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About Shared Assets   

A shared asset is a finite resource that tokens may claim or release at certain points in the process flow. Shared assets look a lot like standard activities but there are some distinct differences. A shared asset cannot be part of a stacked block or snapped to any other activity. Tokens do not physically move into a shared asset, instead, activities like the Acquire, Push To List or Enter Zone reference a shared asset which will be used in that activity's logic. They are also colored differently than activities to show that they function a little differently, as shown in the following image:

Shared assets can impose constraints on the tokens by making the token wait if the requested asset is unavailable. A real-life example of this would be a certain tool that is shared by three different work stations. If one station needs the tool while it is already claimed by another station, that station must wait. In that same vein, if a token needs an asset in order to move on to the next activity, the token will wait at its current activity until the asset is available. There are three types of shared assets:

  • Resource - Represents a limited supply of some resource that can be acquired and released. It can be used to simulate a supply of goods, services, time, materials, employees, etc.
  • List - Allows you to add or remove tokens, flowitems, task executers, numbers, strings, etc. to a list. This is a useful asset for syncing multiple tokens within a process flow or as a more dynamic Resource. Process flows can use a list that is local to the process flow itself or could be tied to a Global List in the simulation model.
  • Zone - Can collect statistical information not available for standard activities. It can also restrict access to a section of the process flow based on certain statistics or other criteria.

Global and Local Types

All shared assets have the ability to be defined globally or locally within their process flow. In the case of a General Process Flow, the shared asset will always be defined globally. If the shared asset is in a Fixed Resource, Task Executer or Sub Flow Process Flow, there may be more than one instance of the process flow at any given time. The two types behave as follows:

  • Global - If the shared asset's Type is set to Global, all tokens in all instances of the process flow will compete for the same asset.
  • Local - If the shared asset's Type is set to Local, then there will be a different asset for each instance of the process flow. Only tokens within the same instancewill compete for the same asset.

For example, if a Resource is defined as Local and it is referencing an Operator in the 3D model and there are 3 instances of the process flow, then each instance will be associated with a different Operator. This means there will be 3 Operators in the 3D model, one for each instance. When a token attempts to acquire a resource, it will only be able to acquire the Operator associated with that instance.

Allocating Global Shared Assets

It is possible to allocate from a shared asset that is not in the same process flow as the requesting activity. However, this is only allowed if the shared asset is in a General Process Flow.

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FlexSim 2016.1