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A Kamphaus avatar image
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A Kamphaus asked Brandon Peterson edited

How can I copy a conveyor with decision points and stations without them all moving off the conveyor when I move the copy?


I'm finding when I copy and paste a conveyor line I've setup all the DPs and stations are no longer on the copied conveyor. This doesn't seem to happen all the time but only if I need to move the copied items around a bit before deselecting. It ends up looking kind of like this:

Is there a certain way I should be doing the copy paste to prevent this from happening?

FlexSim 16.0.1
conveyordecision pointsselected objectsstations
flexsimconvq.png (244.5 KiB)
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Matthew Gillespie avatar image
Matthew Gillespie answered Matthew Gillespie edited

This is a bug and it has now been added to the development list.

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Brenton King avatar image
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Brenton King answered Mischa Spelt edited

Anna, Jeff's answer will work if you don't mind placing your conveyors in a container. This can be useful for multiple reasons, but isn't needed in this case.

If you just want to create a copy of a set of conveyors that have decision points, photo eyes, stations or transfers, you just need to remember that those are also considered "Objects" in FlexSim. They need to be selected when you hit copy. If you do this, they will also be pasted with the conveyor and will already be attached. Entry and Exit transfers won't copy unless you also copy the object that is attached to the conveyor.

If for some reason everything isn't connvected when you paste, you may need to enact the "Wiggle Rule". :) This means you wiggle the object to trigger its snapping code.

conveyorcopy.gif (268.2 KiB)
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A direct copy paste as you show does not cause the issue. The issues shows up when the pasted objects are then moved as a group after doing the paste.

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I was actually getting the same results as Anna when trying to do the simple copy and paste as you describe. That was the reason for the container Plane object, which stopped the movement of the DPs and such. But I tried it again later and didn't get the same "problem" as it was working as you describe.

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My version of the "Wiggle rule" is just move the objects a bit, then Undo (Ctrl + Z). This guarantees they end up in the same position, but the initial move still triggers the snapping code. Seems to work for all common cases (decision points on conveyors, AGV network connections, etc).

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Jeff Nordgren avatar image
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Jeff Nordgren Deactivated answered Jeff Nordgren Deactivated commented

Here is what I did to do what you are wanting to do.

I first created all the conveyors with the DPs, connections and what not. Then I added a Plane object (under Visual in the Library) and resized to so that it was a small square. Then I placed that Plane above the top conveyor and just to the left of the long vertical conveyor and colored it blue so that it is clearly visible. Then I selected all of the conveyors (and Plane) using the shift-left mouse to "rope" all of the objects. Then I deselect the Plane (Crtl-Left Mouse click) which makes it highlighted (yellow box around it). Then I opened the Edit Selected Objects by going to the menu option View>Edit Selected Objects. I should show up as a tab next to the Quick Properties window on the right of the screen. Then, with all the conveyors, DPs, etc. selected (red box) and the Plane highlighted (yellow box) I clicked the Move into Highlighted button at the top of the Edit Selected Objects tab.

What this does is place all the conveyors into the Plane. Then to copy all of the conveyors in that Plane, I just select all of the objects, including the plane (red box) and press the Ctrl-C key. Then I place the cursor in the model where I want to copy the conveyors to and press Ctrl-V. The new conveyor set will appear. Just deselect all of the objects (Shift-Left mouse click in open model space) and all the copied conveyors should look like the original set.

Attached is a model that has the original set of conveyors with the Plane. Try coping those as described above and see if it will work for you the way you want it to.

Here is the model: copyingconveyors-fs1.fsm

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This seemed to do what I was wanting. I understand that when I put things into the plane it changes the model tree. I've seen various warnings in the user guide and other places that causing the tree to rearrange when you have a working model is a "no no" because some references rely on that specific tree order. How concerned do I need to be about putting things into planes "after the fact"?

For instance I created one entirely working assembly cell and now am looking to copy it to create a second mostly identical assembly cell next to it. If I start putting parts of my working model into planes is this going to cause problems? So far I've tried putting the entire cell into a plane and that hasn't caused any problems. I like how this better organizes the model tree so I want to add some more within the cell but not if it means breaking my model.

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Unless you have written code that references an object specifically by name, you shouldn't have any problems at all. In fact once you have the one area setup the way you want, all you have to do to "clone" it is to "select" the Plane and copy it. No need to select all the objects in the Plane, just the Plane itself.

So moving objects into a Plane after the fact shouldn't be a problem.

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