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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Andrew Greasley

To provide an example of the use of system dynamics within the context of a discreteevent simulation study.

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3696

Abstract

Purpose

To provide an example of the use of system dynamics within the context of a discreteevent simulation study.

Design/methodology/approach

A discreteevent simulation study of a production‐planning facility in a gas cylinder‐manufacturing plant is presented. The case study evidence incorporates questionnaire responses from sales managers involved in the order‐scheduling process.

Findings

As the project progressed it became clear that, although the discreteevent simulation would meet the objectives of the study in a technical sense, the organizational problem of “delivery performance” would not be solved by the discreteevent simulation study alone. The case shows how the qualitative outcomes of the discreteevent simulation study led to an analysis using the system dynamics technique. The system dynamics technique was able to model the decision‐makers in the sales and production process and provide a deeper understanding of the performance of the system.

Research limitations/implications

The case study describes a traditional discreteevent simulation study which incorporated an unplanned investigation using system dynamics. Further, case studies using a planned approach to showing consideration of organizational issues in discreteevent simulation studies are required. Then the role of both qualitative data in a discreteevent simulation study and the use of supplementary tools which incorporate organizational aspects may help generate a methodology for discreteevent simulation that incorporates human aspects and so improve its relevance for decision making.

Practical implications

It is argued that system dynamics can provide a useful addition to the toolkit of the discreteevent simulation practitioner in helping them incorporate a human aspect in their analysis.

Originality/value

Helps decision makers gain a broader perspective on the tools available to them by showing the use of system dynamics to supplement the use of discreteevent simulation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Hong Zhang, Heng Li and C.M. Tam

Construction‐oriented discreteevent simulation often faces the problem of defining uncertain information input, such as subjectivity in selecting probability…

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1405

Abstract

Construction‐oriented discreteevent simulation often faces the problem of defining uncertain information input, such as subjectivity in selecting probability distributions that result from insufficient or lack of site productivity data. This paper proposes incorporation of fuzzy set theory with discreteevent simulation to handle the vagueness, imprecision and subjectivity in the estimation of activity duration, especially when insufficient or no sample data are available. Based upon an improved activity scanning simulation algorithm, a fuzzy distance ranking measure is adopted in fuzzy simulation time advancement and event selection for simulation experimentation. The uses of the fuzzy activity duration and the probability distribution‐modeled duration are compared through a series of simulation experiments. It is observed that the fuzzy simulation outputs are arrived at through only one cycle of fuzzy discreteevent simulation, still they contain all the statistical information that are produced through multiple cycles of simulation experiments when the probability distribution approach is adopted.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2008

James Nutaro, Phani Teja Kuruganti, Mallikarjun Shankar, Laurie Miller and Sara Mullen

This paper aims to address a central concern in modeling and simulating electric grids and the information infrastructure that monitors and controls them. The paper…

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1022

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address a central concern in modeling and simulating electric grids and the information infrastructure that monitors and controls them. The paper discusses the need for and methods to construct simulation models that include important interactions between the physical and computational elements of a large power system.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers a particular approach to modeling and simulation of hybrid systems as an enabling technology for analysis (via simulation) of modern electric power grids. The approach, based on the discrete event system specification, integrates existing simulation tools into a unified simulation scheme. The paper demonstrates this approach with an integrated information and electric grid model of a distributed, automatic frequency maintenance activity.

Findings

Power grid modernization efforts need powerful modeling and simulation tools for hybrid systems.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this approach is a lack of advanced simulation tools that support it. Existing commercial offerings are not designed to support integration with other simulation software products. The approach to integrating continuous and discrete event simulation models can overcome this problem by allowing specific tools to focus on continuous or discrete event dynamics. This will require, however, adjustments to the underlying simulation technology.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates an approach to simulating complex hybrid systems that can, in principle, be supported by existing simulation tools. It also indicates how existing tools must be modified to support our approach.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Young B. Moon and Dinar Phatak

To develop a methodology to augment enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with the discrete event simulation's inherent ability to handle the uncertainties.

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3017

Abstract

Purpose

To develop a methodology to augment enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with the discrete event simulation's inherent ability to handle the uncertainties.

Design/methodology/approach

The ERP system still contains and uses the material requirements planning (MRP) logic as its central planning function. As a result, the ERP system inherits a number of shortcomings associated with the MRP system, including unrealistic lead‐time determination. The developed methodology employs bi‐directional feedback between the non‐stochastic ERP system and the discrete event simulation model until a set of converged lead times is determined.

Findings

An example of determining realistic production lead‐time data in the ERP system is presented to illustrate how such a marriage can be achieved.

Research limitations/implications

The research demonstrates that the limited planning functionality of the ERP system can be complemented by external system such as discrete event simulation models. The specific steps developed for this research can be adopted for other enhancements in different but comparable situations.

Practical implications

The organizations who have been using the discrete event simulation in their planning and decision‐making processes can integrate their simulation models and the ERP system following the steps presented in this paper. The ideas in this paper can be used to look for automatic data collection process to update or build the simulation models.

Originality/value

The ERP implementation is a significant investment for any corporation. Once the ERP implementation is completed successfully, the corporations must look for ways to maximally return on their investment. The research results may be used to enhance the implemented ERP systems or to fully utilize the capabilities in a corporation.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 105 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2019

Sandra L. Furterer, Kellie Schneider, Michael B. Key, Daniel Zalewski and Michael Laudenberger

The purpose of this study is to improve the utilization of walk-in tutors at the University of Dayton.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to improve the utilization of walk-in tutors at the University of Dayton.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses the application of mixed methods participatory action research with the use of the lean six sigma (LSS) define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) methodology combined with discrete event simulation to improve the tutoring processes at the University of Dayton.

Findings

The impact of these improvements provided a great balance between tutor utilization and student wait time, and as a result, an increase in pay was negotiated for tutors. Additionally, two schools within the University, Engineering and Business, have seen the value of the tutoring for their students and have provided additional financial support for tutoring services. Specifically, these schools now have dedicated by-appointment tutors for their students.

Originality/value

Incorporating simulation within the LSS methodology provides a “prototype” simulation of the potential solutions prior to changing the process in the real world. This approach can minimize the risk of implementing solutions that are costly or ineffective. The improvement of increased tutor pay helped to demonstrate the university’s commitment to tutors and tutoring. Through continuous improvement efforts, the tutoring department has tripled the number of courses that they support through these enhanced relationships, improved utilization and the overall culture and work environment. The LSS methodology and tools combined with discrete event simulation can be used as a guide for improving other repetitive processes within the university.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2020

Ahmed Abideen and Fazeeda Binti Mohamad

Lean implementation is vastly incorporated in core manufacturing processes; however, its applicability in the supply chain and service industry is still in its infancy. To…

Abstract

Purpose

Lean implementation is vastly incorporated in core manufacturing processes; however, its applicability in the supply chain and service industry is still in its infancy. To acquire performance excellence and thrive in the global competitive market, many firms are adopting newer methodologies. But, there is a stringent need for production simulation systems to analyze supply chains both inbound and outbound. The era of face validation is slowly disappearing. Lean tools and procedures that provide future state assumptions need advanced tools and techniques to measure, quantify, analyze and validate them. The purpose of this study is to enable dynamic quantification and visualization of the future state of a warehouse supply chain value stream map using discrete event simulation (DES) technique.

Design/methodology/approach

This study aimed to apply an integrated approach of the value stream mapping (VSM) and DES in a Malaysian pharmaceutical production warehouse. The main focus is diverted towards reducing the warehouse supply chain lead time by initially constructing a supply chain value stream map (both present state and future state) and integrating its data in a DES modelling and simulation software to dynamically visualize the changes in future state value stream map.

Findings

The DES simulation was able to mimic the future state lead time reductions successfully, which assists in better decision-making. Improvements were seen related to total lead time, process time, value and non-value-added percentage. Warehouse performance metrics such as receiving, put away and storage rates were substantially improved along with pallet processing time, worker and forklift throughput usage percentage. Detailed findings are clearly stated at the end of this paper.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to the warehouse environment and further additional process models and functional upgrades in the DES software systems are very much needed to directly visualize and quantify all the possible Lean assumptions such as radio frequency image identification/Andon (Jidoka), 5S, Kanban, Just-In-Time and Heijunka. However, DES has a leading edge in extracting dynamic characteristics out of a static VSM timeline and capture details on discrete events precisely by picturizing facility modification and lead time related to it.

Practical implications

This paper includes all the fundamental pharmaceutical warehouse supply chain processes and the simulations of the future state VSM in a real-life context by successfully reducing supply chain lead time and allowing managers in inculcating near-optimal decision-making, controlling and coordinating warehouse supply chain activities as a whole.

Social implications

This integrated approach of DES and VSM can involve managers and top management to support the adoption of anticipated changes. This study also has the potential to engage practitioners, researchers and decision-makers in the warehouse industry.

Originality/value

This study involves a powerful DES software package that can mimic the real situation as a virtual simulation and all the data and model building are based on a real warehouse scenario in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

Pamela S. Rosser, Jude T. Sommerfeld and Wayne C. Tincher

A discreteevent simulation of a utility trouser manufacturing plant is described. The simulation model, written in the GPSS/PC language, was validated with operating data…

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179

Abstract

A discreteevent simulation of a utility trouser manufacturing plant is described. The simulation model, written in the GPSS/PC language, was validated with operating data from a large plant with a nominal production capacity of 40,000 pairs of men's denim trousers per week. Specifically, the simulation results closely agreed with key plant operating figures, such as production rate, number of work stations, work‐in‐process inventory and residence time in production.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Saeed Moradi, Farnad Nasirzadeh and Farzaneh Golkhoo

The purpose of this research is to propose a hybrid simulation framework which can take into account both the continuous and operational variables affecting the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to propose a hybrid simulation framework which can take into account both the continuous and operational variables affecting the performance of construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

System dynamics (SD) simulation paradigm is implemented for the modelling of the complex inter-related structure of continuous variables and discrete event simulation (DES) is implemented for the modelling of operational influencing factors. A hybrid modelling framework is then proposed through combination of SD and DES to simulate the construction projects.

Findings

This paper discusses the deficiencies of two traditional simulation methods – SD and DES – for simulation of construction projects which can be compensated by implementing hybrid SD–DES model. Different types of basic hybrid structures and synchronisation methods of SD and DES models are introduced.

Practical implications

The proposed hybrid framework discussed in this research will be beneficial to modellers to simulate construction projects.

Originality/value

The paper introduces a theoretical framework for a hybrid continuous- discrete simulation approach which can take into account the dynamics of project environment arising from the complex inter-related structure of various continuous influencing factors as well as the construction operations. Different steps required to develop the hybrid SD–DES model and synchronisation of SD and DES simulation methods are illustrated.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1997

Lykourgos Petropoulakis and Luisa Giacomini

Describes the motivation, the initial implementation and tests carried out during the development of a combined discrete‐time and continuous‐simulation system intended…

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1853

Abstract

Describes the motivation, the initial implementation and tests carried out during the development of a combined discrete‐time and continuous‐simulation system intended primarily for the simulation of hybrid systems in manufacturing processes. The system, which is still under development, is the product of fusing two existing and independently developed packages, and the current implementation serves as a pilot design for evaluating the issues involved, both in terms of product development and in terms of the theoretical difficulties in combining discreteevent and continuous‐time systems. The initial design has already been implemented and test simulations performed. Provides a superficial description of the system interface which is predominantly based on the existing interface of the discreteevent simulator.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2019

Elizabeth A. Cudney, Raja Anvesh Baru, Ivan Guardiola, Tejaswi Materla, William Cahill, Raymond Phillips, Bruce Mutter, Debra Warner and Christopher Masek

In order to provide access to care in a timely manner, it is necessary to effectively manage the allocation of limited resources. such as beds. Bed management is a key to…

Abstract

Purpose

In order to provide access to care in a timely manner, it is necessary to effectively manage the allocation of limited resources. such as beds. Bed management is a key to the effective delivery of high quality and low-cost healthcare. The purpose of this paper is to develop a discrete event simulation to assist in planning and staff scheduling decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

A discrete event simulation model was developed for a hospital system to analyze admissions, patient transfer, length of stay (LOS), waiting time and queue time. The hospital system contained 50 beds and four departments. The data used to construct the model were from five years of patient records and contained information on 23,019 patients. Each department’s performance measures were taken into consideration separately to understand and quantify the behavior of departments individually, and the hospital system as a whole. Several scenarios were analyzed to determine the impact on reducing the number of patients waiting in queue, waiting time and LOS of patients.

Findings

Using the simulation model, it was determined that reducing the bed turnover time by 1 h resulted in a statistically significant reduction in patient wait time in queue. Further, reducing the average LOS by 10 h results in statistically significant reductions in the average patient wait time and average patient queue. A comparative analysis of department also showed considerable improvements in average wait time, average number of patients in queue and average LOS with the addition of two beds.

Originality/value

This research highlights the applicability of simulation in healthcare. Through data that are often readily available in bed management tracking systems, the operational behavior of a hospital can be modeled, which enables hospital management to test the impact of changes without cost and risk.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

Keywords

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