Let's imagine my plant is producing a Twix-like chocolat bar. The chocolat bar (Choc) is more than 5km long and therefor has to go through the flow process in one piece. The base part is the cookie and the first machine glazes the cookie with caramel which slows the flow because the glazing takes time. The second machine glazes the caramel-glazed-cookie with chocolat which also takes a certain time. And so on, I think you got the concept.
The question for me is how to best depict the whole process in Plant Simulation. I know that this is a rather unusual factory production and that is exactly why I'm asking.
My first idea is to use the fluid objects for this but the mixer interrupts the continues flow which is exactly what I wanted to avoid. My Idea was to mix a stream A (Cookie) with a stream B (caramel) to create a stream C (caramel-glazed-cookie). A and B are supposed to come from two different sources and then just flow into each other and merge to create stream C. Also stream C is supposed to have a slower outflow rate (because of the time it takes to glaze). Is this doable in Plant Simulation?
My second idea is to use the "normal" objects and depict one meter Choc as one Entity. This does work, but it's not pretty.
Any thoughts on this issue? Any other ideas how to approach this?
in reality it is a little more complicated
first you need to set the objectives of the model (output, throughput) and the special cases, you need to simulate (e.g. food industry: cleaning, testing, lot/ receipt change + cleaning, setup of packaging...). You need to decide, what to include into the model. In your case the chocolade cover may be differ between bright and dark chocolade. In between you need to clean the tanks and pipes. Here it would be interesting to include this process.
If you have a closer look on the process, you will find some changes between fluid (like) material and single MUs:
flour,sugar... (fluid) --> Mixer --> Portioner --> dough (MU) --> maturation (store) --> deportioner --> Dough (fluid) --> Mixer --> Deportioner --> Cookie (MU) --> Baking --> Cooling --> covering (consumption of fluids, eg. assembly portions from portioner) - packaging
freelance simulation specialist
Thank you very much for your answer and for your excample, I really appreciate it. The main issue I have is the length and the continues production of the Choc. The Choc is supposed to be 5km long and in one piece and move through every object in my production as one piece. So that one incredibly long MU would be in every station at once basically. My main question is how I best model this whole process. Should I just model the Choc as parts even though it's actually one continuous product or should I model it as a fluid because fluids are continuous or do you have another idea? In the actual production there is neither a fluid nor a fluid-like material. It's all about how to best model this unuasual production.
it really depends, what happens in between. Normally the main performance indicator is output (e.g. cookies per hour). The amount of cookie between start and end of the process is constant (e.g. 5 km). In this case you can make a black box for the complete process and model only the parts of the process with an influence on the output. This works very well with a pipe.
freelance simulation specialist