Release 5, Sprint 63-64

Simio Enterprise adds a powerful set of patent-pending features. You can use Enterprise as either a richer, more feature-packed, environment for general modeling, or you can use it to extend your simulation models into daily operational support. Extend the use and lifespan of your previously built Simio models or build and execute new models for Risk-based Planning and Scheduling (RPS). Custom-tailor reports, graphs, and tables for use by schedulers. Reduce your risk and costs by analyzing your schedules in ways never before possible.

Enterprise features include:

Table States

Enterprise users can add State columns to a Data Table, which allows them to update our Data Tables with information.  This updating can happen during the model run and then the contents of the Data Table can be exported after the run.  This powerful feature provides users with a new method for keeping track of data during a run and also opens possibilities for getting run time data out of Simio into other production systems. 

Unlike other Table column types, the table state column values are not inputted by the user at the start of the simulation run. These values are assigned during the simulation run by an Assign step.  Table States may also be utilized in an expression.   Just as you can define different types of states for an object, such as an Integer State or a String State, you can also define different types of States for a Table column.  Other examples include Boolean, List, Object Reference and Level states, to name a few.

Targets

Enterprise users can add Targets to a Data Table to use as another type of output measure.  A Target is an expression that will be evaluated at the end of the simulation run to determine if a particular goal is met, such as “Is this target within a user-defined acceptable range?”

A target’s Expression property is evaluated at the end of a simulation run and classified according to the upper and lower bounds specified.  The user defines these Upper and Lower Bounds and then also specifies what text should be written to the table if the final value falls below the Lower Bound, above the Upper Bound or falls within the Bounds.   An example might be to have the column display “On-Time” for orders that fall within Bounds or “Late” for orders that fall above the Upper Bound. 

Custom-design a Scheduling Environment

You can define what the scheduling user can see and edit in the Data Tables. The Enterprise user can decide if a scheduling user (using the Scheduling Edition software available soon) or someone accessing the Tables from the Planning tab can view or edit each column of each table.  The Enterprise model builder might want to allow other users to see certain columns of a table, not see other columns or even allow editing of a few columns.  This is controlled by two properties on a table column called Visible and Editable found under the Operational Planning property category.  

Resource Gantt Chart

Simio Enterprise Edition provides a Resource Gantt chart that graphically illustrates the states of constrained resources over time.  It displays each entity that utilizes the resource.   Within this Resource Gantt, you can graphically edit the resource’s capacity, allowing you to add exceptions to a Work Schedule, such as adding overtime for a resource.  The chart also allows the user to see which entities are waiting for the resource. 

Entity Gantt Chart

Simio Enterprise Edition provides an Entity Gantt chart that graphically illustrates an entity’s usage of resources over time.  The user can also see each constraint that impedes the progress of the each entity.   This Gantt also displays date-time based milestones and targets for each entity, along with any associated risk measures.

Detailed Logs

Resource Usage Log
This table provides detailed information on each resource and each entity that utilized it. Information such as the start time, end time, duration of use are available for a thorough analysis.   This chart can be filtered and sorted. 

Resource State Log
This log provides details of the resource states over time.  It shows all the resources, their resource state (i.e. Busy, Failed, OffShift), when that resource entered that state and when it left that state.  This chart can be filtered and sorted.

Constraint Log
This table shows a record of each constraint that impedes the progress of each entity.  It aids in identifying bottlenecks and determining how to best improve a facility’s operation.  This table will indicate if an entity is being constrained because it is waiting on the capacity of a resource to become available or because it is waiting for an arrival of a resource, such as a Worker or Vehicle.  The name of the constraint item is listed, along with a description of that item and when the wait time began and ended.   This chart can be filtered and sorted. 

Results and Analysis
Target Summary provides a high level summary of Target performance.   There are also Risk Plots are available for a graphical analysis of Target performance.  After the Risk Analysis is run, the Risk Plots provide confidence intervals and percentiles for the target of each entity.   Detailed Results, such as queue lengths and wait times, are available in a pivot grid that can be filter, sorted or exported.  This is similar to the Results pivot grid in a Simio model ‘s Results tab.

There are three reports available to display results of a Plan:  

The Resource Dispatch List report includes chart and graphical representations for tasks on a particular resource for a given time period.  The user inputs the specific Resource for which to display information and the report will display the entity, the start time, the end time and duration that this entity used this resource.  

The Workflow Constraint Analysis report provides additional information to the Constraint Log within the Entity Workflow window.   For each constraint type, the report includes information on the Constraint Item, number of Occurrences, Average Wait and Total Wait times, both in chart and graph formats.   Constraints are then also displayed graphically by Facility location. 

The Resource Utilization Summary report displays all the Resource states of each Resource and the total time it spent in that state.  The information can be displayed in both a chart and graphically within the report.

General Simio Features

Random Selection Rule for Seizing Resources

We have added a new rule for selecting from Resource Lists, the ‘Random’ selection logic. Now, when seizing a resource / worker from a list of objects, you may randomly select between them. This is an enhancement that has been requested from many of our users.

Named Views for Pivot Grids

We have enhanced our Pivot Grid ribbon to include the Add View, Change View and Manage Views options, which users currently have within the View ribbon for saving animation views. However, these various views within the pivot grid allow users to save changes to sorting, filtering, column ordering and column width. Pivot Grids are available within the Results tab for running a simulation, experiment viewing when running multiple simulation replications and within the detailed results area of the Planning tab within Simio Enterprise edition for planning and risk analysis.

Costing for Materials and Workstation Objects

We have enhanced our costing features to include both material costs and workstation costs. The Material element now includes a Cost per Unit that is charged if a quantity of material is consumed.  The Consume step includes the option to accrue material costs and a new Material element function, MaterialCostCharged, has been added.

Within the Workstation object of the Standard Library, resource costs have been added that include the Idle Cost Rate, Cost per Use and Setup, Processing and Teardown Cost Rates.

 New Costing Functions

Two new functions are available for all intelligent objects that are considered resources, including Capacity.IdleCost and Capacity.UsageCostCharged.  These functions will return the Idle Cost and Usage Cost Charged data items for a resource. This information is reported within the results of the simulation run.

User Defined Functions

We have added the ability for users to define their own custom functions within Simio. This can be done within the Definitions tab / Functions panel by selecting the Function button.  A customized function may include a combination of other functions and/or expressions that the user is interested in viewing or analyzing during the simulation run.

This new capability supplements the previously available Function Tables on the Data tab which are useful for calculating a return value based on interpolating from a set of values. The new Functions allow you to create your own function name that will return the result of any expression you provide. This is particularly useful when you repeatedly use a long expression and you would like to instead reference that expression by a simple name.

Function Tables within the Data tab have been renamed Lookup Tables to avoid confusion and the keyword Function is no longer needed in front of the Lookup Table name.

Data Binding Enhancements for Table Importing

There are some new enhancements to the data binding features within Simio, including the addition of database binding (i.e., binding a data table to Access, ODBC, Ole DB, Oracle or SQL Server). We’ve also added Binding Options, so that data within a table can be automatically updated / bound to a table at the start of a simulation run or manually imported.

Auto-Create Elements from Tables

Simio now has the capability of defining Elements and their properties from within Data Tables. This powerful feature enables users to store information, such as bill of materials and many other data items within Excel or other data sources, import into a table and automatically create various Elements.

For any given Element Reference column in a data table, the Reference Type property can be changed from the default value of ‘Reference’ (which will simply reference an existing element) to ‘Create’ (which will actually auto-create an element). Each element type has its own properties that can also be populated with a single value, expression or reference to another column in the data table.

Skybox Animation Feature

Within the 3D view of the Facility window, users now have the capability to define a SkyBox, which will place either a static or dynamic background or sky view within the animation. Dynamic options include clouds moving (typically the speed factor should be set to 5-10 or greater to see movement), while static options include various outdoor scenes. Users can create their own SkyBoxes as well. The “library” skyboxes are simply *.zip files with images inside them with the names front, back, left, right, top, bottom. They don’t need to have all of those names in them, Simio will use whatever ones it finds. They are located in the Skybox folder under \Public\PublicDocuments\Simio.

SetRow Step Enhancement

The SetRow step within the Processes window has been changed to allow the token to assign a Table Name and Row Number to a specific object or element. This would include object / element reference names as well. This allows the user greater flexibility in assigning table data to specific objects, such as a Server for example.

Resource Costing Enhancements

Resource Cost categories have been added to the Standard Library objects that are utilized as resources. This includes Server, Combiner, Separator, Resource, Vehicle and Worker objects.  Resource costs include Idle Cost Rate, Cost Per-Use and Usage Cost Rate.  Cost rates are accrued to the entity or owner object for the duration of the idle or busy time.

The Seize step now includes two new costing related properties within the Resource Seizes repeat group. These include the Accrue Usage Costs (True/False) and Per-Use Cost Accrual (At Seize, At Release, Next Station). These allow the user additional flexibility in determining whether a particular seize step will cause costing to be accrued and if so, when the per-use cost will occur.

 

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Do you want still more information? Examine the release notes for other recent releases.