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Simprocess is a graphical block diagramming tool for modeling, analyzing and simulating. It is developed by CACI Products Company. The main characteristic of this software is, that it can be used for making abstract models, that may help us to learn more about activities based on objects, services, resources or supply. These models can take place in situations when we are trying to understand some specific problem about activities which mainly need some resources. Because it is very difficult to find out reasons to realise why something happens or to do expensive experiments in reality. Computer simulaltion in tools such as Simprocess involve experimentation on a computer-based model of some system. The model made in Simprocess may be used as a vehicle for experimentation to demonstrate the likely effects of various policies, but sometimes these experiments may be quite sophisticated, involving the use of statistical design techniques.

Simprocess allows us to create a computer model, to do experiments, to work on it and see what happens if we make changes in our abstract model. Modeling and simulation techniques are a new area of activity involving marriage of ideas from various disciplines.[1] Simprocess may be also used in management science. It is representation of the system of interest and is used to investigate possible improvements in the realsystem or to discover the effect of different policies on that system.

Simprocess License Editions

  • University Edition - models are limited up to 50 Processes and Activities. License is limited to 14 months.
  • Demonstration Edition - models are limited up to 25 Processes and Activities, 5 resource and 5 entity types
  • Professional Edition - there are no limits in number of Proceeses
  • Run-time Edition - models may be limited up to 5 processe, 5 resources and entity types.

Simprocess Terminology

Mapping simulation abc

Process mapping, ABC and event-driven simulation are integrated into a single tool.

Simprocess integrates Process Mapping, Descrete Simulation and Activity-Based Costing into one modeling tool.

Explanations

Process Mapping is becoming more popular due to software tools and is used in Simprocess. The process modeling is used for defining what happens in business, what are the responsibilites, what should be done to achieve success, increase revenues and decrease costs.

Discrete simulations are simulations where time changes discontinuously.

Costing objects (services, projects or products) need some activities that use resources which could be simulated in Simprocess.


The building blocks of Simprocess are activities, entities, resouces, connectors and pads.

  • Activities / Processes - Simprocess is based on a concept of hierarchical process modeling.

Activities are time-consuming elements of a system whose starting and ending coincide with event occurrences. [2]

  • Entities - dynamic objects such as customers, orders, invoices, workers or material. Entities depend on type of model and its use.

Entities are objects in the dynamic system whose motion within the system may result in the occurrence of events. [3]

  • Resources - objects used for modeling capacity of material, workers or any other kind of needed resource.

Resources are limited commodities that are used, consumed, or replenished by the entities. [4]

  • Connectors - are linking activities and processes.
  • Pads - are activities and processes that are subjects to be linked by connectors.

Application workspace and symbols

Simprocess environment


Simprocess symbols

File:Simprocess functions.JPG
File:Symbols simprocess.JPG

Input pad is an incoming holder between connector and process (activity).

Output pad is an outcoming holder between connector and process (activity).

Generate demonstrates the arrival of entity into the model, with the possible change of Quantity Properties.

Dispose activity removes entity from the model.

Delay defines delay in activity, eg. delivery processing delay.

Assemble shows Assembled Entity joinig into Component Entities.

Branch is an activity used to define alternative movement of some entity in alternative processes.

Merge merges a number of connectors into a single one.

Batch temporarily combines Quantity to Batch into Batched Entity, eg. packaging.

Unbatch splits temporarily made entity through the use of Batch activity.

Split models concurrent processes, makes clones of entities.

Join connects together original entity and its copy, made before by activity Split.

Transform changes incomming activity in an activity of different type.

Gate holds incomming entities in a queue.

Assign changes values of priorities and entity properties.

Synchronize coordinates the movement of several entities.

Replenish Resource models mechanism of resource replenishment.

Get Resource models mechanism of taking resouce.

Free Resource models mechanism of releasing resource.

Background allows to insert text.

Background graphic allows to insert maps or other graphics.


Working with Assemble

File:Simprocess assemble properties.JPG
File:Assemble Duration.JPG

In Simprocess there are predefined methods for solving the concept of queue for the entities which are assembled. These methods are ways of organizing to avoid conflict between entities and they are usable for making process rules for accessing any kind of entity. Default method is First In First Out (FIFO). There are also: First in Last Out, Earliest Created First, Latest Created First, Highest Priority Value First, Lowest Priority Value First, Lowest Attribute Value First and Highest Attribute Value First.


Practical use of Simprocess

Simprocess can help in these fields of interest: Financial services, manufacturing, hotel and hospitality services, health care, management, market etc.

Financial services

There are many reports of applications that can be supported by Simprocess simulations in banking, securities and insurance companies. Transaction analysis, cash-flow analysis, office system design, materials and supplies planning, data processing and computer network design, automatic teller machine and drive through service system designs are some of the activities that may be performed by simulation.[5]

Health care

Simprocess model hospital

Example of a model: Emergency

Simprocess allows alternative desing and control policies to be tried out on the model before starting to build the physical plant. Hospitals, emergency rooms, physician and dentist offices, and paramedics are frequently studied by simulations to determine schedules for nurse and doctors, medicine and food inventory policy, and capacity plans for resources such as beds, waiting areas, operating rooms, test and survival equipment, and ambulances. In addition, epidemilogical studies such as forecasting rates of disease spread, and analyzing alternative disease-control policies are routinely performed by simulation.[6]

Manufacturing

Simprocess model assemble

Example of a model: Marketing

Using Simprocess may reduce the cost nad risk of large-scale errors and in practical use Simprocess may be also used on existing plant to find some other way to operate. To give an exapmle: all kinds of manufacturing concerns including chemical processing plants, automotive plants, furniture, electronics, machinery, tools, appliances, and so on use simulation extensively in applications such as strategic planing, midrange capacity and production planning, plant layout design, equipment selection, replacement, maintenance policy design, inventory planning and control, production scheduling, assembly line balancing, materials handling and storage, etc.[7]

External communication of Simprocess

Simprocess version 4.4 communicates with SQL databases via ODBC. It also works with Excel and XML files. Model from Simprocess can be exported to UML.

Installation and system requirements

For Simprocess version 4.4 you need either Windows 2000, XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista or Linux (Red Hat or derivate) and it is UNIX capable. Neseccary Java Runtime Environment is included in the software install. Your harddisk must have at least 512 MB of free space if you are installing a full version. Software requirement for database software (on Windows only) is at least Microsof Access 2000 and for Microsoft Data Access components at least version 2.5, but recommended is version 3.525 or higher. [8]


Other interesting toolboxes


References

  1. PIDD, Michael. Computer simulation in management science. England: John Wiley, 1992. ISBN 0-471-93462-3.
  2. KHOSHNEVIS, Behrokh. Discrete systems simulation. USA: McGraw-Hill, 1994. ISBN 0-07-833302-4., p. 27/337.
  3. KHOSHNEVIS, Behrokh. Discrete systems simulation. USA: McGraw-Hill, 1994. ISBN 0-07-833302-4., p. 27/337.
  4. KHOSHNEVIS, Behrokh. Discrete systems simulation. USA: McGraw-Hill, 1994. ISBN 0-07-833302-4., p. 27/337.
  5. KHOSHNEVIS, Behrokh. Discrete systems simulation. USA: McGraw-Hill, 1994. ISBN 0-07-833302-4., p. 3/337.
  6. KHOSHNEVIS, Behrokh. Discrete systems simulation. USA: McGraw-Hill, 1994. ISBN 0-07-833302-4., p. 4/337.
  7. KHOSHNEVIS, Behrokh. Discrete systems simulation. USA: McGraw-Hill, 1994. ISBN 0-07-833302-4., p. 4/337.
  8. http://www.simprocess.com/products/simprocess_platforms.html

See also

Toolboxes and other add-ons:

External links

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