SIMUL8 Feature List - Routing

Routing lets you control the path taken by each individual work item through the simulation model. You can control routing as work items enter and leave objects on the screen.


Routing Arrows

Objects are connected by drawing routing arrows between them. Routing arrows show all the possible routes a work item could take. Rules can be attached to these arrows to control the way work flows.

(Alternative routing methodologies are available see the Jobs Matrix , Cycle Matrix and Visual Logic.)

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Travel Time

For each routing link that work items travel, a travel time can be specified.

All routes can have their travel times set to zero and SIMUL8 can be configured to do this automatically.

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Routing In Selection Rules

The following routing methods are available when selecting work items from an Activity:

Priority
Work is taken from the first item in the routing in list

Collect
Use to assemble together a number of work items from different objects into a group.

Passive
The Activity never pulls work from an object but will accept work pushed to it.

Expired Only
This is used to remove work items from a queue when they pass their shelf-life.

Oldest
Pulls work from the queue which has the oldest work at its head.

Youngest
Pulls work from the queue which has the youngest work at its head.

Longest
Pulls work from the feeding queue containing the most work.

Circulate
If suitable work is available work is taken from each route in turn.

Locked
Used from Visual Logic to allow only one route to operate

Uniform
Ideal function for when you don't want to give priority to any particular incoming route, you just want the Activity to randomly select work from any of its feeding objects.

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Routing In Special Rules

As well as being able to control the way an Activity selects work it is also possible to control how it accepts this work.

Interruptible
If checked this Activity can have its current work interrupted by work of a higher priority arriving.

Label Batching
Batch together work items so that a minimum batch size, but not more than the maximum batch size, is reached.

Batch by Type
Tells the Activity to only accept work items which have a certain value in one of their labels.

Wait Until Exit Clear
The Activity should not attempt to draw work in until its exit is able to accept work.

Visual Logic can also be used to add more complex and unique selection rules.

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Routing Out Rules

The following rules are available when controlling where work is sent to from an Activity, Start Point or conveyor.

Circulate
Work is circulated through the destinations in the list. That is the first work item will go to the first destination in the list, the second work item to the second,...., the Nth work item to the Nth destination on the list. The Nth+1 work item with go to the first destination etc. etc.

Uniform
Work is distributed randomly with equal chance of being sent to each of the routes.

Percent
Distributes work to the routes in the percentages you specify.

Priority
SIMUL8 always try to send work to the first destination in the list, if this is blocked then it will try the second etc.

Label
The value in a label on a work item controls where it goes. For example if the label value is 3 it will go to the third destination in the list, if the value if 5 it will go to the fifth destination.

Shortest Queue
This method sends Work Items to the queue which is shortest.

Jobs Matrix
Looks up the Jobs Matrix, a table of routings and timings to determine which route should be used.

Passive
Activities normally try to push work out when it is complete. This rules means it will not try to push work out but will wait until another object pulls the work.

Ignore Blocked Routes
If the desired route is blocked then the same rule will be used again to find another route. Switching "Preference Only" off means that once a route has been chosen for the work item leaving the Activity it will wait until that route becomes available.

Batching
Batching allows you to split a work item up into a number of individual work items. This can be a fixed number, or using a distribution this number can be different each time.

Fixed percentage
Choose to draw work items into your activity using fixed percentage distributions.

Type
Create conditional routing paths without the need for Visual Logic. Similar to Routing Out by Label, but it is so much more powerful and so much faster to implement.

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Jobs Matrix

The jobs matrix is a table of information that controls complex routings and timings. It is used if an Activity will feed work out to different destinations depending of the type of work. Job Matrix routing is ideal for Job Shops.

The Jobs Matrix also lets you specify different cycle and change over times for each type of work at each Activity. This timing can also be changed depending on what stage in the cycle the work is at.

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Cycle Matrix

This feature makes it very easy to simulate situations where work is described as a series of operations on one or more machines (rather than the "process flow" type description where SIMUL8 Routing arrows excel.)  .

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