Man, since time immemorial, has been craving to have the power of comprehending future outcomes; be it related to people or a process. Today’s business world abuzz with the clarion calls of ‘do more with less’ requires a disruptive approach to planning and execution. The process-intensive industries in particular are striving to walk the tight rope of balancing performance and cost. Over the years, simulation technology has aided the decision making capabilities of global industries by predicting the probable outcome based on a set of predefined events in a controlled environment. However, in the backdrop of changing business environment, evolving regulatory requirements, and rapid technology transformation, there is an increasing need for simulation to deliver more. The need of the hour is a dynamic simulation model that ingests real time constraints—by reading data from external data sources—and provides valuable and accurate insights to the decision makers of a business.
The ‘animated visual’ of an entire process flow, with its intricate sub-processes can make observers inquisitive to explore possible outcomes associated by tweaking the process based on the constraints and parameters, in real time.
“There are two schools of thought in simulation. On one side, there is a group that believes in executing simulation based on preset values, constraints, and data. On the other side, there are proponents of a more analytics-driven simulation technology which is more dynamic and interactive. The idea is to inject constraints and modifications in real time and study the response of the simulation model,” begins Hosni Adra, Managing Partner and Process Improvement Manager at CreateASoft. While the former follows a rigid model, the latter provides room for more flexibility and opens the door for powerful analytics and monitoring capabilities. As a provider of purpose-built dynamic simulation solution and services for process-intensive environments, CreateASoft, leads the innovation by delivering immersive-like experience to the users. With CreateASoft, teams can transform simulation process into an interactive process. The renewed experience aids them to traverse through the complex process-driven workflow with ease and achieve desired results.
Simcad: Simulation Simplified
CreateASoft’s Simcad brands itself as an ‘on-the-fly, interactive dynamic process simulation software’ that leverages a patented no coding simulation modeling environment. It enables users to create and fine-tune sub-processes that include bridging the interactions between the machinery and the personnel during a simulation event. This reduces the time for model development by up to 50 percent. Yet another differentiator for Simcad is the way it provides process model pathways. Upon defining a model path, the software can intelligently identify associated entities and render them as closely to real life scenarios as possible by using 2D, 3D and even VR animations. In other words, while other process simulation offerings in the market lay out mere connecting lines in depicting process flow, Simcad, displays in detail the routes, hallways, and other physical and functional points of the process simulation in question.
Aspects such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and various types of quality scores are automatically computed in Simcad. These are amongst values that the industry wants pre-computed. All that our users need to do is select what they want to see
Furthermore, Simcad allows users to derive value stream maps and carry out lean analysis from their process flow simulation. “Aspects such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and various types of quality scores can be automatically computed in Simcad. These are among the values that the industry wants pre-computed. With us, all that a user needs to do is select what they want to see,” adds Adra.
By simulating the processes in a typical manufacturing plant, the users can carry our cost analysis, leverage dynamic KPI reporting tools, and can proactively forecast production scheduling. In the context of logistics and supply chain, companies can run simulation between multiple locations with different distribution channels, optimize delivery routes and inventory, and generate custom reports. When it comes to warehouse management, users can easily generate heat maps, improve their picking strategies, and achieve flexible slotting environments. Simcad can simulate tuggers, conveyors, robots, material handling equipment including physics and detailed motion/kinematics. As it pertains to the food and beverages industry, Simcad’s visualization capabilities can aid in optimizing tank scheduling and CIP (cleaning-in-place), capacity planning, and streamlining material handling and conveyance.
CreateASoft also offers a dedicated variant of Simcad for the healthcare industry. “We’ve had users on the healthcare side that range from the nurses all the way up the chain to top level management and process improvement professionals within the hospital. Fascinatingly, many from the nursing staff and physicians have proactively taken the initiative toward process improvement because of Simcad,” says Adra. Be it the emergency department, operating room, hospital logistics or resource planning, Simcad Pro Health delivers comprehensive and interactive healthcare simulations.
Vision beyond Simulation through Analytics
CreateASoft’s SimTrack (portmanteau of Simulation and Tracking) platform derives its predictive analytics capabilities from Simcad and enhances it by real-time tracking and connectivity. SimTrack uses tracking data—from RFID, GPS or even vertical specific components such as control systems of manufacturing plant, WMS, EMR/EHR of healthcare institutions—to provide a holistic view of operations in real time. To seamlessly integrate with data tracking devices or systems, CreateASoft has smaRTLS®, a patented technology that simplifies installation, connectivity and configuration of locator devices. While SimTrack’s predictive engines can detect bottlenecks, or inefficiencies along the process flows, its prescriptive capabilities can suggest alternative measures to reroute around them. SimTrack can carry out automated scheduling and send out process alerts and notifications. Through customizable, process-specific, real-time dashboards, users can access and analyze a plethora of process stats and parameters in the form of gauges, charts, grids and reports. Access to SimTrack’s dashboard can even be configured based on permission control.
Exemplary Client Success Stories
As a consultant, CreateASoft helps clients make the most efficient use of their solutions stack. “Many of our clients need expert opinion on their simulation and process optimization endeavors. A consultative approach allows us to deliver just that; we tell them what’s wrong and how to fix it. For new deployments, our product trainings are centered on projects that our clients want to initiate. For the installation of a powerful product like SimTrack, we follow a step-by-step process that is unique to their requirements. We declare in our agreements with our clients that we will keep their SimTrack installations up-to date,” adds Adra.
Their strong commitment to client success reflects in their many wins they had over the years. For instance, a food storage warehouse that faced capacity constraints was able to improve their operations by partnering with CreateASoft. Using Simcad’s simulation, they were able to come up with a new way of slotting products that took into consideration, parameters such as slotting method, item velocity, congestion analysis and even movement (activity) of personnel. The warehouse was not only able to achieve 20 percent efficiency increase but also sustained a five more years of capacity growth with current equipment and facilities.
"Many of our clients need expert opinion on their simulation and process optimization endeavors. The role of a consultant allows us to deliver just that; we tell them what’s wrong and how to fix it"
In another case, an automotive client had estimated a requirement of four additional guided vehicles to be able to operate at their target capacity. With the insights from an automation analysis from CreateASoft, the client was able find that they instead had two additional guided vehicles that they could take out of the fleet and still get more capacity than what they initially had. They were also able to identify the capacity of their automated storage systems (ASRS) and how it had to be configured internally for fastest retrieval.
The Simulation Mastermind
With more than two decades of relevant experience up his sleeve, Adra is a veteran of simulation technologies who has always been fascinated by the sheer capabilities of this technology. His pioneering work and experience reflects on the Innnovative patents that CreateASoft holds today. Adra has also authored a book, ‘Success with Simulation’, in the light of his experience in the field. “I have seen projects fail, and companies having high hopes yet, getting nowhere. I’ve seen a lot of successes as well; the book essentially help people to be successful with simulation,” adds Adra.
With Adra at the helm, CreateASoft plans to build upon their AR and VR capabilities of simulation stack. The company also working on broadening the compatibility of SimTrack with more data systems while they envision to ultimately build into the solution, the ability to ‘guide’ users in addition to providing analytics environment.