Terminal planning by ISI-Plan - coupling of layout planning and simulation

Layout planning and logistics simulation have so far been used separately for the development and planning of logistics nodes. Layout planning software is characterized by an intuitive and cooperative application, but only allows static considerations. Simulation software, on the other hand, has the advantage that it allows the analysis of dynamic processes, but is less intuitive to use.

The goal of ISI-Plan is to combine both tools and thus to use the strengths of the tools, to eliminate the weaknesses and to realize synergy effects (e.g. reduction of the modeling time for the simulation model). A solution is to be developed that enables static layouts, created on a touch-sensitive and intuitive planning table, to be transferred directly into a functional dynamic simulation model with stored logistics strategies. In particular, these stored strategies are the main pillar of integration, as they represent the missing link between layout planning and simulation.

The planning software visTABLE® from plavis and the simulation software Enterprise Dynamics® from INCONTROL are used. The announced innovation leads to considerable time savings in the planning of logistic nodes, since usually simulation models for logistic nodes have to be created in elaborate detail work (based on the layout) by experts.

The integration of an intuitive visualization environment in the form of a planning table into the planning process enables the simple viewing and evaluation of different layout variants, even in a team. In this way, solutions that meet the criteria of the various stakeholders can be developed cooperatively in just a few iteration loops. The layout variants generated without great effort and extensive software knowledge can be evaluated automatically by event-oriented simulation, taking into account dynamic and stochastic influences of the real operational and typical work requirements. Users have various handling and storage strategies at their disposal, which can be selected when generating the simulation model. This creates a realistic representation of the terminal, which enables a reliable evaluation of the respective layout variant. Based on this uniform basis for discussion, further changes in the layout or planning steps can be discussed and agreed among the stakeholders. In this way, possible planning errors are prevented and the optimization of the planning is made possible right from the start.

Project duration  September 2017 until August 2020
Project sponsor Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Project partner

The project consortium consists of experienced industrial and research partners in logistics simulation and layout planning:

INCONTROL GmbH, plavis GmbH, Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services CML, TU Hamburg, Institute for Maritime Logistics, SGKV - Studiengesellschaft für den Kombinierten Verkehr e.V.

The consortium is complemented by the associated partners Sächsische Binnenhäfen Oberelbe GmbH (SBO) and TriCon Container-Terminal Nürnberg GmbH as operators of logistics nodes.