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Is warehouse simulation useful?

Current Situation

There is an ongoing project to improve the conveyor system, which already exists in the current warehouse for 10 years. The site has engaged a consultant to look into the project. He proposes an upgrade which will cater to the volume growth and new requirements.

How can we verify the proposal?

How can you ensure that the proposed change will address the current issue and not cause a bottleneck in any part of the conveyor system?

Unless a simulation is done, I do not think there is any way to analyse this suggestion.

There are various simulation software in the market currently. Most of them are commercial ones which come with a hefty price tag and steep learning curves.

One free simulation software which I come across is JaamSim. This is an open source software which builds upon the discrete-event simulation.

I have tried using it myself. Although there is a learning curve to it, with some time and effort, you should be able to understand the basic concept on the usage.

For most simulation software, as the saying goes, “Garbage in, Garbage out”. Incredible amount of data are required to be input into the model. Often, the simulated results are weird and do not mirror real life situations.

One advantage of this software is the minimum data required to run a simulation. On top of that, you are able to change any of the variables and re-run the model again. The visual movements of the simulation also helps you to understand better the entire situation, unlike some software which run the simulation in the background and only populate the end result.

With the capability of modelling a warehouse in 3D, plus the enhancement of VR, and now the usage of simulation software, you should be able to leave a deep impression on your client regarding the new warehouse layout.