Simul8 Tips, Technical Corner

Using Change Overs in your Simulation

Sander  /   Jan 17, 2017

Many processes contain change overs; a setup or cleaning time associated prior to running the next operation. SIMUL8 offers this functionality as part of the routing-in process in activities. The option can be found on the 3rd tab under routing in, called Change Over.

Routing In Dialog Image

This dialog is now divided into 2 segments:

  • The center part of the dialog allows users to determine when change overs occur. The following options are available:
    • No Setup Time: no change-over will occur
    •  Every Nth Work Item: a change-over will happen after every so many items, e.g. setting this value to 1 will result in a change-over for every single item going through this activity.
    • When Label Changes: a change-over will happen whenever a new product type is loaded, e.g. painting product in different colors. Let’s assume we have a label called lblColor. The value in this label corresponds with the color of the product. When we paint the first product blue and the second product requires a green finish you would typically clean the paint gun and replace the paint canister. This behavior can be replicated by using lblColor to drive when change-overs occur.
    • After Working Time: a change-over will occur after a certain amount of processing time, e.g. cleaning a machine after every hour of operation.
  •  The left hand side of the dialog allows users to specify the duration of the change-over by selecting the distribution type and entering the relevant values as in most places in the software.

SIMUL8 automatically gathers results for change-overs in the results dialog. You will immediately understand the effects of change-overs on your system’s performance as shown in the screenshot below:

Activity Results menu

About the author


Sander Vermeulen

Sander has been part of the simulation community for 16 years. During his time at SIMUL8 Corporation he has managed large simulation projects for Fortune 50 companies across a variety of industries including manufacturing, defense, call center and services.