Manufacturing & Service Industries


Is a new Industrial Revolution taking place? Quite possibly, yes. New tools to build smarter, leaner factories and explore innovative new products, materials, and techniques at a lower cost are emerging. Additive manufacturing, next-generation electronics, and advances in materials are upending the traditional manufacturing floor. How do you adjust?

Digital technology - simulation in particular - affords engineers and manufacturing professionals the ability to try out new technology and accelerate manufacturing innovation in novel ways never thought possible before.

ExtendSim Suite ExtendSim AT

Procter & GambleProcter & Gamble (P&G) has used ExtendSim to "model all product lines - from soap to nuts" for design of equipment and production lines, scheduling, commerce, quality, etc. The models they build are used to interface with engineers who are not necessarily simulation experts, but can use if for analysis and design. Production LinesUltimately becoming simulation experts while using it because of ExtendSim's design. DTE EnergyA huge model for DTE Energy that covered field, shop, office, and supply chain functions relating to electric metering equipment was built in ExtendSim in just 6 short weeks. Management was wowed by the animation level of the ExtendSim model during demonstrations. But the results were more impressive. With this model, DTE was able to predict the effects of potential regulations, weather, labor rules, and staffing levels. Complete Factory ModelsThe model accurately predicted the type, number, and severity of problems that resulted a year later!
Sales ToolA major medical laboratory automation equipment producer sends its sales forces out to client sites with ExtendSim models to customize equipment for customers so the customer can see the proposed new equipment on their floor. This has dramatically increased the rate of sales successes. Lab Equipment ProductionThen, the customer can use these same models to replicate their operations and explore opportunities to improve testing processes in lab analysis. Reliability EngineeringDow Chemical Company performs reliability modeling in ExtendSim to identify and understand the impact of different failures on overall production capabilities in chemical plants. The model is used for understanding the key equipment components that contribute towards maximum production loss and for analyzing the impact of change policies, such as the installation of new equipment or an increased stock level for failure-prone components. Dow ChemicalA Failure Summary Report provides information for further phases of the analysis.


ExtendSim in Manufacturing

Inventory and resource management.

Managing Six Sigma/Lean initiatives.

Scheduling and capacity planning.

Procedure evaluation.

Monte Carlo modeling.

Capital investment analysis.

Throughput and cycle time.

Predict operational characteristics of projects.

Measure average wait time and length of the queue.

Batch and campaign sizes vs one-piece flow.

Line balancing and routing changes.

Speed prediction of a new motor in a robotic vehicle system checking its performance under varying conditions.

Who is Using ExtendSim

Los Alamos National LaboratoryFor over two decades, P&G and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have collaborated in reliability engineering to create a proprietary set of tools (which includes ExtendSim) to understand the dynamics driving the production systems and provide solutions to accelerate throughput and productivity results.Reliability and throughput have increased 30 to 100% while scrap has been reduced by 20 to 50%.

Grayrock & AssociatesGrayrock & Associates LLC helped executives at an injection modeling plant determine if more equipment and an expanded space would be needed to meet increased production demands. The model substantiated that throughput could be increased by 25% without plant expansion or capital expenditures.

Polar MohrPrinting equipment manufacturer Polar Mohr developed a model that shows the productivity of their machines in a variety of applications. Sales engineers use this ExtendSim model to demonstrate the advantage of their equipment to their customers.

Johnson & JohnsonJohnson & Johnson commissioned the OpStat Group to create a simulation model which would examine current operations and develop solutions for the future for one of its large pharmaceutical plants. The model allowed the company to pre-test process changes and assist in the selection of techniques as part of a Lean Six Sigma program. The scope evolved from improvement and capacity projects to becoming integral to the ongoing planning and management process. Ultimately significant benefits ensued -- better utilization of personnel, accelerated delivery of value-added projects, and improved accuracy and timeliness of planning information -- allowing plant and supply chain management to evaluate options for sourcing and capacity within the plant and across the supply chain.

A Fortune 100 Consumer Products Company saved $1 billion across its operations by improving manufacturing reliability. Thus, allowing the company to introduce technology at a faster pace.

Crutchfield CorporationWorking as a team, Crutchfield Corporation, a major consumer electronics catalog and Internet retailer, and Rust Management Technology used ExtendSim combined with ExpertFit to develop and validate a distribution center process simulation using Six Sigma techniques. Using insights developed through the simulation, Crutchfield Corporation estimates that it will save 15 to 20 times the cost of the project in the first year after deployment.

An automotive equipment manufacturer optimizes the design of its suspension systems by comparing a model’s simulated results to real-time data transmitted by sensors on automobiles.

A New Zealand pulp and paper mill models their integrated pulp mill, recycle facility, and sack kraft machine to determine the optimum mix of products and grades for specific economic conditions. This mill now boasts bleached softwood kraft production costs in the bottom quartile worldwide.

A polyethylene producer looked to determine the size of the intermediate tank between the ethylene production and its later polymerization. The tank allowed to free the two sectors of the production when one of them stopped for lack of supply or raw materials or flaws in the equipment. Incremental sizes of the tank allowed a bigger independence between the processes with a concrete increase of the PE production; this trade-off (size/cost of the tank vs. expected incremental outcome) was subject to scrutiny using simulation, allowing to feed a complementary economic analysis.

An industrial company wanted to determine the optimal use of a worker serving a pool of 6 (six) wiring machines. The purpose of the study was to assign more tasks to the same person because the demand of attention of machines did not consume the entire person's available time. Surprisingly, the recommendation coming from the simulation model was to add a second worker to the same sector. This would result in a very low use of manpower, but a very important increment of the machines' output due to the interference of the flaws of the different machines along time, causing two or more machines were stopped waiting of the attention of the crew.

IBM & OlympicsIBM Global Services Australia built a print distribution model in ExtendSim to determine delivery times, resource requirements, duty rosters, and capacity to meet Service Level Agreements during Summer Olympic games.

$100 million annual savings by an international paper manufacturer who used ExtendSim to improve the effectiveness of their capital investments.

A tobacco manufacturing plant in Augustow, Poland built an ExtendSim model to support the triplication of production volume within a five year time period as an answer to the entrance of Poland in the European Economic Community.

ExtendSim has been used to model wing production for 737s.

PCB and semiconductor facilities.

Consumer product manufacturers.

Aerospace operations.

Case Studies Case Studies

Rio Tinto Billet Casthouse Design
Gwenola Jaouen
Aluminum International Today, July/August 2011

Designing a casthouse for billet is a complex activity. The billet casthouse must be properly sized to optimize the metal flow, and continuously feed the homogenization shop, while bearing in mind that oversizing adds no value and is costly. To solve this problem, it is necessary to accurately analyze the operations of the casthouse in real time and this requires a discrete simulation model.

Gwenola Jaouen of Rio Tinto Alcan Smelter Technology in Voreppe Cedex, France developed an ExtendSim model containing a library that includes all the necessary equipment: conveyors, continuous and batch furnaces, and finishing stations. The model was used to design an expended casthouse which requests the management of complex product mixes and which challenges the robustness and flexibility of the installation. By combining this model with the metal flow sizing model, it was possible to validate the performance of the design and its impact on casthouse operation. This resulted in a shop designed for customer needs, at optimal cost.

TMS 2011Project details were presented at TMS (The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society) 2011 Annual Meeting & Exhibition in March of 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California.Download pdf

Lean Manufacturing Focus on Lean: Simulation Technology
June 6, 2006 APICS eNews
Jim Curry, OpStat Group, Inc.

Brief introductory article discussing the key element in lean implementation: simulation. Simulation has been used successfully in factory floor improvement, inventory management, capacity analyses, and process design. Benefits such as the following are not unusual.
  • Postponing final packaging results in 30 percent inventory reduction with substantial service improvement to more than 97 percent.
  • Shift/work center change allows reduction of staff from 7 to 6 days per week.
  • Adding staff to a bottleneck work center reduces overall number of workers by 10 percent
  • Synchronized operations reduce cycle time from 18 to 13 weeks.Download pdf
  A Lean Analysis Methodology Using Simulation
Jim Curry, OpStat Group, Inc.

This paper presents a case study where simulation was used to convert from a manufacturing resource planning (MRP) based push process to a demand-driven pull process in a single plant operation factory floor. Simulation is a software program that allows one to visually see and measure how processes perform over time, including materials, information and financial flows, and how probabilistic variables impact them.Download pdf
Procter & Gamble Improved Manufacturing Processes Save Company One Billion Dollars, October 12, 2011

Procter & Gamble partnered with the Energy Department's Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in the 1990s. LANL scientists helped P&G engineers develop simulations to improve the reliability of P&G's complex production lines. P&G's 150 facilities worldwide saw a 44 percent increase in plant productivity and 30 percent increase in equipment reliability since they started using the software.

The pairing of the lab and corporations' data led to the creation of simulation software called Reliability Technology in 1993. With the software, engineers can configure both the machines and their maintenance schedules based on reliability. In addition, engineers could foresee and possibly avoids product jams, intervals of a component breakage or variations in a machine speeds. In other cases, engineers could triage the production line. Large-scale implementation of the technology helped save P&G $1 billion in manufacturing costs, according to Procter & Gamble. These cost-saving benefits are applicable towards production lines across the manufacturing sector.Go to page...

Applied Mechanics and Materials Modeling and Simulation of LED Manufacturing Process with ExtendSim
Yinhui Ao and Zhenxin Wu, Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Guangzdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
Applied Mechanics and Materials (Volume 109), October 2011

LED (Light Emitting Diode) has many excellent features as a new lighting device and has been widely used by far. The structure and light-emitting principles are introduced in this paper. The LED manufacturing process is explained and shown dynamically. A processing line is modeled and simulated in ExtendSim. The simulation result is analyzed and the processing line is balanced. Throughput is improved with the simulation.Go to page...
Grayrock & Associates What is the DAM Problem with Scheduling?
Gray McQuarrie, Grayrock & Assocaties
The PCB Magazine, July 2013

"Some years ago I walked into a PCB facility that was making very complex HDI product, but wasn’t making any money. By focusing on con- straining the WIP (CONWIP), identifying and focusing on the production bottlenecks to help develop a scheduling paradigm, working side by side with the operators to devise their own rules for dispatching jobs, and implementing a pro- duction pull system using Kanbans, profitability soared, WIP was reduced by two-thirds, and the standard production lead time decreased from 15 to four days with one-day quick-turns." Click here to learn more.Download pdf
MASM Simulation Model Analysis of AMHS with Area Elevators for an 8 inch Wafer FAB
Dr. Donald W. Collins, Luc D’Arcy Collins, and Bob Franklin
Conference on Modeling and Analysis of Semiconductor Manufacturing 2002

Fabrication illustrationLogic and assumptions used in building a simulation model of an Automated Material Handling System (AMHS) for an eight inch Wafer FAB are presented in this paper. The ExtendSim model built for this project includes the ability to make changes to the area stocker layout, number of area stockers, number of loops, number of cars, and/or the number of Lot moves. This model is used to determine if the Area Stockers can handle the quantities of Lots per hour required by From-To-Table "customer" requirements.Download pdf
Food Engineering Virtual Engineering's New Frontier
Kevin T. Higgins
Food Engineering Magazine - August 2001

Packages that accurately emulate the hybrid processes that characterize food and beverage manufacturing are making simulation more than just a snazzy presentation tool for upper management. Virtual Engineering's New Frontier describes users roughing out their production and packaging lines on screen to gain insight into the dynamics of their lines and where and why bottlenecks occur.Download pdf


Play VideoExtendSim Discrete Event Tutorial - Car Wash

The key to discrete event modeling is the construction of a flow diagram using blocks to represent the problem's operations and resources. The most common discrete event model involves the handling of one or more waiting lines or queues, such as those found in supermarkets, factories, banks, etc.


Play VideoA Case Study in Analytical Simulation - Estimating the Performance of a Complex Manufacturing Plant Design Using Analytical Simulation
Ben Twomey MSc., MIMC


Play VideoFactory Model

Created by Grayrock & Associates, this video is a companion video to the February 2014 PCB "Solving DAM Problems" column. It shows you just how detailed you can go with a model and gives you just a taste of the types of questions you can ask and analysis you can do.


Play VideoFinite Plant Capacity Model

Gray McQuarrie, president of Grayrock & Associates, uses a discrete event model built in ExtendSim to look at issues of dealing with finite plant capacity. He also touches on design of experiments and neural networks.