Here are some of the latest features and improvements you’ll discover in FlexSim 2021.
First, you’ll notice that all new models start with a Model Parameter Table and a Performance Measure Table, which can both be found in the toolbox. These are some neat little additions that should make model-building and experimentation more meaningful. In a nutshell, these tables provide a place to define the inputs and parameters in your model, and also the performance measures you’re interested in. For example, you can define how long a process takes and then reference that parameter all over your model as needed with a few simple clicks—or set up a reference for throughput by quickly sampling the Sink to get its input.
These tables directly lead to some improvements to the Experimenter and Optimizer. These tools normally require you to define parameters with rules or constraints, and performance measures to consider in the evaluation. While in the past you had to define these when developing the experiment, these values are now automatically pulled in from the Model Parameter and Performance Measure Tables. You can simply leverage the parameters and performance measures you’ve already thought through as you planned and scoped out your model—no need to double-up on work.
The Model Parameter Table also enables another new addition. In just a few clicks you can make a Parameters Table Dashboard, which is a simple GUI using your parameters. And since you can reference your model parameters all over the place, this two-click GUI is a really easy way to help even the newest FlexSim users interact with your model.
In the data and statistics area, we’ve added the Empirical Distribution Tool, found in the Toolbox under Statistics. We’ve noticed that many models are being driven by sampling real data instead of trying to fit that data to a curve, and the Empirical Distribution Tool was developed to make that process easier. You can paste directly into the Empirical Distribution table or utilize FlexSim’s Excel tool to import your data into it. It’s also been integrated into FlexSim’s picklist options, so you can simply select “Empirical” from the list of Statistical Distributions.
There is also a new Web Page Tool in the Toolbox that allows you to create HTML interfaces in your model. This will allow you to build up a set of web pages that can be used as the “web interface” for your model when using the Webserver, and should be useful if you want to leverage cloud- and web-based technologies in your simulation projects.
One of the most significant additions in FlexSim 2021 is a brand-new standard object, the Mass Flow Conveyor. This object will be extremely useful in a variety of modeling applications, including food and bulk goods manufacturing, bottling, material handling, and much more. Check out our video on the Mass Flow Conveyor to learn more about this powerful feature.
For people-based modeling, we’ve added a checkbox to the Remove Person activity called “Remove Statistically Only.” This removes the person from the model statistically—the person and their tokens remain in the model, but the person is hidden and does not count towards the model census. For healthcare applications, an example would be a situation where the patient leaves the building, but the provider still has tasks to do that are related to that patient, such as paperwork. So that patient still needs to be part of the patient flow logic, but they’re out of the model and no longer part of the census. You’ll need to use another Remove Person activity later to completely remove this patient from the model.
Thanks for watching, and we hope you enjoy FlexSim 2021!