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Material Flow Simulation Using Design Languages

[+] Author Affiliations
Johann Werner, Stephan Rudolph

University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Paper No. DETC2006-99434, pp. 337-344; 8 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4a: 18th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 10–13, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4258-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3784-X
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Material flows are often encountered in the area of manufacturing processes. Simulation tools for the simulation of such material flows are used widely in the industry to predict and optimize the throughput in preposition of factory alterations or (re-)constructions. The simulation process itself is made up by an iterative sequence of modeling and simulation of a certain layout configuration. This iteration terminates when an adequate configuration has been found. In that context adequate means the trade-off between the amount of work and the best throughput achieved by a layout configuration found so far. This means that the found solution is mostly not necessarily the optimum and could be optimized further. This work presents a way to approach the aforementioned problem of simulation model generation by the use of design languages. An abstract representation of the model is created that can be used as input to a simulation program. By means of rule-based information processing techniques the abstract representation can be modified, creating new input for the simulation tool and thus speeding up the generation of new simulation models. Furthermore these rules, so-called design patterns, contain the engineer’s know-how and provide e.g. proven component configurations. The suggested design language approach to simulation model generation is outlined with several examples in the area of material flow simulation pointing out the potentials of design patterns. By using that approach it could be possible in the future to use e.g. genetic algorithms for creation of layout configurations to find suitable solutions as the whole simulation model generation consists only of a computerized execution of design patterns.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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