3D simulation software for industry and logistics
What is simulation?
Simulation is simply reffered to as: "pretend as if". With the help of an experiment, something is "played" which is not or is very expensive to be calculated. In the VDI guideline 3633 for the simulation of material flow, logistics and production systems, it is expressed:
Simulation is a method for simulating a system with its dynamic processes in a model with which one can experiment to gain insights that are transferable to the reality.
Simulation software - What is it?
There are a variety of simulations (logistics, flow, production, in process engineering, for weather forecast, etc.) We would like to limit ourselves here to factory planning. Basically simulations says nothing about the type of implementation and representation, it can be carried out as an experiment in a real system or performed as a role play. In principle, no computer with the relevant software is required for a simulation. That would be costly and complex. The illustration of the procedure would also be difficult to explain.
Here virtual reality technology offers, for example a simulation software, since in a "real-time scene" a machine or system, a production or logistics process with all essential functions, geometry and behaviour can be recreated (e.g. length of a transport path, processing time of process steps, speeds of robots, cycles of production lines, delivery times from the logistics, etc.). Individual machines and equipment are in connection with other processes in the virtual system. This creates a virtual system, a model in which the process takes place according to certain rules. The more accurately and realistically the process to be simulated is recreated, the more precise and accurate the results are with a possible reality.
Simulation software in the industry and logistics
There are very different systems in logistics and production planning:
High-end simulation systems: for which one of its own employee must be trained as a specialist, who performs a simulation with a programming and 3D design and the results are documented by statistics and analysis. By varying a number of parameters the result is modified, so that a process for changing the influencing variables can be created which gives the optimal system constellation. This is very accurate, but expensive. The results are often displayed only in 2D view with the stylised material flows. The system costs per job (software licenses, training, hardware) then amount rapidly to 30.000 to 50.000 EURO.
Pragmatic 3D simulation with the taraVRbuilder: This method provides a production and logistics professional (who usually is not a software specialist) the opportunity to assemble a system without programming and 3D design from a large set of pre-prepared virtual manufacturing and material flow components using drag & drop with the mouse or the large touch screen.
To maintain a high level of flexibility in the use of standardized elements, the prepared components can be parameterized in the geometry and behaviour. Thus, simulation model with the assembly of virtual system parts and setting of the respective parameters is created. As a result we see what happens in the virtual world. One can develop variants with the change in the arrangements and thus work out the optimum plant constellation for the personal project.
This approach is pragmatic and does not reach the depth of simulation of high-end systems, but the system costs per job (license, training, hardware) are well below 10.000 EURO and the results, just as attractive 3D simulations, bring in economic benefits at an early project phase. The use of process visualisation in presentations of systems for training or selling contributes to better understanding.
Advantages of 3D simulation using simulation software
The better the 3D simulation is, the more accurately the behaviour of a system is simulated and the more valuable the results will be. Production or material shortages are identified and processes are optimized before the actual system is built. Investments are secured, minimizing the use of resources of money, time, energy and working hours. If planning errors become visible in the implementation phase, then the remedy is disproportionately expensive and time consuming.
For small and medium-sized plants, excel tables are still frequently constructed to calculate the throughputs of an entire system. This is very costly and often inaccurate because many assumptions are theoretical and the results cannot be visually understood.
In the 3D simulation you can see the result immediately, e.g. a material jam, or an employee waiting for mounting material. The geometrical arrangements can also be seen, i.e. if there is enough space requirement or whether there will be collisions.
Limitations of simulation
A material flow simulation is only as good as the model. Based on the taraVRbuilder it means that the system with the existing and pre-prepared models has to be taken into account as realistically as possible, with all the machine cycle times, transport speeds, sources and sinks, as well as strategies and special treatments, etc. It is not always 100% possible, but can be helped through special tricks.
The more complex and larger the system is, the less accurate the result can be. Therefore, the results must always be critically questioned "with common sense" or with the experience of a logistician or factory planner. The selection of simulation software, that is, whether a special high-end simulation system or a pragmatic 3D simulation tool like the taraVRbuilder is necessary or purposeful, depends on the individual case. In case of taraVRbuilder the user gets a visual impression of the system and throughput statistics at critical points in the system.
What is special about the taraVRbuilder?
It is the perfect 3D simulation software for the logistics and factory planners who can build simple and medium-complex systems in a pragmatic way. TaraVRbuilder can assemble its systems from over 500 prepared elements of its libraries, which can be parameterized in geometry and behaviour. Individually it can import 2D layouts and 3D buildings and use project-specific goods (pallets, engine block, etc.) from 3D CAD systems.
In addition to the 3D virtual reality scenes, videos for presentations can also be derived therefrom.
More details about our 3D simulation software taraVRbuilder
In a broader sense simulation is "the preparation, implementation and evaluation of targeted experiments with a simulation model" - no more, no less. Which 3D simulation systems or simulation software and which method you choose depends on the amount of effort, the resources available and the final simulation target.