we are a group of students of the Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rome "La Sapienza". We are doing an important project for the Quality Management exam which in based on the application of the Six Sigma method in order to improve business processes. Our case study focuses on reducing delays in the production of pallets of mineral water of a plant located in Rome.
We went to the plant several times and we studied how it works however we would like to virtually rebuild a part of the line in order to have the possibility to construct different scenarios changing some parameters. We do not have any experience in Tecnomatix Plant Simulation and for this reason we wonder if there was someone willing to follow us step by step in reconstructing the line in its entirety and its characteristics starting from drawings we will provide, dimensions and characteristics, relationships between machines.
Hoping that someone can help us, in the meantime we wish you a good evening!!
First of all we would like to thank for the availability and apologize for the slowness in the answer but we were finishing another exam; furthermore, as regards information, we have no problem in providing information and data.
Returning to our project, first of all, we explain how the line segment that we would like to recreate and simulate is constituted:
1) the stroke begins with a machine in which bottles enter and packs of 6 bottles wrapped with plastic come out; the output takes place on two separate conveyor belts.
2) after a conveyance on the belt the packs enter into two separate machines, one per belt, in which the cardboard handle is applied to the pack of bottles and even here the output takes place on two separate belts;
3) a last transport on the belt brings the packs to a palletizer that loads 4 rows of 21 packs on the pallet before being sent to another section of the line but we are not interested to recreate that section.
So the line to be recreated should start with the packaging machine and finish with the palletizer.
We started to create a basic structure starting from a design that provided us with some belt measurements; we attach the .spp in which there is the structure of the belts and are represented with a rectangle the 3 machines to be inserted. Is it good as starting point?
you could use the attached model as a rough template to work with, as this is just one way of many to solve your problem. Also there are a lot of unknown parameters like processing and failure times of different machines and processes that you might need to add.
Thank you so much for the prompt response; the machines are exactly the ones we have described and the model is a perfect base to work on it. But we would like to add more detail to everything and going in order:
1) Is it possible in the 3D view to put in motion objects of a size similar to those that move on the line in reality? The packages created by the first machine are 27 cm of lenght, 18 of depth and 34 of hight;
2) We have the productivity data of the three machines available:
- machine 1: 4800 packs / hour -> 2400 packs / hour per belt
- machine 2: 5040 packs / hour -> 2520 packs / hour per belt
- machine 3: 39 pallets / hour
3) Photocells are present along the belts which create an operating logic; is it possible to insert these logics, after an our description?
1. you can set the dimensions of the MU (length, width, height); in 3D (this will change the 3D-icon) of the MU or you import a new graphic (as JT or step-file or you create your own 3D icon from the primitives --> open your bottle in 3D, delete the old graphic, make your own)
2. calculate the assembly time for one unit in each machine and set it as assemby time; you need to check the time in reality; you dont need to consider the time for "collect" the bottles, only the time, when all bottles or packages are present for e.g. wrapping the plastics around
3. right click on the belt --> create sensor
Through your indications we were able to change the size of the objects moving in the 3D view and we also adapted the width of the tapes to the new dimensions of the objects (we attach the modified model 2.0).
Before continuing to detail the model, for example adding sensors, we would like to focus on the last machine, the palletizer, which has a particular loading sequence and we would like to know if it was possible to recreate it: to understand this sequence we attach a link of a video that we have done because in words it would be complicated to describe it; in addition to the video, to better understand the loading sequence of the machine we say that the pallet is made up of 4 different planes, each made up of 3 rows of 7 packages for a total of 21 packages and 84 packages per pallet.
there is no ready to use element in Plant Simulation to do this; but there are different ways to solve this problem
a) Place at the end of the belts two transporter with the loadbay type line (conveyor); make the icon of the transporter so, that the transporter drives like a cross sliding car; fill the transporters and start them at the same time --> unload them at the end of the machine to the pallet, delete the transporter, create two (ore one) new one at the exits of the belt (quite complicated for your level)
b) make at the end of the belds two short belds with space for 7 packages
--> fill the segments, lock the exit of the belds and move the packages e.g to a parallelProc (exitLocked) --> when full open exit --> assemblyStation
--> if the parallelStation is empty again --> open one or two exits of the belds and the next cycle starts; here it should be easy to follow a sequence (see help: observer, exitLocked...)
The second option seems closer to reality and we have already proceeded to modify the model by adding two belts that contains exactly 7 packages each (we attach version 2.1); we would have some questions:
1) Is it possible to set the palletizer so that it instantly loads the 7 packs accumulated on the tapes at the entrance?
2) Is there a way to automatize the locking / unlocking of belts without having to stop the simulation every time and change the settings?
the answer is simtalk, see attachment
you can access dynamically all methods and attributes of the objects, so you can create a really dynamic behavior