Modeling & Simulation

VTC uses leading edge tools to validate the basis of design before constructing any baggage handling system or passenger screening system. By using AutoMod to model a system, we can provide the stakeholder with a physically and technically accurate 3D visualization of the entire system. This helps the client understand what the end result will look like and how it will function.

Most importantly, discrete event simulation modeling is used as a reference for expectations about sortation and overall system performance. By compressing time, we can show several hours of system operations in just a matter of minutes. This approach exposes subtle interactions and side-effects that would not be obvious in a purely mathematical model. Points of congestion/dwell/dieback are easily identified.

By using advanced modeling tools, VTC provides a programming interface to controlling a conveyor system. This method helps identify whether issues can be solved programmatically or mechanically (requiring re-design). It also allows testing of various sortation strategies (e.g. merge window sizes and priorities) and the resulting system performance. Additional advantages include:

Provides advanced statistical modeling tools.

    • Allows testing with more sophisticated random distribution methods that reflect “real world” situations.
    • System can be modeled using historical flight schedules, future flight schedules, or special circumstances (e.g. Thanksgiving, Superbowl).
    • Substantially better than “rule of thumb” calculations which typically use just an average to predict results.
    • Much easier way to get end-to-end performance of the system by simply running 10,000 bags through and “seeing what happens.”

Provides simple methods for evaluating partial and full failure events.

    • Baggage jams at turns, merges, diverts, etc. can be modeled to reflect “real world” physics.
    • Effects of merges, diverts, etc. on bag orientation can be visualized.
    • Effects of multi-point failures easily visualized; nearly impossible to do this without simulation.
    • Easy to identify where the system might be “brittle” so that this can be designed out.

When we compare our models of systems created during design to the subsequent actual systems after implementation, historically, our models have proven to be within 4% of actual throughput performance.  We strongly believe that our ability to model systems accurately aids our design process and ultimately saves our clients both time and money.