Flexsim

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FlexSim
Developer(s) FlexSim Software Products, Inc.
Stable release 7.3.6 / October 10, 2014 (2014-10-10)
Operating system Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
License Proprietary
Website FlexSim product page

FlexSim is a discrete event manufacturing simulation software developed by FlexSim Software Products, Inc. The FlexSim family currently includes the basic FlexSim simulation software and FlexSim Healthcare Simulation (FlexSim HC). It uses an OpenGL environment to realize real-time 3D rendering and it is declared to be the only simulation software that incorporates a C++ IDE and compiler in the graphic modeling environment.

History[edit]

FlexSim was founded in 1993 by Bill Nordgren (Co-Founder Promodel Corporation, 1988), Roger Hullinger, and Cliff King, originally under the name F&H Simulations, Inc. F&H Simulations sold, supported, and conducted training courses for Taylor II simulation software [1] – owned and developed by Holland's F&H Simulation B.V (F&H Holland). In 1998, F&H Holland developed the first generation 3D object oriented simulation engine Taylor ED (Enterprise Dynamics). F&H Simulations assisted with the development of robust objects for use in Taylor ED. In 2000, F&H Holland was acquired, and F&H Simulations became independent and was continued by Dr. Eamonn Lavery and Anthony Johnson. F&H Simulations, Inc. changed its name to FlexSim Software Products, Inc. and started to develop its own 3D simulation software, known now as FlexSim.[2] FlexSim 1.0 was released in February 2003 and the software has been in constant development since then. The most recent of FlexSim release is version 7.3.6, released on October 10, 2014. FlexSim HC was later developed for healthcare simulation.

The FlexSim Software Products, Inc. headquarters is located in Orem, Utah, U.S.A.

Application and Uptake[edit]

As general purpose simulation software, FlexSim is widely used in many fields:

  • Manufacturing:[3] Production assemble line,
  • Logistics and distribution:[4] Container terminal operation, supply chain design, distribution center work flow, service and storage layout, etc.
  • Transportation:[5] Highway system traffic flow, transit station pedestrian flow, maritime vessel coordination, custom traffic congestion, etc.
  • Others: Oil field or mining process, networking data flow,[6] etc.

FlexSim is used by many large companies engaged in simulating for different applications. These include manufacturing companies, such as Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, Boeing, Michelin, etc.; logistic companies, such as FedEx, DHL, APM Terminals, etc.; transportation companies, such as Norfolk Southern, etc., and many others.[7]

Main Features[edit]

Program Structure[edit]

FlexSim uses object-oriented design as its software structure. FlexSim objects [8] are defined and programmed in four classes: fixed resource class, task executer class, node class and visual object class.

  • Fixed resource class: these are the major objects of the simulation which determines the flow of the simulation model (objects include the source, queue, processor, sink, conveyor, etc.);
  • Task executer class: the objects inherited from this class obtain tasks from the objects inherited from the fixed resource class and assign the tasks to other objects (objects include the operator, transporter, etc.);
  • Node class: the objects inherited from this class are used to design the working route of objected inherited from task executer class (objects include network nodes and traffic control);
  • Visual object class: the objects inherited from this class are used to display and collect the input/output messages (icons, diagrams and tables).

Drag and Drop Controls[edit]

Users can build the model by dragging and dropping the abstracted, predefined 3D objects from different classes to layout, link and functionalize the model. For the senior users, the entire dragging and dropping procedures can be realized and the object parameters and behaviors can be modified using both FlexScript and C++ programming languages.[9]

Additional Features[edit]

ExpertFit[edit]

The "ExpertFit" Distribution-fitting software was developed by Dr. Averill M. Law, who is widely recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on simulation and distribution fitting.

ExpertFit has the most comprehensive set of features:[10]

  • Allows you to use 40 different distributions.
  • Provides more than 30 high-quality graphs and four technically correct goodness-of-fit tests.
  • Allows multiple distributions on a plot.
  • Batch-mode capability for analyzing a large number of data sets.

Expertfit is included free with every full Flexsim license.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ William B. Nordgren. "Taylor II manufacturing simulation software". In Proceedings of the 27th Conference on Winter Simulation, IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 401–404, 1995.
  2. ^ FlexSim online company history website
  3. ^ Erol Gelenbe, Hatim Guennouni, "FlexSim: A flexible manufacturing system simulator", European Journal of Operational Research, Volume 53, Issue 2, July 25, 1991, Pages 149–165.
  4. ^ Liu, Miaomiao; Dong, Mingwang (2008). "The Simulation Technology of Port Container Logistics System on Flexsim". ASCE Conference Proceeding 330: 2547–2552. doi:10.1061/40996(330)376. 
  5. ^ Wang Weiping, Zhao Wen, Zhu Yifan and Hua Xueqian, "Survey on the Object oriented Simulation Method", Journal of National University of Defense Technology, 1999-01.
  6. ^ Pierre G. Paulin, Faraydon Karim and Paul Bromley, "Network Processors: A Perspective on Market Requirements, Processor Architectures and Embedded S/W Tools", Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, p. 0420, 2001.
  7. ^ "Simulation Wall of Fame". FlexSim.com. FlexSim Software Products, Inc. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ Garrido, Joés M. (2009). Object Oriented Simulation. Springer. ISBN 978-1-4419-0515-4. 
  9. ^ William B. Nordgren. “Flexible simulation (Flexsim) software: Flexsim simulation environment”, Proceedings of the 35th conference on Winter simulation: driving innovation, 2003.
  10. ^ "Distribution-Fitting Software". Averill M. Law & Associates. Averill M. Law & Associates, Inc. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 

External links[edit]