SIMUL8 Software 2014 FAQs

Following are answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you have any other questions or would like additional information you can email us at .


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What is Simulation?
Simulation is the recreation of any kind of system on a computer. You can simulate just about anything, but as a general rule of thumb if you can draw a flowchart of your system then you can simulate it. For example, a call center can be described like this:

  • Calls are made at a rate of 5 per minute
  • Callers wait for an answer for about 30 seconds before hanging up
  • Call is answered, each call taking an average of 2 minutes
  • Operator needs 1 minute wrap up time

It is straightforward to draw a flowchart of this;

Simulation packages are highly graphical so that you can see how work flows through your system and see the dynamics of the system in fast forward time. You can actually watch bottlenecks building up and see what is causing the problems. In the call center flowchart, Simulation adds detail and gives a visual of callers waiting for an answer, being answered, and allows the effect of inefficiencies to be identified and avoided.

What simulation does is to recreate all of the important and relevant logical rules that tell the system how to work, and how long to take at each stage. It's easy to think of a simulation of a manufacturing process, maybe making automobiles, but you can apply the same logic to health care, call centers, project planning, and any other system where a job or unit of work flows through a number of stages.

Simulation lets you build up your system and then test it out. You can find out where and why problems occur, like why a bottleneck builds up. This means that you can identify areas for improvement, test out new ideas and, most importantly understand how a system works without taking any significant risks, and as its graphical and animated you can communicate your understanding and improvement ideas to others.

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What is the difference between SIMUL8 Basic and SIMUL8 Professional?

Check out our Product Matrix to see the differences between SIMUL8 Basic and Professional. Or to look at the differences between both packages in more detail, check out our feature tour or contact a member of our sales team for more details.

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Is there any form of users network?

Yes there is an on-line user forum. This means a wide audience can participate. The café is not moderated. No messages are deleted. Anyone can make any suggestion at anytime and has direct access to the support team, the development team and SIMUL8 consultants.

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How can I purchase SIMUL8 Corporation products?
Purchases can be made at our on-line shop or by telephone, see our contacts page for the numbers to call.

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How does your support work?

Most of our technical support is provided free:

  • Free Electronic Support
    Support via the web and our online discussion forum and a free e-newsletter that contains case studies and hints and tips on using SIMUL8.
  • Free Support for Registered Users
    SIMUL8 comes with free feature telephone and email support for the life of your version.

We also provided training, consulting and higher level support taking you through simulation configuration and debugging techniques relating to your own system. More details of these can be found in the Services and Solutions section of this website.

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What means of presenting simulation results are there in your software?

Each object (work-center, queue etc.) has it's own comprehensive set of results. Any of these can be placed on SIMUL8's Results Summary (with a quick RIGHT click).

The results summary is then a central data-store of your key results. SIMUL8's Visual Logic & Spreadsheets mean that you can also customize your results & create a ABB specific results page. Results can also be sent to external software (e.g. Excel).

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When analyzing the results of a simulation, what aids in form of statistical and history functions are there?

SIMUL8's Result's Summary includes 95% & 99% confidence limits. Histograms and Time Graphs are available of stored history data from any object. Gantt chart based historical reporting is also provided. Visual Logic or VBA let you write additional custom history reports if required

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Does the program have a debugger function?

Yes. Visual Logic has a debugger like the debugger in VB. It allows you to step through any control rules and place break points in your control logic. SIMUL8 also has a Simulation Assistant that gives advice to new users & offers direction. The SIMUL8 simulation monitor allows the user to monitor the events in the simulation in a very detailed way (including break points on events).

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How does your software communicate with other software and databases? (i.e. what standards are used, VB, SQL etc.)

SIMUL8 Professional uses OLE automation to communicate with any application that support OLE automation.

SIMUL8 Professional can communicate with databases using SQL.

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What platforms are supported?

SIMUL8 runs on Windows NT, '95, '98, 2000 and XP. For more detailed information see our system requirements page.

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What add-on programs are available?

SIMUL8 Basic has 2 plug-ins.

OptQuest for SIMUL8 - Automatically searches for great simulation solutions.
Stat::Fit for SIMUL8 - Find the statistical distribution that best fits your data and inputs it directly into SIMUL8.
SIMUL8 Professional already includes these options.

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What means of visualizing the model in a true VR environment does your software support?

SIMUL8 Corporation believe VR capabilities are very important for the simulation community. VR is currently available in SIMUL8 Professional only.

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Could one easily build a model for visualization only, with no or little demands for correct output. (i.e. just to sell an idea to management)

Yes. This is very easy. SIMUL8 can import ANY Visio flowcharts that can then be animated (via simulation). Additional parameters etc. can then be sent if desired.

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Is it possible to export a visualization to an .mpg for example?

Yes. You could create an .mpg using external application.

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How fast will my simulations run?

SIMUL8 is very fast. A major group of power simulation users based in Detroit performed a test with SIMUL8 and two of our main competitor simulation packages. On a test simulation to see how the packages compared on speed, time to complete a full simulation run was as follows: Package A 29 Seconds Package B 18 Seconds SIMUL8 3 Seconds

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