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Frequently Asked Questions - Simcad Pro Simulation Software

 

About Simcad Pro®

Next Generation Dynamic Simulation Software

Simcad Pro®, offers an intuitive and interactive 3D simulation environment to improve, optimize and visualize process flow systems. Simcad Pro®, automation and schedules. Simcad Pro® integrates with live and historical data to provide the most effective and interactive simulation system on the market today. Applications in multiple industries including manufacturing, healthcare, automation, logistics, distribution warehouse, food and beverage, services, and more.

How long has Simcad Pro been on the market?

Simcad Pro - 25 years of service excellence - simulation, optimization, and analytics
Established in 1992, CreateASoft started down an ambitious path to create a new, next-generation, simulation software due to limitations on traditional simulation software. Thus, Simcad Pro was released in 1996 providing key features and capabilities that take simulation to the next level.

Is Simcad Pro industry specific?

Simcad Pro started its journey with a primary focus on providing a solution that would apply to any process based operation. The manufacturing industry was the first to embrace simulation with warehousing, distribution, and logistics following shortly after. Over the next few years the Healthcare market recognized the need to improve efficiencies as well as patient outcomes and began heavily investing in simulation software. Simcad Pro has been successfully implemented in all industries. Simcad Pro Health is a version of Simcad Pro that is tailored to the healthcare industry.

Simcad Pro - industry simulation software

What are the different types of modeling supported?

Simcad Pro provides for discrete event, continuous flow, agent based, and system dynamics simulation. These different types of modeling are supported independently or combined within one model. Many times models start with a basic discrete event flow and expand as modeling needs progress to include different types of modeling. E.g. A model may start with a basic packing line and then expand to include the manufacturing processes, sales forecasts, distribution capabilities to provide a singular model for the entire system with each entity modeled acting independently as well as influencing other entities in the model.

How long would it take me to effectively learn Simcad Pro?

Simcad Pro provides an intuitive graphical modeling interface.

Basic modeling is mastered in a short amount of time, often measured in minutes/hours. Moderately complex modeling can be mastered in a week or two. Complex modeling may take up to 4-8 weeks to effectively learn.

Hardware requirements - Simcad Pro Basic / Pro / Advanced?

Minimum Requirements -
Windows 7 with SP1, 8.x, 10 (64 bit)
4G RAM
10G Disk Space
Standard video card

Recommended Requirements -
Multi-Core processor
Windows 10 (64 bit). Latest available release
16G Ram
30G Disk space
3D Video Card required for 3D

Hardware requirements - Simcad Pro Elite?

Minimum Requirements -
Windows 7 with SP1, 8.x, 10 (64 bit)
4G RAM
10G Disk Space
Enhanced graphics card with 256MB dedicated Video RAM

Recommended Requirements -
Multi-Core processor
Windows 7 with SP1, 8.x, 10 (64 bit)
8G Ram
30G Disk space
Enhanced graphics card with 2GB dedicated Video RAM

What platforms does Simcad Pro® Support? Can it run under Linux, Unix, or a MAC?

Simcad Pro is a Windows based application. Running Simcad Pro on platforrms other than Windows requires a Virtual machine or Emulator that supports the latest version of Windows.

 

 

Model Building and Animation/Visualization

Singular Modeling Construct

Simcad Pro provides a singular modeling construct eliminating the need for the user to manage multiple environments such as; process flow charts, 3D visuals, traffic managers, tokens, lists, coding environments, etc. Working with Simcad Pro significantly reduces model development time, expands the user base, and adds a tremendous amount of flexibility to the simulation models. Supporting features includes modularity, inheritance, and auto-create capability. This is expanded on in the “Expanding the model, Advanced Modeling” section.

Do I have to code in Simcad Pro? Is the interface a front end to a coding environment? Can I customize the behavior beyond what is supported as out-of-the-box functionality?

Unlike outdated simulation software, Simcad Pro’s graphical interface does not generate code as you work with the graphical interface. Full customization of model behavior is supported as outlined in the “Expanding the model, Advanced Modeling” section.

How fast can the animation be created? How does the animation depict the state of the simulation engine?

Animations are automatically created both in 2D and 3D. Changing the model behavior, layout, process flow, or other parameters automatically modify the model visuals. No post processing or managing different constructs with Simcad Pro.

Further, the animation in Simcad Pro is a direct, 100%, representation of the simulation engine. This increases model accuracy as you know exactly where each entity is as opposed to outdated simulation software that provide visuals that are an approximation of their accurate depiction, this approximation also impacts model analysis as time units are skipped and approximated as opposed to being simulated in real-time.

These animations may be generic or elaborate with added light effects, customized shadows and visual effects. Simcad Pro also supports VR (virtual reality) display for more immersive model visualization.

Model run time and animation speeds can be increased, decreased, run as real-time, or disabled for faster run time.

How can model building be simplified? Does Simcad Pro allows for module loading?

Model simplification is supported by Simcad Pro using the following features/capabilities

Built in object, process, resource components with 3D visuals

Singular model building construct -

Modularity. Internal modules and external modules.
Internal modules, saved within the simulation file, support rapid scenario comparison and quick model changes for moderate to larger scale models.
External modules support team and enterprise wide modeling efforts. Team members can pull existing modules into their own mdoels and simply plug and play to connect to the new model

Auto-Create
Easily create any size storage rack, AS/RS, number of processes, and connection line pathways using the auto-create functionality. The auto-create functionality also allows for modifying a previoudly built process or set of processes. i.e. Modifying a storage rack or AS/RS from a horizontal configuration to a vertical configuration with a new naming convention and different number of levels and bays requires only a few clicks and the model automatically updates. Furthermore, by using the auto-create feature all imported SKU data will automatically map to the location for real-to-life simulation modeling of actual systems (not just an approximation).

Inheritance
With small models, changing behavior or a few parameters is quick and straightforward for the user to manage. When working with moderately complex or large simulation models you may have thousands of slot locations or hundreds of different machines. Instead of modifying each one individually or updated scripting/code/sub-routines, in Simcad you can simply update the behavior in one location (on the module) and the rest of the processes will inheriate the new behavior. Each of these modules can remain intact in the model so that the user can easily switch between multiple scenarios review results very quickly without having to rework extensive parts of the model.

Data Driven Modeling
The parts we produce contain special properties and parameters, can Simcad Pro support the additional properties? Yes, the models in Simcad support any number of unique or shared parameters in the model. As SKU’s change, number of locations change, process properties, object routings, change the model will automatically adjust and update based on the new data set.

Can the models built, be expanded to support larger operations? How does Simcad Pro handle large models?

All models built in Simcad Pro can be expanded to support full scale implementations. Many multinational clients utilize Simcad Pro for full system simulations across numerous production points, distribution centers, delivery routes, consumption points, and include multi-decade forecasts. Simcad Pro is a fully 64bit application. Unlike other outdated simulation tools that support a 64bit interface (or other aspects) while the engine itself is limited to 32bit capability, Simcad Pro is built on a 64bit framework. Simcad Pro is not limited in terms of processes, data, timeframes, or other constraints. The limitation on the model size is based only on your computer hardware capability and memmory capacity.

 

 

Analysis, Data, Monte-Carlo, Scenarios, System Sensitivity

Analysis: Key Metrics

Key Metrics - Labor

  • Cost – units per labor hour, direct labor cost
  • Utilization – overall and a breakdown of all labor activities within the mode
  • Travel – Traveling empty, traveling active, percent time traveling, distance traveled
  • Throughput - Orders/objects per time unit (minute/hour/day)
  • Interactions with objects – hands on time, number of resource touches

Key Metrics - Process

  • Utilization, Efficiency, OEE, Availability, Performance
  • VAT, N-VAT
  • Capacity, Storage sizing
  • Cycle Time, Lead Time, Rate per time unit, WIP
  • Loading, unloading time
  • Setup or change over time
  • Waiting for next, Waiting in queue, Failures
  • Weight, Volume
  • Cost

Key Metrics - Objects – parts, pallets, bins, totes, orders, lines, trucks, widgets

  • Rates
  • Lead time, Cycle time
  • Travel distance, Object Schedule
  • WIP
  • Completed count, Hands on time
  • Resource touches
  • VAT, N-VAT
  • Efficiency
  • Shift utilization
  • Interval timing, dock – staging, staging – put-away, picking – outbound

Key Metrics - Overall

  • Slotting Optimization, Order release optimization, Pick path optimization, Put-away optimization, Replenishment optimization, ASRS analysis and optimization
  • Layout and Facility sq ft requirements
  • Labor pool sizing and labor allocation optimization
  • Material handling analysis and optimization – Manual and Automated
  • Capacity, Forecasting, and Demand planning
  • Constraint and bottleneck reporting
  • Machine requirements, MTBF/MTTR, DownTime, Changeover, Setup
  • VAS analysis and optimization, kitting, assembly, etc
  • Identified productivity standards can be utilized within the models for additional analysis focused on providing custom reports for metrics related to costing, labor standards, throughput, i.e. lines per hour, as well as the related scenario analysis

Data - Import/Export

  • Data – Simcad can simulate multiple time periods ranging from short term, i.e. one hour, to longer term, i.e. multiple decades. There is no limit on the time duration of the simulation run. This allows for seasonality analysis as well as ramp up/draw down planning over longer periods of time to take into account growth and increased demand planning.
  • Data granularity – Simcad includes the capability to load SKU/Order/line level data, order details, inbound data truck manifest, outbound data. This capability allows for realistic and accurate simulations of actual warehouse operations.
  • Simcad also supports custom data analysis and distribution generation. This can be applied to all aspects of the simulation data including generating order profiles based on historical or forecasted data sets.
  • The data may be loaded internally to the model or remain external to the model. The model will update accordingly and continually communicate with the external data source during the run.
  • External Data may reside in a number of formats, SQL, Excel, Oracle, Access, PLC/OPC Server. Simcad can also communicate with web services as needed.

Monte Carlo

  • Monte Carlo simulation is included and supports defining variables and parameters with varying ranges and analysis to determine the probability of system performance as well as the impact on system performance

System Sensitivity and Scenario Analysis

  • Multiple scenario configurations can be analyzed with Simcad Pro
  • As processing within the system fluctuates the model analysis will show the impact on affected areas
  • Based on the model reporting the model constraints and behavior may be modified to avoid the identified bottlenecks and problem areas
  • Simcad also includes the capability for system and process optimization based on model feedback loops

 

 

Expanding the model, Advanced Modeling. Model Behavior Customization

Do I need to change the model every time a routing change or add a new product route?

No, Simcad will adjust and update according to the dataset and imported routing. SKU’s/Orders/Objects/Processes/Resources can be added and the model will automatically adjust and modify itself as needed. These modifications may be applied based on the data set or performed through the graphical interface.

We have a high mix environment, our routing tables can change constantly, how does Simcad Pro support such an environment?

There are options in a high-mix environment, one approach is treat products as families, the other would be to maintain the BOM and utilize ERP data to drive the model. In the case where the model is integrated with ERP data the simulation would automatically update with the new data set and adjust accordingly. The model will be based on the data set itself, while constraints and constructs do not change, model behavior and results do.

Can Simcad Pro be controlled from external applications? Can Simcad Pro interface to other controls? Can Simcad Pro Simulation Software communicate with C/C++ or Java?

Yes, Simcad Pro is built with an open architecture enabling communication with external applications or code developed outside of the model. Simcad Pro has a built in set of interfaces that allow external applications to control the simulation runs. Moreover, calls to external data sources (DLLs, ActiveX, web services and datatabases is also supported for ease of integration.

I want to start working with Simcad Pro.

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