In the third edition of “What’s New in AnyLogic 7?” I am excited to explain the capability of AnyLogic 7’s new Process Modeling Library, to support the “pull” protocol of working with entities.
Start by taking a look at the simple model below, built in AnyLogic 6, a conveyor that begins with a service point. The entity on the conveyor has to free the space set by the distance between entities parameter, for the new entity to enter the conveyor. The conveyor cannot receive the next entity until the first one moves.
In the Enterprise Library of AnyLogic 6, an entity is pushed out of the block as soon as the service in the Delay block is over. If a queueOut block is not placed there, an error will intermittently occur. As in the real world, an entity doesn’t leave the service point until the space is freed. Therefore, a Hold element needs to be added to block the incoming entities from entering the service point. It’s crucial to block the incoming entities each time an entity enters queueOut (onEnter field), and unblock it when an entity frees the space (onExit field).
As you can see, a very simple model consisting of a service point and a conveyor requires four blocks and additional custom logic. In a real life production facility there are dozens of such services combined with conveyors, making it necessary, as model builders, to change the situation.
Now, in the new discrete event library the “pull” protocol is turned on by default. The result, two flowchart blocks stand for two real-world objects with all the logic of the processes completed by the Process Modeling Library.
You will also find the 3D animation in AnyLogic 7 is implemented almost automatically. The standard palette incudes more than 300 objects grouped by industries. Below is a screenshot of a quick model I built using the Pipe Corner object and one of the CNC Machines.
“Pull” protocol is a very useful feature for modeling in manufacturing, but for those modeling business processes, the “push” protocal is more natural. One of the main goals in developing AnyLogic 7 was increased flexibility for modelers, so both types of protocols are available for your modeling needs. See the picture below, only one click is needed to turn the “push” protocol on!