disable Randomness option allows you to temporarily make your model deterministic for better debugging as well as for selected custom applications.

Graphical and User Interface Enhancements

Execution speed is significantly faster. Most users will see their models execute from two to ten times faster or more. Fast Forward operation now runs up to 6 times faster than in previous versions. We have added auto scrolling to make object-placement easier. New visibility and selection options help eliminate accidental object selection. We have enhanced our symbol library with new symbols, including a robot, fork truck and various pieces of medical and office equipment. Additional textures are also available to use to make your objects have more realistic surfaces.

Status plots have been enhanced to run faster and keep a more complete history record. Queue animation is now very flexible including line, point and oriented-point queues. You can now add vertices to an existing queues, polylines, curves and links.

You can now rearrange columns in a table. You can also apply filters to table columns making it easier to view important subsets of large data tables.

We've added several categories of discrete-change states including Integer, Boolean, DateTime and String and most can be scalar, vectors, matrices, or arrays of up to 9 dimensions.

New Object-Building capabilities

New Object-Building capabilities We have made it even easier to build objects and now you can even expose part or all of the animation inside objects and sub-objects. We have also changed many subtle things (like the ability to add custom warnings) to improve object power and flexibility and let you create more robust objects. We've enhanced our property repeat group capability by allowing you to reference repeat groups and their properties similar to referencing tables. And you can use these new repeat groups to directly map to data tables.

For additional detail on any of the above items, please refer to the full release notes or to the Simio help or reference guide (see the Simio Start page).