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Running a Process Flow Simulation   

Process flows can be linked to simulation model or they can run independently as a self-contained, abstract simulation model. You run a process flow the same way you would run any simulation model in FlexSim, which means using the simulation control bar:

As a reminder, you should always press the Reset button before starting a new simulation run.

What Happens During a Process Flow Simulation?

During a simulation run, process flows follow the same basic procedure:

  1. Most process flows begin with a Source activity that creates one or more tokens. tokens typically look like green dots on an activity: Depending on which type of Source activity you use in your process flow, Sources can create new tokens at regular intervals or on a schedule as soon as a simulation run begins. They can also listen for events in a simulation model and create tokens whenever a specific event occurs. NOTE: If the process flow is a sub flow, it will usually begin with a Start activity instead of a Source. See Sub Process Flows for more information.
  2. The Source will then release the token to the next downstream activity. When that activity finishes performing its action on the token, it will release it to the next downstream activity and so forth.
  3. If a Delay activity needs to hold a token for a certain amount of time, the token will change color as time elapses, which is similar visually to a fill line increasing over time: When the time has elapsed, the Delay activity will release the token to the next downstream activity.
  4. Some process flow activities will hold tokens while waiting for a certain amount of time to elapse or while waiting for another event in the process flow or simulation model. If an activity is holding many tokens at a time, the tokens might appear to stack visually. If a large quantity of tokens builds up on a process flow activity, they will be replaced by a single token that merely indicates the number of tokens inside of it, as shown in the following animated image:

  5. Process Flows typically end with a Sink activity (or a Finish activity if it is a sub flow). However, it is possible for activities to loop indefinitely without crashing the software. You can create a loop by connecting the last activity in a process flow to a previous activity in the process flow if needed. Tutorial 2 - Linking Process Flows to 3D Models has an example of looping in a process flow.

Debugging and Troubleshooting

See Troubleshooting Process Flows for more information about how you can debug a process flow during a simulation run.

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FlexSim 2016.1