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AGV Lesson 2 Introduction   

This lesson extends the previous lesson to take you deeper into AGV simulation concepts.

What You Will Learn

  • How AGV speeds are determined
  • How to create and dispatch to spurs in the AGV network for drop-off
  • What Control Point Connections are and how to use them to implement AGV dispatch logic
  • How AGV Way Points work

Time to Complete

This lesson should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

AGV Model Overview

Lesson 2 will start where Lesson 1 left off. From that point we will add spurs to our network for unloading multiple items from the same location. We will implement triggers on the AGV team's OnResourceAvailable to direct AGVs to their next work location. We will also implement two Way Points, which will dispatch the AGVs to an available spur for pickup and drop-off. Finally, we will define custom max speeds for the curved paths and spurs.

Click here for the Step-By-Step Tutorial.

New Concepts

Control Point Connections

Control Point Connections are associations between Control Points in a model, or associations between Control Points and other model objects. While automatically you get a default set of Control Point Connection types, you can add, remove, or redefine these connections as needed.

Control Point Connections take on meaning as you implement logic that uses them in your model. For example, if an AGV is at a Control Point, and can't find any work to do at that Control Point, you can use a Control Point Connection to say "This is the next control point to go to to look for work." This is actually one of the default Control Point Connections, namely the NextLookForWork connection. Alternatively, if an AGV arrives at an "initial destination" Control Point to drop off a flow item, but you want to redirect it to an available "spur" location to make the drop-off, you can use a Control Point Connection to say "Here are the set of drop-off control points to search in dropping off the flow item". Again, this is another Control Point connection that you get by default, namely the DropoffPoints connection.

To view and configure Control Point connections, right-click on a Path or Control Point and choose AGV Network Properties. Go to the Control Point Connections tab.
Control Point Connections Tab

Here you can add or remove control point connections, and define what color they will be drawn with and whether they are visible in the 3D view. Defining what meaning these connections take is done through the model-building process. For example, consider the drop-off dispatch situation mentioned previously. In this lesson we will change the model so that AGVs are dispatched to spur locations for drop-off.
Initial and Spur Drop-off Points

To do this, you add "DropoffPoints" connections from the original drop-off point at the Sink to the set of spurs you want to drop-off to. This is done using the standard "A" connect.

Adding a Control Point Connection
  1. Using the "A" connect, drag-connect from one Control Point to another Control Point.
    A-Connect Control Points
  2. Choose from the drop-down menu the type of connection you would like to create.
    Choose a Control Point Connection

This will create the associated connection between the Control Points
One Control Point Connection

Once the connections are established, you define logic to use those connections using Way Points.

Way Points

Way Points allow you to define points in your model where you would like to make dispatching or other decisions. A Way Point is associated with one or more Control Points in your model. It is essentially a trigger that fires when an AGV arrives at one of those Control Points. You can use Way Points, as in the example mentioned previously, to redirect an AGV to a different destination, such as to a spur location for drop-off.

To view and configure Way Points, right-click on a Path or Control Point and choose AGV Network Properties. Then go to the Way Points tab.
Way Points Tab

Build the Model

Now build the tutorial model with the step-by-step instructions.

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FlexSim 2016.1