Using the Separator
In this video, we’re going to show you how to use the separator object in your FlexSim model.
Start by adding two sources, a combiner, a separator, three conveyors, and a sink and arrange them like you see in the video. Connect the topmost source to the combiner and then the bottommost source to the combiner, and then connect the rest of the objects downstream to the sink. Double-click to open the properties window of the topmost source (or use its Quick Properties) to choose Pallet from the FlowItem Class drop-down menu. If what we’ve just done seems foreign, or if you’ve never used the combiner object before, watch our video on using the combiner.
Let’s turn our attention to the separator. Double-click on it to open its properties window and click on the Separator tab. This tab dictates how we want the separator to function, either by unpacking items or splitting them. We’ll demonstrate the Unpack feature first, so make sure the Unpack radio button is selected and click OK to close the window.
Click the Reset button and Run the model. The separator will receive a pack of items, consisting of one pallet and one box. Upon completion of the separation process, the pack is separated into its base items, with the pallet going to one conveyor and the box going to the other. By default, the container object, in this case the pallet, will exit the conveyor through output port 1, while the items packed onto the container will all leave through output port 2. Stop the model and we’ll demonstrate the other function.
We’re going to make another system right underneath the one we already have. Drag out a source, a separator, a conveyor, and a sink, and connect them to form a downstream flow from the source to the sink. Open the separator’s properties window again and go back to the Separator tab. This time, click the “Split” radio button; this will have the separator split an item into multiple items. We will need to change the Split/Unpack Quantity because the default option “Entire Contents” will only work for unpacking.
You can type a number into this field if items will always be split into the same quantity, or you can choose the split quantity based on an item type or a label value. Click the drop-down menu to choose By Expression, then use the down-down menu for By Expression to select item.Type, which corresponds to each item’s Type value. Click “OK” to close the window.
Now we can set the item type. Double-click on the source and go to the Triggers tab. Click the green plus sign to add OnCreation trigger logic, and then click the green plus sign for the OnCreation trigger to choose a behavior; select Set Item Type and Color from the Data section. Change the numbers within the parenthesis from “1, 3” to “2, 6,” then click Reset and Run the model.
You’ll see different colored boxes enter this system and be split into multiple boxes of the same color. The number of resulting boxes will depend on the item type: for instance, blue boxes have an item type of 3, so they will be split into three items.
Thank you for watching. For more information on FlexSim products or to view more tips and tricks for successful modeling, visit www.flexsim.com.