Logistics simulations put the future in perspective
Is your logistics operation future-proof? The digital era is opening up new opportunities within logistics, but new challenges too: higher expectations and growing volumes demand more effective use of today’s – and tomorrow’s – logistics systems and processes. Logistics simulation enables you to look into the future and preempt many potential problems – whether it is a matter of expanding a warehouse, designing an AGV system, determining the best buffer levels or optimizing inventory parameters. Thanks to logistics simulation, you receive a detailed and quantitatively based insight into the cold, harsh reality.
Logistics advice based on simulations
At consulting firm Groenewout, we have a number of simulation tools that enable us to provide our customers with the right help and advice about even the most dynamic and complex logistics processes. Within logistics, simulation can be applied in several ways, including:
- Optimizing the design for a distribution center
- Fine-tuning control parameters for mechanized systems
- Emulation: testing control parameters and software
- Projecting distribution networks
- Optimizing inventory levels and production batch sizes
- Scheduling manufacturing processes
Simulating logistics for Forbo Flooring
In order to give you a sense of our consultancy’s approach involving logistics simulation, we are pleased to outline the project we completed for our client Forbo Flooring. Forbo Flooring is a manufacturer of high-quality floor coverings, with factories in The Netherlands, France, UK and Switzerland. Forbo Flooring asked us to simulate a logistics situation in connection with improvements to one of its existing distribution centers. Rolls of linoleum manufactured on site were transported from the factory to a palletizing station by monorail. Pallets containing rolls are now collected by an AGV (automated guided vehicle) and taken to an automated pallet crane which stacks the pallets in the high-bay warehouse. If a customer orders a roll, the pallet containing this roll is retrieved by the crane. The AGV then transports the pallet to a picking station, where an operator uses a lifting aid to remove the roll from the pallet. The roll is then transported onwards and the pallet is returned to storage. In the old situation, manned forklifts were used instead of AGVs. We first created a simulation to determine how many AGVs were necessary to achieve the desired output. After the AGVs had been operational for a year, the simulation was used again to project growth scenarios.
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