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Flowitem Bin Concepts   

The FlowItem Bin is accessed FlexSim's toolbar or from the Toolbox. (View menu > Toolbox > FlowItem Bin).

The Flowitem bin stores all of the Flowitems used in your model. You can learn more about Flowitems in the FlexSim Concepts - Flowitems page. Different classes of flowitems are created in this window and are stored in the Flowitem Bin.

Flowitems that are created in the model are exact copies of the Flowitems in the Flowitem Bin. A Source object specifies what Flowitem class to create. It then creates a copy of the Flowitem and places it in the model.

Flowitem Types

There are three types of flowitems, Basic, Container and TaskExecuter. When a new model is created, a default set of Flowitems is added to the Flowitem bin. The Box, Cylinder, Sphere, Plane, Circle and Person are all Basic Flowitems. The Pallet and Tote are Container Flowitems and the TaskExecuterFlowItem is a TaskExecuter Flowitem.

Basic Flowitems

Basic Flowitems have the following properties:

Name - Each Flowitem has its own name. However, unlike FixedResource and TaskExecuter objects, Flowitem names do not need to be unique within the model. If the Flowitem is named "Box" in the Flowitem bin, then all copies of that Flowitem will be named "Box" unless the name is explicitly changed.

Itemtype - See the FlexSim Concepts - Itemtype page for more information on Itemtypes.

Labels - See the FlexSim Concepts - Labels page for more information on Labels.

Location, Size, Rotation - Flowitems take up physical space in your model. This allows you to set your Flowitems to be the same size as the parts you are modeling (ie bottles in a bottling line).

Color - As with other objects in FlexSim, Flowitems have a designated color. That color can be changed in the Flowitem bin, but it can also be changed in the model as the Flowitem makes its way through processes. Often, colors are used to represent specific product types and allow the modeler to more easily follow what is happening in a model.

3D Shape - See the 3D Media section for more information on 3D Shapes.

Shape Frames - As with other objects, Flowitems can have Shape Frames. This is particularly useful with Flowitems as it can help show how a part changes as it moves through the model. For example, in a bottling line, the Flowitem might begin as a piece of plastic or glass, then become a bottle, then it is filled, and a cap is put on top. This could be shown by creating five different 3D shapes and changing the Shape Frame.

Animations - New with FlexSim 7, Flowitems can have their own custom Animations using the Animation Creator.

Container Flowitems

Container Flowitems have all of the same functionality as Basic Flowitems. Though all Flowitems can act as containers, only the Container Flowitem executes code when another item is placed inside of it (packed). You can create custom packing methods by clicking on the Edit Packing Methods button in the Flowitem bin.

The Packing Methods window allows you to create your own custom packing methods and to alter existing methods. Selecting a packing method will also display the current Flowitems that are using that packing method.

Container Flowitems will display their packing method in the Quick Properties. They also have an extra page in their properties window that allows you to specify which packing method to use. For more information, see the Container Page.

TaskExecuter Flowitems

TaskExecuter Flowitems have all of the same functionality as Basic Flowitems. They also have the ability to act as a standard TaskExecuter object. Unlike other Flowitems, they can have their own connections which can be added dynamically using the contextdragconnection command.

TaskExecuter Flowitems have the following pages added to their Properties window:

  • TaskExecuter
  • Breaks
  • Collision
  • Triggers
  • Statistics

Library Icon Grid

When the Flowitem Bin is active, the Library Icon Grid changes to display a list of shapes:

Shapes that have been imported into your model will appear at the bottom of the Library. You can drag and drop shapes from the Library onto the 3D view to quickly change the 3D shape of the Flowitem, or you can drag and drop into the Flowitem Class list to create a new Flowitem:

You can filter the list of shapes by entering text into the field.

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paul.t contributed to this article


FlexSim 2016.1