Detailed Factory Dynamics

LineLab uses mathematical models to model factory dynamics and complex part flow behavior. We extended and enhanced queueing theory to handle various aspects of part flow common in real-world industrial settings. This includes re-entry flow, feeder lines, shared systems with different products and routing, batching, pulsed and flow lines, nested cells, and parallel processing and batch processing within cells.

Capture Complex Production Systems

LineLab can easily capture and model the following aspects:

  • The relationship between variation, queue sizes and utilization of workstations or production lines - and, if applicable, reliability, quality, and/or downtime. These mathematical relationships build upon the large body of research that makes up queueing theory, the "gold standard" to modeling the behavior of queueing systems.
  • Kanbans or constant work-in-progress: LineLab can model cell-based systems with a fixed number of part carriers or fixed number of kanbans. LineLab can also determine what the optimal number should be, for any system complexity, and any number of different types of kanban tokens.
  • Re-entry flow: LineLab accurately captures if parts or products need to undergo rework or follow split routing paths.
  • Feeder lines: LineLab captures any complexity of feeder lines. The critical path is usually stochastic due to variation. LineLab can determine what the critical path should be, and what probablities are at play, and what average waiting times and schedule offset would be optimal to minimize unit costs overall.
  • Product mix and shared routing: Often different products share workstations, queues, and part carriers. Several product variants may also be co-produced. LineLab accurately models complex systems with resources shared in different ways, and makes modeling these complex systems quick, concise, and transparent.
  • Batching: LineLab supports modeling batch processing, which is common in many manufacturing environments. It accurately represents the behavior of batched production and its impact on the overall system dynamics. It can also optimize batch quantities.
  • Pulsed and flow lines: alongside cell-based production systems, where parts can queue between workstations, LineLab can also model pulsed lines and flow lines. This versatility allows for accurate modeling of diverse production systems.
  • Nested cells and parallel processing: LineLab can model nested cells, e.g. stations with one loading device and multiple chambers. Additionally, it can represent parallel processing within cells, where multiple operations occur simultaneously, enabling accurate representation of complex manufacturing processes.

By addressing these funamental challenges, LineLab provides a comprehensive modeling solution that goes beyond traditional simulation approaches. It offers the ability to capture and simulate complex production dynamics with high accuracy, transparently modeling the impact of "hidden factory" effects, making it a valuable tool for optimizing various variables and supporting early-stage system planning.

In research, LineLab's accuracy was proven - with an error of just 0.64%. That means that in models with high equipment utilization, LineLab may be more accurate than a discrete-event simulation with at least 400 repetitions.

Additional Capabilities

Another significant innovation is LineLab's use of an internal optimization solver, which can directly handle its rich analytical models of factory flow. This enables LineLab to optimize various parameters, such as workstation counts and capacity, in a single solve. Unlike traditional simulation tools that require going back and forth between different models and spreadsheets, LineLab streamlines the process into a single solve, saving time and effort. Learn more

LineLab also offers the ability to handle parametric inputs, making it useful for early-stage design and model-based systems engineering. Additionally, it allows for the inclusion of arbitrary constraints, such as maximum flow time between stations, which is unique compared to other simulation methods. Furthermore, LineLab provides a complete sensitivity analysis that quantifies the impact of each input, providing transparency in modeling production and operations systems. Learn more

Erfasst komplexe Systeme

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Produktmix

Die Einführung eines neuen Produkts in ein vorhandenes System oder von Varianten desselben Produkts kann zu verstärkter Zeitvariation bei gemeinsam genutzten Ressourcen führen. LineLab hilft die tatsächlichen Kosten für ein zusätzliches Produkt bzw. neue Produktvarianten zu einem bestehenden System zu verstehen, auch im Hinblick auf zunehmende Komplexität, Variation und Pufferanforderungen.
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Wiedereintrittsschleifen

In Branchen wie Halbleitertechnik müssen Teile oft mehrmals dieselbe Maschine durchlaufen, wobei der Wert jedes Mal zunimmt. Gemeinsam mit operativen Zusammenhängen ergibt sich ein hochkomplexes System. LineLab kann dabei helfen, solche hochkomplexen Systeme mit hoher Wertschöpfung vorherzusagen und zu optimieren.
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Erfassung von nichtlinearem Prozessverhalten

Spritzguss, Gießen und die wichtigsten Prozesse in der Halbleiter- und Biopharma-Herstellung sind in ihren Prozesszeit- und Energieverbrauchsberechnungen hochgradig nichtlinear. LineLab’s einzigartige Technologie ermöglicht es diese nichtlinearen Beziehungen perfekt zu erfassen. So können zur Erreichung von Produktmerkmalen und -qualität benötigte Prozesszeiten bestimmt, und die übrige Fabrik in einem einzigen System gemeinsam optimiert werden.