Why it needs attention: Simulation is a three-dimensional mathematical model that is created to represent a dynamic system. For material handling purposes, simulations are developed to represent existing or proposed material handling systems. Simulation is a great way to evaluate alternatives and test “what if” scenarios before making a large capital investment. The results from a simulation can provide useful information about an existing or proposed material handling system, including the following:
- Capacity constraints
- Design flaws or bottlenecks
- Labor projections and utilization
- Wave size/release criteria
- Equipment utilization
- Impact of differing volumes on an operation’s overall throughput capacity
Companies installing a conveyor or sortation system should consider building a simulation model to validate the design. Design flaws or bottlenecks can be identified and corrected before any physical equipment is installed, saving time and capital expense.
What we can do: The Jack Kuchta LLC team has a long history of successful using simulation modeling. Many of our clients have used the results of our models to significantly improve the throughput of a system, make intelligent choices between alternatives, and avoid costly post-installation issues. We use advanced 3D simulation modeling to speed the process of model creation, allowing for quicker results and a greater emphasis on testing alternative scenarios and volume levels.
We have simulated advanced conveyor and sortation systems for many clients, to determine accumulation requirements, bottleneck areas, and routing considerations. We have also simulated entire operations from receiving through shipping to determine staffing levels, test design alternatives, determine wave length, and help justify capital equipment expenditures.
The Process: While the process varies based on what we are simulating, the general steps are as follows:
- Data Collection: Actual orders and lines data, desired throughput capacity, AutoCAD layouts of existing operations, and labor productivity rates per task. The specific data we require varies based on the type of simulation.
- Model Validation: This step entails creating a model for the existing operation. This model is adjusted until it accurately represents existing conditions and throughput levels.
- Alternative Evaluation: After the model has been validated, the simulation is used to test alternatives. Multiple designs can be simulated, from physical layouts to equipment used to processing alternatives. In addition, design criteria and throughput requirements can be varied to further test the system. The type and amount of alternatives tested depends upon the project goals.
- Results Analysis: A large number of simulation runs are performed for each alternative to insure a wide range of variability that will approximate real-world conditions. The total number of runs often reaches into the hundreds. We analyze the results of these runs in detail and create reports for our clients to explain the implications of the simulation analysis. These results are then incorporated into the overall decision-making process for the design team.
Conclusion: The Jack Kuchta LLC Team has the expertise and experience to model the distribution facility in order to properly recommend a a system to implement. We can model a wealth of alternatives cost in order to give our clients a complete understanding of the cost factors affecting their facility and to provide enough options to find affordable warehouse space that can accommodate an optimized design.
If you would like more information on how Jack Kuchta LLC can help you with your distribution network design or any of our range of services, please do not hesitate to call 201-579-8822 or email us at contactus@JackKuchta.com