Simulation as a Tool for Resource
Tarek M. Zayed and Daniel W. Halpin (Purdue University)
The decision-making process is a very essential part of any construction operation. Simulation can be used as a tool to assist construction managers in making informed decisions. In this paper, simulation is applied to a Concrete Batch Plant to analyze alternative solutions and resource management. Data is collected to define activity durations for the plant. A simulation model is constructed for the plant using the Micro CYCLONE simulation system. Based on sensitivity analysis, management tools are constructed to help the decision-maker. These tools are a Time-Cost-Quantity chart, a feasible region analysis and a contour lines chart. Time-Cost-Quantity and contour lines charts are used for deciding production time, production cost and required resources for a required distance from the plant. The feasible region chart is used for deciding the range of alternative solutions that can be taken to minimize production time and cost of the available plant resources according to the required transportation distance.
Simphony - An Integrated Environment for Construction
Simaan AbouRizk and Yasser Mohamed (University of Alberta)
This paper discusses “Simphony?as an integrated environment for building special purpose simulation tools for modeling construction systems. Simphony provides various services that enable the developer to easily control different behaviors in the developed tool such as simulation behaviors, graphical representation, statistics, and animation. These services allow building flexible and user-friendly tools in a relatively short time. The developed tools (templates) then provide the building blocks that a user (construction engineer) can use to create simulation models for different construction domains without the need for a deep background in simulation techniques. The services available for the developer are discussed and examples of their use are illustrated. Samples of the tools developed with Simphony are also reviewed to highlight some of their features.
Simulation of a Production Plant in the Brick
Erwin Rybin (Austrian Research Center Seibersdorf) and Felix Breitenecker (Vienna University of Technology)
The paper deals with a simulation study on a planned production plant in the brick industry. We implemented this plant in TAYLOR II. Although the boundary conditions seemed relatively simple, we had to manage a complex, non-linear system. For this reason we implemented “dynamic priority” to the main part of the system, the travelling crane. Still this sophisticated logic was not enough to guarantee good operation, because in some situations the system runs out of capacity. We then gave recommendations how to improve the situation for a perfect operation of the production system. For this purpose we finally made an analysis of the necessary investment costs against the running costs caused by system breakdown.
Javabeans-Based Framework for Construction
Anil Sawhney, Hemant Deshpande, and André Mund (Arizona State University)
The modeling and analysis of construction processes is gaining recognition in the construction industry. Recent developments such as Java-based simulation are giving a unique opportunity for improvements in the modeling and analysis of construction processes. Component-based architecture such as JavaBeans can be used to develop modular simulation environments supporting high reusability of software components. This paper describes a prototype component-based architecture for construction simulation. It highlights the work performed by the authors in using JavaBeans for the simulation of construction processes.
Optimizing Earthmoving Operations Using
Mohamed Marzouk and Osama Moselhi (Concordia University)
This paper presents an automated system for optimizing earthmoving operations. The proposed system can assist earthmoving contractors, during bid preparation stage, in estimating the time and cost required in order to accomplish the task at hand. It also provides a methodology for recommending the most suitable equipment fleet that satisfies the job requirements and the stated objectives of contractors. The system consists of four components: 1) simulation module; 2) equipment cost application (ECA); 3) equipment database application (EDA); 4) reporting module. The paper provides a brief description of the system and focuses primarily on the design of the simulation module utilizing object-oriented simulation (OOS). A numerical example is presented to demonstrate the use of the developed system and illustrate its capabilities.
3D Visualization of Simulated Construction
Vineet R. Kamat and Julio C. Martinez (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University )
Significant advances have been made in the field of construction process modeling. However, no convenient graphical support tools exist that can depict the modeled operations in 3D. This results in the “black box” effect being experienced by many simulation output analysts who have reservations about the credibility of the analysis based solely on the text and chart based output provided by most simulation software. The process visualization/animation tools currently available commercially are restricted to two dimensions (e.g. PROOF(TM)), inherently lacking in the real world 3D capabilities that are indispensable for the realistic visualization of many construction operations. This paper describes ongoing research at Virginia Tech that focuses on the development of a general-purpose, 3D text file-driven visualization system. This system enables visualization of both the construction processes and the evolving products in 3D. The input to the program is an ASCII text file consisting of sequential animation commands. This file can be generated automatically by a variety of simulation software capable of writing formatted text during simulation runs. Due to the flexibility of the command set and the independence of the tool from any particular simulation modeling software, the system has numerous potential applications in fields other than construction, such as in the manufacturing and service industries.
Object-Oriented Technology for Enhancing Activity-Based
Jonathan Jingsheng Shi (Illinois Institute of Technology)
Computer simulation is a powerful tool for analyzing and optimizing real-world systems with a wide range of successful applications. However, construction engineers have difficulty in mastering such techniques, particularly in modeling a construction process because existing simulation modeling methods require the user to manipulate many modeling elements in order to construct a simulation model for the process. The activity-based construction (ABC) modeling method provides an easy-to-use approach with one single element, e.g., activity, for modeling a construction process. This paper discusses the integration of the object-oriented technology with ABC. The object-oriented technology allows each activity contain six classes of attributes describing the characteristics of the activity including duration, logical sequence, resource requirement, etc. These attributes are relevant to individual activities, and can be easily understood by an engineer who is familiar with the process. After incorporating these attributes, powerful modeling and simulation functions are realized. The integration greatly enhances the capability of ABC so that the enhanced ABC system has achieved both flexibility and ease-of-use essential for a construction simulation system.
An Industry Perspective on the Role of Equipment-Based
Govindan Kannan (Volvo Construction Equipment NA), Luc Schmitz (Volvo Construction Equipment N.V.) and Christian Larsen (Runge Pty Ltd.)
Over the last two decades, simulation of construction operations has gained momentum in its ability to provide solutions and understand complex problems. However, there still remains a distinct gap between its role in the academia and the industry. This gap is not necessarily due to the strategy – process interaction or activity scanning – but in the orientation towards application. The success of a simulation program lies in harnessing the collaborative features within a complex pattern of hierarchical levels and user groups. For this purpose, simulation is classified into macro and micro-level. User groups vary from manufacturer to supplier, and to the owner (contractor). The purpose varies from designing machines and components, to sales and customer-support, and to process design and improvement. The functions of a simulation program must facilitate decision-making for each user group that can be only achieved by the integration of micro- and macro-level simulation. In addition, the role of simulation will constantly evolve with the advent of emerging technologies. In this paper, the authors present a discussion on the role of simulation in e-commerce from the perspective of construction equipment industry.