Increasing the credibility and validation of flow solutions
Pesmel uses simulation to ensure efficient and accurate design of complex material flow solutions at their customers’ mills, says Eero Anttila, Manager, Material flow integration.
Customizing solutions successfully through simulation
The needs of every customer are different. Offering bespoke, customizable solutions to improve material flow is one of Pesmel’s clear strengths. But identifying and addressing the specific requirements of a given project require a lot of planning and cooperation. To bring to life the vision shared between the customer and Pesmel, simulation is used in the early engineering phase to accurately analyze material flow in a given location.
Understanding the process and optimizing the solution
“The simulation is not a separate product,” explains Eero Anttila, “but an integral part of our offering. We use it with our customers to design, develop, optimize, and validate our logistics systems.” For the customer, simulation makes it easy to visualize the solution and approve it prior to making further investments. For Pesmel, the data gathered provides greater understanding of the customer’s process and integration needs and allows solution optimization.
“Simulation is an integral part of our offering.”Eero Anttila, Manager, Pesmel
To begin a simulation process, customer data – such as product dimensions, warehousing requirements, and the dispatch needs of the planned material flow system – is collected. Upon gathering the data, the next step is solution engineering, including data analysis and layout design.
“When we have the data and basic solution as starting point, we can quickly simulate weeks or months of operation to a degree of accuracy that is not possible with other tools,” Anttila points out.
Three steps of simulation provide comprehensive material flow integration
There are three main phases of simulation. Upon gathering and analyzing customer data, Pesmel will identify the actual functionality and capacity requirements of the system. In the second phase, the capacity simulation provides a visual presentation and validation of the tailored solution. Finally, the simulation facilitates the design and workshop testing of the warehouse management system (WMS), the heart of the material flow solution. “Through the simulation process we can offer comprehensive insights into material flow requirements and potential solutions, prior to the start of engineering or other commitments”, says Anttila. “Ultimately, we provide them with skill and experience for devising a well-structured and integrated material flow solution.”
Digital twins through the simulation process
A digital twin is a virtual representation that serves as the digital counterpart of a physical process. In Pesmel it is used in the development and maintenance of the customer’s material flow solution. In addition to allowing overall analysis and development of the customer case, a digital twin can be used in daily operations: continuous optimization of automated storage, estimation of near future occurrences and support for operator decision making. A digital twin also plays an important role in planning and executing after sales operations. These typically include data collection of equipment usage, preventive maintenance, and virtual testing of software updates. “Ultimately, simulation is an end-result of a thorough analysis of a particular material flow set-up,” Anttila concludes. “Together with the customer we can address any issues and find the best possible solution.”