Mesoscopic simulation models for logistics planning tasks in the automotive industry
The paper evaluates mesoscopic simulation models applied to logistics planning tasks in the automotive industry. In terms of level of detail, mesoscopic simulation models fall between object based discrete-event simulation models and flow based continuous simulation models. Mesoscopic models represent logistics flow processes on an aggregated level through piecewise constant flow rates instead of modeling individual flow objects. The results are not obtained by counting individual objects but by using mathematical formulas to calculate the results as continuous quantities in every modeling time step. This leads to a fast model creation and computation. The authors expect that mesoscopic simulation models can help to support decisions on the operational, tactical and strategic level of planning. The paper describes a mesoscopic simulation model of the goods receiving of an assembly plant and compares the simulation results and computation time with a discrete-event model.