At IAM Robotics, we’re obsessed about how robotics can help our customers, even before you’ve officially decided to automate your operations with AMRs. We’re just as eager as you are to explore how our solutions will operate in your warehouse, so we rely on numerous modeling tools to bring them to life. Part of our Simulation Opportunity Assessment for Robots (SOAR) includes discrete-event simulation. 

We use discrete-event simulation to visualize robotics deployments, from how a system could look to potential roadblocks, ensuring peak performance once the AMRs are integrated into your  operations. Learn more about discrete-event simulation and how IAM Robotics uses it to deploy the best automation solutions for you.

What is Discrete-Event Simulation?

Discrete-event simulation (DES) models and estimates outcomes of deterministic systems (those with initial conditions) when events happen in sequences. In doing so, each simulation also accounts for uncertainties, interdependencies, and constraints that impact the situation. For example, DES takes into account when interactions between objects and operations are time-dependent.

Discrete-Event Simulation in Action 

Consider a real-world example: warehouse unloading queue. 

Imagine that delivery trucks are arriving at a warehouse to unload. In this case, you have two system entities: the unloading queue at the truck bay and the bay workers themselves. There are also two system events happening: truck arrival and truck departure. But of course, the flow of traffic shifts constantly, so a few system states change along with it: the number of trucks in the queue and bay worker status (busy or idle). Along the way, the overall process is impacted by random variables or uncertainties: truck interarrival time and bay worker service time. If there’s a bottleneck of truck traffic and the bay workers are unloading them too slowly, the whole system suffers!

DES brings various elements to life visually to make sense of systems for stakeholders. Thorough discrete-event simulations incorporate both 3D animation and data analysis to model your system.

How IAM Robotics Uses Discrete-Event Simulation

Discrete-event simulation is a powerful part of our Simulation Opportunity Assessment for Robots (SOAR). So, we use DES to find the right solutions for you. Using 3D animation, we model the desired automation zone to determine the design, constraints, and number of robots we need to satisfy your requirements. But it’s not enough to show an animation or a few stats and figures. So we go a step further and dive into data analysis along the way, providing added context. 

3D Animation 

Picture what robotic automation could look like in your warehouse. Using a tool called FlexSim, we model your system in a 3D virtual environment for a glimpse at the look and feel of IAM Robotics units in your facility, as well as to ensure that upstream and downstream from your automation zone(s) will flow fluidly with robot implementation.

But aside from visualizing automation, animations provide ready-made opportunities to visually troubleshoot if the system will work properly:

  • Account for variability with statistical distributions and random numbers.
  • Test “what if” scenarios without actually making modifications.
  • Digitally represent future operating needs.

Our customers enjoy 3D animation because they can see their system operate with automation, instead of relying on the data surrounding the solution. As the old adage goes, “Seeing is believing.”

Data Analysis 

Data analysis takes a deep dive into what’s going on in your system. Using statistical validation, we evaluate data from simulation runs to verify that the system is operating as expected. We show how and why IAM Robotics’ design meets system requirements, from throughput to tote cycle time, thanks to:

  • Trackable data points
  • Charts and graphs to help visualize data

DES works for both deterministic and stochastic systems, because we can include initial conditions and parameters in the model (deterministic), as well as unknown variables stemming from probability distributions (stochastic).

Trust Our Proven Modeling and Simulation Expertise

Robotics is a major expense and causes significant operational changes to any facility. We use comprehensive discrete-event simulation modeling to determine your ideal robotics solution. See the possibilities before the system is even installed, and plan for both challenges and growth. Get in touch with IAM Robotics today to discuss your automation needs.