Table of Contents Hide
Have you heard of simulation? If you’ve ever wondered how simulated modeling works, and why it matters, this is the place to be.
For most people, simulation means something completely different from what we will address in this article. Simulation modeling helps solve real-world problems with efficacy and safety.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about simulation. Keep reading to learn more.
What Exactly Is Simulation?
A simulation is an animated model that attempts to mirror an action or operation of the existing/proposed system. For example, the function of an assembly line, day-to-day bank operations, staff assignments in a call center.
In premise, the words hold the entire meaning. Simulation simulates real occurrences in real processes. On another instance, if you were to take a client in a store when they get to the checkout and all of their applicable behaviors. Also including whether or not an employee is busy or available. Or if there’s a queue of four people and then add more customers. You would be able to see what would happen on a busy Sunday evening.
Using this information, you can decide how many staff you need to employ. And you will even find out that you can predict the behavior of the supply chain of factories. Each of which is responsible for their own employees and product lines.
By simulating the behavior of each process component as it communicates and interacts with other components, you can comprehend the entire system and its performance. Thus, you will be able to develop new ways to improve upon what already exists.
Why Use Simulation Modeling?
As mentioned earlier, simulation models help solve real-world problems with efficacy and safety. It allows you to inference analysis that is easily understood, communicate, and verified.
Simulation modeling creates solutions by providing definitive insight into complex processes. The simulation encourages experimentation based on a valid representation of a system in a digital format.
Unlike physical modeling, where you would make a scale copy, simulation modeling is entirely digital and uses equations to resolve problems. The software provides an interactable environment for the intricate analysis of computing models while they are running. Not to mention the ability to view them in various dimensions.
The business world utilizes simulation in a myriad of ways. But it is primarily attributed to conducting an analysis of real systems in which regular analysis is impractical and even impossible.
Application of Simulation
The capability to analyze a model as it is running sets simulation apart from all other methods. Such as linear programming and excel. By being able to analyze processes at the moment, trust, and understanding of a resolution is built quickly.
Here are some examples of application.
In Electrochemistry, research might be occurring upon a next-generation battery technology. They use simulation to design nano-scale materials that increase battery capacity, improve longevity, reduce charging time, and enhance safety.
In Telecommunications, simulation is used to design 5G telecom equipment. Starting with station antennae for maximum range, and ending with coverage solutions for moving vehicles.
In Geology, simulation is used to understand mathematical relationships between rocks, soils, subterranean structures. Geologists can predict the effects of earthquakes on the surface area that would be shaken
In Optics, simulation can be used for determining the optical properties of materials. Even those known as metamaterials, which consist of nano-scale design surfaces. This allows engineers to design and test new lenses for a variety of applications.
What Are the Benefits of Simulation?
Simulation modeling in all disciplines can realize a multitude of benefits for the organization that employs its use.
And the main benefits are:
- Realistic testing scenarios
Physical prototypes do not work in all conditions. Simulation has no practical limit on the operating scenario, thus allowing modeling and testing of implicitly anything.
- Shorter testing/design cycles
Being able to re-test and modify virtual designs without spending excessive time or money is critical. Before building an actual prototype, you can find the best design and settle on it virtually.
This means that simulation has a full advantage over traditional modeling. Such as forecasting, optimization, and data analytics. These approaches theoretical and based on assumptions on behavior. Whereas, the simulation does not need assumptions. Because an applicable mathematical model will allow you to determine how behavior will occur exactly.
Challenges of Simulation
Simulation modeling is not perfect. If the limitations of the model are not understood, then you find yourself stuck with a false sense of security that all of the results are 100% reliable. This can be disastrous in many ways.
Here are the most common issues of simulation.
For a complex system, especially those that use SOLIDWORKS simulation or FEM, a designer has to often make decisions that trade-off between computing power/time and accuracy.
A model that requires extreme detail will require significantly more time and computing time before being available. Nevertheless, cloud computing is making this exceptionally affordable, so it’s not that big of a deal.
Some models have well-defined equations that describe the behaviors in the process. In other occurrences, designers might not have sufficient bodies of research to construct a mathematical model.
In this case, the equations will be based on guesswork and very little empirical data. This means that the validity of the model is questionable, to say the least. Thus, the simulation will suffer from reduced reliability.
Using false parameters will lead to false results. Not to mention, in some cases a single parameter is not a single number. But it can be a range of values across a distribution of other metrics.
This variability if not addressed will lead to unreliable and disastrous models.
Simulation for You
Now that you know what simulation modeling is. You are well on your way to doing what you must with this newly-acquired information. As you can see, modeling has varied application potential in practically any industry and discipline, especially business.
Anyway, if you’re interested in these types of topics, go through our industrial categorical filters at the top of the page. We’re sure you’ll find something else to read.