1.) How long has Simcad Pro been on the market?
The first version of Simcad Pro was released in February of 1996. Since then, and through customer feedback, CreateASoft successfully added most of the requested features. For that reason, Simcad Pro features list is customer driven and contains the required capabilities to handle today's complex business world.
2.) Is Simcad Pro industry specific?
Simcad Pro is a process based tool, and is designed to support all process based environments.
The client base for Simcad Pro ranges from manufacturing and automation, to healthcare and banking, including document flow, robotics, logistics, lean implementation and sales applications.
3.) How long would it take me to effectively learn Simcad Pro?
Simcad Pro has a very intuitive user interface similar to most Windows based applications. Moreover, since Simcad Pro does not require coding, learning to build the models is quick.
Some of our clients have used a 2-Day training program to be proficient in Simcad Pro, while others decided to learn it on their own and built extensive models without training.
4.) How fast can the animation be created? How does the animation depict the state of the simulation engine?
Building the models within Simcad Pro is graphical with no coding requirement. The models can be easily customized to allow each product, process, resource, with their own set of entities that are continuously tracked during the simulation.
After the simulation starts, the animation shows the exact state of the engine, so that the simulation can be traced through time if needed. In fact, the animation environment serves as a validation tool to every model built.
5.) How complex is it to build an animation of the simulation, once the model has been created?
The animation is automatically generated both in 2D and 3D. There are no additional steps required except for specifying locations of buffers and in- process objects. Besides that, the animation is automatic.
6.) The parts we produce contain special properties and parameters, can Simcad Pro support the additional properties?
Each Process, Connection, and Object within Simcad Pro can be assigned additional properties. Moreover, groups of objects can be defined based on type or content.
7.) We have a high mix environment, our routing tables can change constantly, how does Simcad Pro support such an environment?
The real time Dynamic Data Connectivity plays a major role in supporting the High Mix operation. In such an environment, the routing tables are loaded from ERP systems or external sources and can be modified outside the model. The model then dynamically updates based on the new imported routing tables. Moreover, the routing tables can change during a simulation run if needed.
8.) Do I have to code in Simcad Pro? Is the interface a front end to a coding environment?
Simcad Pro allows you to build the models graphically and without writing code. Moreover, the user interface does not generate code either, a feature that is only available in Simcad Pro. Hence, the user will never become overwhelmed with the dreaded experience of the code being out of sync with the model, having to learn a new programming language, or the nuisance of forgetting to recompile after each change.
Simcad Pro's patented interface to the engine allows it to provide unprecedented capability to build models graphically and dynamically effect the changes on the simulation engine. Moreover, Simcad Pro enables you to make changes to the model during the simulation run. This feature enables dynamic optimization that allows you to quickly find the optimum solution and perform proper planning.
9.) Do I need to change the model every time a routing change or I add a new product route?
Simcad Pro also includes a Dynamic Value Network Map that is created based on the simulation data. The Dynamic VNM provides the capability to analyze the impact of multiple value streams.
10.) Does Simcad Pro contain a model validation tool? How can I be confident that the model built represents my operation?
Simcad Pro, contains a number of model validation tools to help in model creation:
-- The animation environment provide a visual flow based on the state of the simulation engine. The displayed state guarantees that every object, resource, and carrier are moving as needed.
-- Simcad Pro notifies the user if an object is not routed correctly, or if an object arrives at the wrong process. This validation aspect is constantly running to make sure that the model is performing properly.
-- Analysis reports are available to help in validating the model.
-- Simcad Pro has the ability to load historical data and retrace the model behavior.
Through Simcad Pro, users can load a complete month of objects and schedules in the same sequence as they occurred in the real world environment. At the end of the simulation run, generated results data can be compared to the actual data collected for validation. Performing such a validation eliminates the effect of curve fitting algorithms on the input data set.
11.) How can model building be simplified? Does Simcad Pro allows for module loading?
Simcad Pro has the ability to load pre-built modules and to create new modules for later use. Any model built with Simcad Pro can be converted to a module so that it can be used in other models.
Another application of the module implementation, is the ability to combine multiple models built by different members of the team. Each team member can build a section of the model, optimized and improved. All models can then be combined together to show the full implementation. Changes to one module can then be reintegrated in the complete model to study the effect on the overall operation.
12.) Can the models built, be expanded to support larger operations? If so, how does Simcad Pro provides that?
Simcad Pro has been successfully used in large models to simulate different scenarios and forecast the growth potential of production entities. Growth scenarios of adding a plant to the model is simple as a copy/paste operation with the model dynamically updating based on the new changes. Moreover, the capacity increase can be performed during a simulation run, therefore, showing the impact of availability of new plants and distribution centers on the overall operation.
From the simulation engine perspective, Simcad Pro utilizes threading techniques that helps it benefit from the new advances in microprocessor technology. By utilizing these methods, Simcad Pro's runtime environment is scalable with the processing power provided and will benefit from multiprocessor PCs available on the market today.
13.) How does Simcad Pro handle large models?
Simcad Pro, developed by CreateASoft, is a leading edge process simulation environment designed to effectively simulate and analyze today's complex environment. Some of the key features of Simcad Pro is its adaptability to different environment and its ability to integrate, in one model, all aspects of the operation from logistics and transportation, to manufacturing and paper work tracking.
With Simcad Pro, each process within the model can be expanded to include its required set of detail. Processes can be nested to add constraints and functionality, in addition to the capability that allows individual cells to be simulated in their own unique environment.
Simcad Pro also includes dynamic data connectivity that allows it to interface with Excel or databases to setup an initial state, load initial data and routing information, and monitor and update changes while the simulation is running. As an example, a number of plants and distribution centers use Simcad Pro in conjunction with RFID systems to constantly forecast potential bottlenecks and limitations dynamically.
Simcad Pro also supports a multitude of statistical distribution (user customizable) for timing and rate creation distributions. Simcad Pro reporting capabilities provide results in grid or chart formats as needed and during the simulation run. All generated data can also be exported dynamically to the leading statistical packages for additional analysis.
Building the models within Simcad Pro is graphical with a no coding requirement. The models can be easily customized to allow each product, process, resource, with their own set of entities that are continuously tracked during the simulation.
14.) Does Simcad Pro include the capabilities to analyze the data from multiple runs?
Simcad Pro contains a Data Analyzer to compare multiple runs of the same model. As an example, during a Monte Carlo simulation of 100 runs, Simcad Pro generates a data set for each run. The Data Analyzer is then used to view the data generated by all runs, and the relationships between the runs. All additional user properties can be collected and analyzed.
15.) Can Simcad Pro track changes and does it allow me to compare multiple models?
Simcad Pro has a built in Change Tracker that dynamically tracks and time stamps every change made on the model. Based on that, users can generate a report of all changes made to a specific model. Moreover, Simcad Pro contains a model compare capability that generates the differences between 2 separate models. Comparing multiple models can also be accomplished graphically by loading multiple models and generating key metrics for dynamic comparison as the simulation is running.
16.) Is Simcad Pro Simulation Software object oriented? If it is not, how is modularity built into it?
Yes, Simcad Pro is object oriented and allows you to build reusable modules. Any model can be converted to a module that can be reused either on the top level or in any cell or layer within the model. The number of layers that you can have is unlimited.
17.) Can user defined objects (i.e. resources with specific properties) be created and reused?
All objects, resources, carriers, processes, connectors can have custom properties. Each object instance, for example, carries its own set of values for its properties. Objects can also be grouped/ungrouped at any point during the simulation as Simcad Pro remembers the content of the object and can recreate the exact object and its component if needed.
18.) Does Simcad Pro allows for external changes of constraints? If so, how is that accomplished? Can the constraint change during the run?
One of the key features of Simcad Pro is that model constraints can be modified during the simulation run. The change can be effected by the user through the graphical user interface, or through an external application forcing the change. After the change is made, the model data collection engine can be reset so that the generated results reflect the new model. This feature eliminates the need for constantly waiting for a steady state or warm up period for the model. Moreover, the model can be dynamically optimized and improved at a much faster pace.
19.) Can Simcad Pro be controlled from external applications? Can Simcad Pro interface to other controls?
Simcad Pro has a built in interfaces that allows it to be controlled by an external application. As an example, an Excel based spreadsheet can control a simulation run and set parameters into the simulated model, run the simulation and extract the data into another Excel worksheet.
Moreover, Simcad Pro has the ability to call other applications during the model run. For example, during a simulation run, and if a certain condition occurs, Simcad Pro can initiate an email message, signaling the potential problem. Based on that example and the dynamic data connectivity, a number of Simcad Pro models have been integrated into the planning and scheduling department to constantly forecast the future performance and signal the person in charge if a potential problem is detected.
20.) Can Simcad Pro Simulation Software communicate with C/C++ or Java? Which mechanism is used for this purpose?
Simcad Pro can communicate to any DLL or ActiveX control through a built in VBScript engine. The VBScript is compiled in the background and is available on an as needed basis. Simcad Pro does not generate any code from its user interface to communicate to the engine.
21.) What platforms does Simcad Pro Support? Can it run under Linux, Unix, or a MAC?
Simcad Pro is a Windows based application and will not run on a Unix or Linux platform. Simcad Pro will run on the MAC under a Windows emulator.
Simcad Pro will benefit from Hyper Threading Processors and requires a minimum of 512MB of RAM. If 3D Graphics are needed, a hardware acceleration board will help in increasing the system performance.