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Why Use Process Flow?   

One of the major selling points of FlexSim is the ability to create custom objects that are capable of simulating the underlying logic of complex business processes. Up until now, most of this customization required you to write code in FlexScript (FlexSim's internal scripting language). While many advanced users appreciate being able to tinker directly with the code, some users might prefer a simple, user-friendly interface that writes the code behind the scenes for them. If you're one of those users, the new Process Flow module is designed specifically with you in mind.

The following image shows an example of a process flow:

NOTE: The process flow shown in this image is the same one that you will build in the Process Flow Basics Tutorial.

Scalable, User-Friendly Flowchart Tools

The Process Flow module has many tools and features that can easily scale for use in projects of any size and complexity. A simulation project generally involves large, complex problems that can be broken down into sets of smaller problems. The Process Flow module has the ability to break up large simulation models into small, manageable pieces that can be understood on your terms.

Many FlexSim users typically begin the simulation process by creating a simple flowchart of their business systems. With the Process Flow module, you can design this kind of flowchart in an early model-building stage and then possibly add more complex logic to that same flowchart to control the logic for your simulation model in the later model-building stages. You can easily integrate flowcharts with existing FlexSim 3D models or even let the flowcharts be stand-alone, abstract simulations that can run independently of your 3D model.

Cleaner, Deeper Simulations with No Code

Using the Process Flow module, you can build the entire logic of your simulation system using a visually-oriented, user-friendly interface. Instead of writing code, you'll select an appropriate pre-programmed activity from the process flow library, then drag and drop it directly into your flowchart. Each activity can perform simple or complex logical operations, including some new operations that were not previously available in FlexSim. These activities can be combined together in a variety of ways to simulate practically any kind of system.

With the Process Flow module, you can begin building the logic of your simulation earlier in a project life cycle from a perspective that makes sense to you. This means you will be able to build your ideas into the simulation more quickly. It also means that you can adapt your simulation more easily and efficiently later in the simulation life cycle as your knowledge changes or you get new information about your business system.

Greater Flexibility

The Process Flow module can flexibly adapt to many different kinds of simulation projects and different approaches to the task of simulation. Rather than asking you to learn one particular approach toward simulation and then adapt your simulation model to this style, the Process Flow module will adapt to you and your approach to simulation. Because there are many possible ways to solve the same problem in the Process Flow module, you can build the logic of your simulation in a way that makes sense to you. This flexibility makes it possible for you to address the challenges that are unique to your simulation project.

Engaging, Intuitive Visuals

The Process Flow module is ideal for presenting simulation models to decision makers. Stakeholders are more likely to catch your vision when you can present the deeper logic of your business system using easy-to-understand, visually-engaging flowcharts.

You can easily change the visual settings and overall organization of your process flowcharts. The Process Flow module has many options that make it possible for you to customize fonts, colors, and shapes. You can also move and connect activities so that they are spatially organized and grouped in whatever way best communicates their meaning.

Besides simply making compelling presentations, these engaging visuals also makes it easy to debug your simulation since process flow helps you to see the deeper logic of your business system right before your eyes.

In short, the new Process Flow module will make model-building much easier and more user-friendly from the beginning of the process to the end.

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FlexSim 2016.1