Title: Optimising plant layout decisions based on emulation models - technical framework and practical insights

Authors: Robert Schoech; Susanne Schmid; Christian Hillbrand; Ruth Fleisch

Addresses: V-Research GmbH Industrial Research and Development, Stadtstrasse 33, 6850 Dornbirn, Austria ' V-Research GmbH Industrial Research and Development, Stadtstrasse 33, 6850 Dornbirn, Austria ' V-Research GmbH Industrial Research and Development, Stadtstrasse 33, 6850 Dornbirn, Austria ' V-Research GmbH Industrial Research and Development, Stadtstrasse 33, 6850 Dornbirn, Austria

Abstract: Planning, implementation, and operation of cut-to-size plants are very costly and time-consuming processes. Due to various possible combinations of plant building blocks and because each plant is designed as a uniquely customised system, the complexity of these plants can be enormous. Hence, the decisions to be taken within the planning process very often exceed human cognitive limits. Therefore, this paper describes a decision supporting approach based on discrete event simulation, which enables the planner to model, emulate, simulate, and animate the plant processes. This in turn facilitates exact forecasts of the attainable performance. Based on the proposition of a generic system architecture for this decision support system (DSS), we provide possible solutions for processing of control system orders and task handling in the simulation environment. These mechanisms have been implemented and validated. This article describes a case study of the designed DSS within the plant planning process at a large German kitchen manufacturer. Finally, we discuss the opportunities arising from this approach as well as its future potential.

Keywords: discrete event simulation; emulation models; process modelling; central hierarchical control; decision support systems; DSS; cut-to-size plants; plant engineering; optimisation; plant layout decisions; Germany; kitchen manufacturing; plant planning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPM.2013.057541

International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling, 2013 Vol.8 No.2/3, pp.92 - 103

Available online: 08 Nov 2013 *

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