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Lesson 3 Tutorial Introduction   

Lesson 3 introduces the Rack and NetworkNode objects. You will have a chance to work with spline points, conveyors, advanced statistics, and global tables. With lesson 3 you will be introduced to the Experimenter, which allows you to do multiple runs and multiple scenario analyses of your model. Lesson 3 will use the model from lesson 2 as a starting point. Make sure you have completed lesson 1, and lesson 2 before starting lesson 3.

Lesson 3 assumes you have worked through lessons 1 and 2 and are familiar with properties windows. In the previous lessons, almost every step was illustrated to make sure you had a complete understanding of the steps needed to build the model. In lesson 3 some of the simple tasks such as adding a new object to the model and entering basic properties will still be identified in the step-by-step description, but screen shots may not be provided.

Note: If you are using the Evaluation version of FlexSim, you will not be able to complete this model. This lesson exceeds the number of allowed objects in the Evaluation version.

What You Will Learn

  • How to use global tables to define routings
  • How to set up a travel path network for a transporter
  • How to create splines in a travel path network
  • How to create a custom output report
  • How to execute multiple runs of the model

New Objects

In this lesson you will be introduced to the Rack and NetworkNode objects as well as Spline Points.

Approximate Time to Complete this Lesson

This lesson should take about 45-60 minutes to complete

Model 3 Overview

In model 3 the sink will be replaced with 3 racks that will be used to store the completed flowitems prior to shipping. You will change the physical layout of conveyors 1 and 3 to bend at their ends to that flowitems are conveyed closer to the queue. Using a global table for reference, all itemtype 1 flowitems will be sent to rack 2, all itemtype 2 flowitems will be sent to rack 3, and all itemtype 3s flowitems will be sent to rack 1. Using the NetworkNode object, you will set up a path network for the fork truck to use as it transports flowitems from the conveyor queue to the racks. You will also set up a multiple run simulation using the Experimenter to show statistical variance and calculate a confidence interval for key performance measures.

Model 3 Data

Add curved sections to the first and third conveyors to convey flowitems closer to the conveyor queue.

Routing from conveyor queue to racks: Use a global table to specify the routing for flowitems as follows:

  • Itemtype 1 to rack 2
  • Itemtype 2 to rack 3
  • Itemtype 3 to rack 1

Set up a path network for the fork truck to travel on between the conveyor queue and the racks.

Set up a flypath for a fly-through model presentation.

New Concepts

Spline Control Points

Spline control points are used in FlexSim when laying out a travel path network. FlexSim uses spline technology to give you a convenient method to add curves, inclines, and declines to NetworkNode paths.

When two NetworkNodes are placed in the model view and connected together by click-and-dragging with the "A" key, a black line will be displayed. There are also two green boxes with arrows at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way down the line.

These green boxes indicate the attributes of the path going in the indicated direction. Green means it is a passing path, yellow means it is a nonpassing path, and red means it is a "no connection" or in other words it is a one-way path going the other way. To switch between these colors, you can right click on the node and select an option. You can also make the path a curved path by selecting the "Curved" option in the drop down menu. This will create two spline control points that you can move to create a curved path. You can also configure how connections are made by default using the Travel Networks Menu.

Spline Control Point parameters

Once you have created a curved path, move the small control points with the mouse.

To change the Z height of the spline control point, click on it and roll the mouse wheel up and down.

NetworkNodes can be configured to specify the direction of the path. Again, you can use the right-click menu on the colored box, or, for a quicker method, you can hold down the "X" key and click on the colored box.

When a path has been configured using spline paths, the travelers that use the path will automatically follow the spline that has been defined. The display of the spline control points, as well as the colored boxes, can be toggled on and off by holding down the "X" key and clicking on one of the NetworkNodes in the path network. Multiple "X" clicks will toggle between several different visual modes for the network.

Click here for the Step-By-Step Tutorial.

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FlexSim 2016.1