Computer simulation overview

Advances in technology invariably lead to construction of systems with additional layers of complexity being wrapped around more primitive but equally complex sub-systems. In the future, these systems may then, in turn, become sub-systems of larger, even more complex, super-systems. Simulators provide a means by which such abstract and real-world systems may be understood and evaluated by duplicating the behavior of these systems through hardware and software.

A computer simulation is a computer program that uses computation to construct a representation of the behavior of a particular system over time. In other words, computer model is a digital twin of certain object or process in the objective reality and computer simulation is putting this digital twin into an action.

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Tracking manufactured element status using barcodes

A pre-cast element factory in Liepaja manufactures approximately 100 elements (hollow-core slabs, precast walls and columns, staircases) in a single day. All the manufactured goods are stored in 10’000 m² warehouse next to the manufacturing plant. The warehouse is divided in multiple named zones to easily locate the final production when it is necessary.

When a pre-cast element is manufactured it is move to one of the zones in warehouse. The zone name is registered and entered in manufacturing planning information system (ALTO 4.0 ERP) manually. It is an error-prone and time consuming job – loaders have to make a hand written note for each element and then managers have to enter this information in system’s database.

Part of warehouse in pre-cast manufacturing plant

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Using simulation for problem solving

UPB Group has a lot of interesting business cases where simulation has helped to achieve better performance results. For the first simulation use-case, Alto 4.0 decided to begin with the prefabricated concrete production. Based on our experience, there are two main problems which we try to solve with the simulation.

Our main business is in Scandinavia, but the prefabricated concrete factory is located in Latvia. We use ships to get all the prefabricated concrete elements across the Baltic see. There is always a dilemma connected with this kind of delivery – a) should we book all the ship with our products, b) should we deliver our products with smaller batch deliveries. Case A puts huge pressure on our prefabricated concrete factory’s warehouse, case B, on other hand, is a huge challenge for our logistics team.

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