In Discrete Event Simulation one issue we must resolve is the number of concurrent entities in the model. If that number gets “large” then model run speed can be impacted. In the typical systems that we model this usually does not become an issue either because we will not have a large concurrent number or because our computers are really fast.
However, when you encounter systems where machines or processes are producing a large number of entities per minute such as high speed bottling or packaging lines, there are two approaches from which one might choose.
Method 1: Batching
The first approach involves using the standard Arena constructs and grouping the entities into batches. This way you will decrease the actual number of entities in the system. Arena has been used in modeling such systems in this manner with great success.
Method 2: Packaging Template
A second and easier approach is to use the specialized template in Arena called the Packaging template. This template was designed to model high speed systems. The use of this template can significantly reduce the modeling time because it has constructs that have been specifically designed to address such systems. This includes various types of machines and conveyors as well as sensors and actions that occur when sensors are triggered.
The packaging template uses levels and rates rather than entities flowing through the model. Levels and rates are more appropriate concerns when you are evaluating hundreds or thousands of “bottles” in a model. In addition, you can also hook your continuous packaging model back into the discrete world through specialized Packaging template modules. That way you can model the discrete aspects of your system once the entities are back to cases or pallets for example.
The Packaging Template is an easy and effective way to model high speed processes, like packaging lines.
The Packaging Template is a standard feature in Arena Professional Edition.
If you would like to learn more about how to implement the Packaging Template in your models, our Consulting Services and Support team would be happy to talk with you.