Athens, OH 19 November 2015 –
The semester is quickly winding down, and for a lot of courses, that means projects are quickly coming due as well. Some classes and projects are definitely more enjoyable than others, but one class that has pleasantly surprised me is ISE 4130, Industrial Computer Simulation.
As ISE’s we study processes and how people and parts interact with them in different situations. The great thing about this is that it is super interactive. The downside to studying processes is that you cannot always be on location somewhere watching and recording what’s going on. This is where simulation comes in.
Simulation is a tool that can be used to model processes of all kinds on the computer. It can model anything from construction sites to package delivery centers to hospitals. The usefulness of simulation does not just exist in the fact that we are able to model processes and events on the computer; the real key is that we can predict outcomes based on changing events like unexpected order arrivals, patient emergencies and changes in demand.
There are several simulation software packages that model things with different capabilities. In my class we use Arena and Simio. Arena is a 2-D simulator while Simio has 3-D animation and 360 degree viewing capabilities. It’s cool how customizable it can be. Below is the animation of a transporter simulation I modeled; as you can see, you can have a lot of fun with the animations!
Most models we have simulated thus far have introduced us to modeling operators, manufacturers, parts and different types of services like restaurants and banks. Most recently, we learned how to model transporters (operators or vehicles that actually carry parts or products).
Our final project for the class is in Simio and for that assignment we are modeling a real-life assembly process of an automobile headlight manufacturer and experimenting with operator job assignments. Though it can be challenging at times, I said before that simulation surprised me; the surprise is that I really enjoy it a lot!