AnyLogic 8.7.7 — for better warehouse storage modeling

Introducing AnyLogic 8.7.7. In this release, we have enhanced the Material Handling Library with updates to storage functionality.

AnyLogic users will know that the RackStore, RackPick, and RackSystem blocks of the Process Modeling Library, as well as the PalletRack markup element, are used when modeling warehouses. In this release, we've reimagined them and now present you with the latest version in their continuing evolution.

Quickly draw large-scale storage areas

The new layout element Storage lets you easily draw a whole warehouse:

  1. Adjust the dimensions of the first rack using the graphical interface,
  2. Switch mode to Number of racks is calculated based on dimensions,
  3. Pull the edge of the markup element (as illustrated below)

AnyLogic will auto-fill the drawn area with shelving racks. Likewise, new shelving cells can also be automatically created.

Alternatively, you can set the size of the Storage element to match the storage area being modeled and then specify the number of racks it should contain. AnyLogic will then automatically fill the area with the specified number of racks.

Creating rack shelving using the Storage element
Creating rack shelving using the Storage element.

Simplified construction of customizable intra-warehouse transport networks

To ease building a transport network where resources and transporters move along specified paths, we have added the button Create storage network to the Storage element. When you click on it, AnyLogic automatically draws a network of paths between the racks. These paths easily connect to networks already in the model. Please note that if you repeat the action, AnyLogic will redraw the network, while the old network will also remain in place.

Using transporters for rack loading and unloading operations

New Store and Retrieve blocks in the Material Handling Library allow you to select transporters and resources from the Process Modeling Library for storage and retrieval operations. Cell reservation, transportation, and the loading and unloading of agents in the warehouse are performed automatically within new blocks.

New Store and Retrieve blocks
New Store and Retrieve blocks.

In the new version, we have two types of racks: the Selective rack and a Drive-In rack where agents can load or unload. Rack filling starts from the deepest cells, and the filling order differs depending on the type. Learn more in AnyLogic Help - Storage.

Slotting Policies in Drive-in Storage — This model demonstrates how different slotting policies can be used to put agents inside Storage.

Option to exclude cells from the regular structure of a rack

Using the deactivateCells() API function, you can exclude one or more cells from the regular warehouse structure. In this case, the cell will not be subject to the operations of reservation, placement, and withdrawal. Also, the cell will not feature in the calculation of statistics. This can be useful if the warehouse has an irregular structure — for example, part of a rack blocked by a pillar.

For more information on the new changes, see AnyLogic Help Release Notes.

The current Storage version is only the first iteration of a much larger release to come, and its functionality will continue to improve. We still have many ideas to simplify and improve the process of building warehouse models.

Our immediate plans are to fully cover the functionality of the old racks from the Process Modeling Library — for example, adding pairwise (back-to-back) placement of shelves and significantly expanding the API of the StorageSystem block. Therefore, in this new version, we are keeping the old warehouse systems and the corresponding blocks and markup elements can be found in the palette of the Process Modeling library.

But go ahead! Update, experiment with new warehouse modeling functionality, and write about your impressions and expectations regarding the future functionality in the comments!

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