Mesoscopic discrete-rate-based simulation models for production and logistics planning
This paper first summarises a survey of logistics and production planning engineers in the automotive industry on the use of simulation models to solve planning tasks in logistics and production conducted by the authors. As a solution for the analysed trade-off between a required quick provision of simulation results and a tolerable inaccuracy of the simulation results, the authors describe and evaluate the application of mesoscopic discrete-rate-based simulation models for two typical production and 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 mainly represent logistics flow processes on an aggregated level through piecewise-constant flow rates by applying the discrete-rate simulation paradigm instead of modelling individual flow objects. This leads to fast model building and computation.