This project is related to the operations in a set of warehouses. The focus of the project was related to the movement of people and equipment in the warehouse. The equipment are forklifts, pallet jacks, and AGVs that are responsible for moving materials within the warehouse. Moreover, there are trucks that are responsible for transporting materials to the warehouse. In addition to the normal flow of people in the warehouse, there are also production lines where the operations of people are concentrated. The client was concerned with the safety of the personnel, so the main objective of the project was to be able to define the most critical areas of intersection between people and equipment. Moreover, it was also important to understand bottleneck locations where congestion of equipment might occur.
To solve the problem, a simulation model was built in AnyLogic using discrete-events as the modeling technique. Architectural drawings were used to prepare the layout of the warehouse in Anylogic using the wall element to represent actual walls and other obstacles and nodes to represent rooms and work areas. Both the material handling library and the pedestrian library were used to represent the flow of equipment and people in the facility.
One of the challenges of this project was that the movement of the equipment had to be free (no specific paths) but at the same time there were certain locations that each type of equipment had to avoid. This was solved by using free space for the movement of the transporters, but additional walls and restricted nodes were added to limit the movement freedom of these transporters and guide them to certain paths without actually using path-guided type movement. To specify zones of safety concern, the area of the warehouse was divided into small zones (meshes) and raw info about the passage of people and equipment through certain areas of interest were exported. The client also asked for the possibility of defining these areas of interest dynamically through an excel sheet instead of defining them as nodes in the model.
The client was able to identify critical safety areas and was able to propose modifications to the warehouse layouts to reduce both safety and congestion problems.
Industry: Manufacturing, Safety
Duration: 3 months