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Presentation: Simulation based design of an electrified monorail system ....

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Simulation based design of an electrified monorail system with high throughput and short delivery

Presenter: Dr. Monika Schneider, Expert in Intralogistics Simulation at Eisenmann Anlagenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Boeblingen. 

The presentation tells the story of a design project at the conveyor systems department of Eisenmann. During several steps, the simulation model of an intralogistics system has been built up and modified to make sure, that the installation will meet all performance requirements. The way of modelling the electrified monorail system in a semi-automated way will be shown during the presentation.

Logistic center with High Bay Warehouse (HBW) and pallet conveyor system

Main material flow

    • Production and receiving to HBW
    • HBW to picking and back
    • HBW to shipping

Challenges during design phase

    • Increasing high performance from the HBW up to 430 pallets / hour
    • Sequencing of 390 pallets to the shipping area
    • Short delivery times to the shipping area of less than 35 minutes 

Layout and material flow of request for quotation

Layout of HBW zone:

    • Outbound flow of HBW 320 pallets / hour
    • Inbound flow to HBW 280 pallets / hour
    • Fire protection wall

Semi-automatic model generation in Plant Simulation:

First question to simulation: Is the monorail layout capable to handle the material flow?

    •           Semi-automatic process of further model generation
    • Calculate shortest way to destination using Floyd-Warshall Algorithm
    • Setup the curve speed based on the segment table
    • Detect track switches and insert switch control
    • Generate exchange stations and assign to the tracks by drag- and dropFlow counters for areas of exchange stations
    • Destination list (assignment destination name to track)
    • Empty trolley guiding

Evaluation of the simulation runs:

    • Analysis of hourly flow => comparing to the transportation matrix
    • Analysis of queues at the inbound stations
    • Detection of bottleneck
    • Animation (e.g. permanent congestions in front of HBW front zone)
    • Analysis of capacity utilization of fire doors or track switches (e.g. occupation of 95% signals bottleneck)
    • Factor of one trolley (waiting in front of switch or at the exchange station) blocking other trolleys


    • HBW front zone is bottleneck
    • Redesign of rail track and conveyors
    • Increase of exchange stations
    • Fire doors only on the rail
    • New version of the simulation model
    • HBW front zone can handle the material flow

Cost reduction:

Goal: Save second floor level of pallet conveyors

    • New material flow figures for the monorail system of 430 pallets from the HBW / h
    • Redesign supported by the simulation
    • Support of mechanical engineering: Describe the required dynamic parameters  (speed / acceleration) of the monorail trolley
    • New layout of the HBW front zone
    • New layout of the sortation buffer to shipping to avoid double flow of the pallets

The presentation is attached in pdf format.



Dr. Monkia SchneiderDr. Monkia Schneider