Methodology and data-structure for a uniform system's specification in simulation projects
In the last few decades the evaluation and analysis of manufacturing systems' behavior and their performance became very important. Digital enterprise technologies, as for example discrete-event simulation (DES), are effective tools both in production related decision making processes and in structure and performance analysis of manufacturing systems. However, building a discrete-event based simulation model of a manufacturing system is a difficult task and requires special competence. The majority of simulation studies are aimed at analyzing a certain problem by a specific simulation model created by experts with a relatively high financial expenditure. The paper introduces an ongoing research aimed at developing a framework to reduce the efforts spent on draft simulation studies by simplifying and accelerating the process of model building. The proposed modeling methodology uses a uniform data structure which is a production oriented implementation of the ANSI/ISA-95 standard and supports the creation of models without simulation software specific knowledge. The supporting data structure enables the development and application of proprietary simulation engines tailored for specific problems. The paper compares the traditional and the proposed methodologies and also introduces the first experiments gained on specific test -cases. In our approach the simulation models are created automatically and independently from simulation tools which will be presented through the examples of both commercial and self-developed applications.