Visualizing your Shipyard with Shipyard AI

Shipyard AI, ProModel’s dedicated shipbuilding application, continues to evolve and develop new capabilities – With five software releases in 2019, desired improvements in shipyard capacity management, optimization, scheduling and process engineering have been realized.   In addition, there has been a heavy emphasis on improving management’s ability to visualize shipyard production at both the strategic and tactical levels, at a single glance.

Building on a Strong Foundation

Historically, Shipyard AI has provided solid data and process information in highly detailed representations.  The application has included the following key visualizations, which we’ve continued to refine and improve over the years.

The Laydown map provides a top-down view of the entire shipyard with animation showing the progress of ship construction over time.

Image_syai-visualiaztion-article-laydown-map

Capacity Utilization Package (CUP) reports visualize resource utilization over time.

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The Schedule screen features a Gantt chart representation of hull construction.

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The Unit Template Tree report shows a hierarchical breakdown of a hull into its component grand blocks, blocks, panels, etc.

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New Ways of Seeing the Shipyard

A recent emphasis on developing new types of visualizations is bearing fruit. This article introduces new ways of seeing the shipyard: the strategic Milestone Chart, the more tactical Location Resource View, and an updated Map Shapes editor.

Milestone Chart

A new Milestone Chart on the Hulls screen provides a strategic management view — visualizing the production of many hulls across long periods of time in a single view.

Image_SYAI Hulls Screen With Milestone Chart Nov 2019

Location Resource View

The Location Resource View report shows unit placements over time grouped by location.

This view allows you to interface with a unit and its dependencies in a single action, reducing the time needed and the possible introduction of errors. It provides a visualization of space in the shipyard over time to help you quickly make re-planning decisions.

Image_SYAI Location Resource View Report Nov 2019

Map Shape Editor

In an upcoming release, we’ll provide a map shapes editor to allow you to quickly add and edit unit shapes.

You can assign map shapes at the unit template level to have units appear on the Laydown Map with the correct shape.

Image_SYAI Map Shape Editor

See the What’s New Shipyard AI Webpage for more details on this year’s releases.

Process Simulator and ProModel Now Integrate with AutoCAD and Inventor by Autodesk

We are very excited to announce Process Simulator Autodesk® Edition and ProModel Autodesk® Edition.  Each product integrates with Autodesk® AutoCAD® and Autodesk® Inventor® to provide you a more valuable manufacturing plant design and process improvement capability.

For more information about Process Simulator Autodesk Edition, including videos, a downloadable pdf, and a 30-day evaluation copy go to the Process Simulator Autodesk Edition webpage.

For more information about ProModel Autodesk Edition, including videos, a downloadable pdf, and a 30-day evaluation copy go to the ProModel Autodesk Edition webpage.

If you are at the Autodesk University event this week (11/19-11/21) in Las Vegas stop by booth MFG210 to get a live demo and talk to our team.

Process Simulator 2019 SP3

Aaron Nelson Product Dev. Manager Process Simulator

Aaron Nelson Product Development Manager Process Simulator

We are excited to announce the release of Process Simulator 2019 Service Pack 3. This version of Process Simulator supports both 32 and 64-bit editions of Microsoft Visio 2016 and 2019. SP3 is for everyone. You will be prompted for an auto update when you sign into SP2 or earlier.

What’s New in SP3 ?

Ribbon Enhancements

  • Create and Install Package are now under More Tools within the Tools section of the ribbon.
  • Convert Diagram will now show on the right hand side of the tool bar only IF the file needs to be converted to a Process Simulator 2019 simulation model.

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Image_PCS2019SP3_MORETOOLS

  • Model Elements buttons can be toggled on/off. You can select a model element and the button will stay selected and can be deselected to close that Element window.
  • Resource Grouping is now within the More Elements dropdown of the Model Elements section.

Properties Enhancements

  • Process Simulator’s Properties window has been a great addition to Process Simulator 2019’s User Interface. We have now grouped essential processing elements together.
  • We have also added indicator icons to show which sections in Properties have additional information. These indicator icons will show for LogicMulti EntitySetupDowntimes, and Notes. If there is nothing in the section you will not see the icon.

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  • When you hover over Notes or Logic, the icon will display a preview of the contents of the section. Clicking the icon will now take you into the section as well.

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Model Compilation Speed Increase

Speed of Model Compilation after you select Simulate has been optimized. Benchmarking indicated a 125–135% improvement over Process Simulator 2019 SP2

How to Download SP3 ?

This product is available for download from the Solutions Café as well as our downloads site (just ask Support to send you a link).

If you have any questions, please contact ProModel Customer Support at 888-776-6633 or support@promodel.com.

Successful Implementation of FutureFlow Rx® at Seattle Children’s – A New Predictive Patient Flow Technology

Dan Hickman Avatar1

Dan Hickman ProModel CTO

I am jazzed about our FutureFlow Rx work with Seattle Children’s Hospital.  What a great group of people to collaborate with.  Check out the press release below and feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more about this new product – dhickman@promodel.com

Thanks, Dan

Seattle Childrens Logo

Integrated Discrete Event Simulation Census Predictor, Developed by ProModel Corporation, Facilitates Inpatient Flow and Access Management

SEATTLE WA, May 14, 2019 – ProModel Corporation announced the successful implementation of a new predictive patient flow technology called FutureFlow Rx® at Seattle Children’s (SC).

Members of the Enterprise Analytics Community at Seattle Children’s will be presenting their use case at the Advanced Analytics for Children’s Hospitals Conference on June 5-6 at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Seattle Children’s is a co-sponsor of this new analytics conference.

Seattle Children’s, like many other hospitals, faces challenges associated with capacity pressures and inpatient access. Demand for inpatient space often outstrips capacity, whether for physical or staffed beds.

SC leadership has established policy that scheduled elective surgeries must not be canceled due to capacity. Therefore, proactively managing inpatient capacity and staffing takes on even greater urgency in that context. In order to address this issue, they deployed a predictive-analytics solution for census estimation known as FutureFlow Rx®.

Seattle Children’s Quotes

“By providing accurate projections of staffing needs, FutureFlow Rx informs daily challenges faced by every hospital with timely and detailed information.” 

  • Susan Geiduschek, RN, DNP, Sr. Dir, Assoc. Chief Nurse, Seattle Children’s

 

“Integrating FutureFlow Rx into our Inpatient Access and Flow workstreams has really supported a smooth, functional, and most importantly effective process for proactively managing census during an especially challenging flu season. Diversions are down, and so is the general level of anxiety around decision-making. Fewer ad hoc huddles, more standard work with established guiderails and actions.”

  • Ruth McDonald, MD, Assoc. Chief Medical Officer, Seattle Children’s

 

Right Patient, Right Bed, Right Time

The functional goal of every hospital is to place the right patient in the right bed at the right time. Being the region’s only tertiary-care pediatric facility, it is paramount that SC maintain capacity to serve those children that cannot receive care elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Thus, they must carefully maintain capacity and ensure as few diversions as possible. Combining the FutureFlow Rx® prediction with an application designed by SC Enterprise Analytics staff, they can accurately estimate their ability to manage daily and predicted census, allowing them to proactively make operational decisions that address challenges with foresight.

ProModel Quote

“We are very excited to be working with a hospital as visionary as Seattle Children’s.  They were willing to look beyond what existed today, to determine if a patient flow improvement platform could truly help increase safe inpatient access for their young patients”  Dan Hickman – CTO, ProModel Corporation

About ProModel Corporation

ProModel Corporation is a leading provider of simulation-based, predictive and prescriptive analytic decision support solutions. A Microsoft Gold Partner, ProModel specializes in custom and COTS (Commercial-Off-the-Shelf) software and services to help organizations optimize processes, policies and resource decisions to best align with their business strategy.

Founded in 1988, ProModel has tens of thousands of users of its software globally, focused across the Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Government and Manufacturing & Supply Chain industries.

For additional information: ProModel Marketing 610-628-6842; healthcaresolutions@promodel.com

Predictive Variables, Artificial Neural Networks and Discrete Event Simulation in Manufacturing

Rebecca Santos

Rebecca Santos ProModel Tech Support Engineer

During my Master’s program at BYU, I worked with a team to complete my thesis.  The work turned into a published article by the International Journal of Modelling and Simulation!  Since I work for ProModel, it’s only appropriate that I share it with my fellow simulation enthusiasts.  Please let me know what you think by commenting below.

Discrete event simulation (DES) is a powerful tool that can help users make better decisions. Over the years tools such as ProModel and Process Simulator have been developed to simplify the application of simulation, decreasing the learning curve and increasing its use. One of the advantages of simulation is that it is able to create lots of data with valuable information. However, the data analysis process can be challenging and relevant information may not be fully analyzed.

Observing the opportunity to more fully learn from the data, we decided to use data mining algorithms to help in the data analysis process, and more than that, to guide the modeler to the variables that most impact the outcome of the system being modeled.

The data mining algorithm picked was Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) which has been good at learning from the data and making accurate predictions, according to the scientific literature. We applied ANNs to the data generated by the simulation model and we were able to create ANN models that could predict the simulation model results. The ANN models created were then interpreted and through the interpretation it was possible to rank variables according to their impact on the output results. This makes it possible for decision makers to know how to prioritize and where to place their investments.

Here is the abstract from the article:

This research used a discrete event simulation to create data on a shipment receiving process instead of using historical records on the process. The simulation was used to create records with different inputs and operating conditions and the resulting overall elapsed time for the overall process. The resulting records were used to create a set of predictive artificial neural network models that predicted elapsed time based on the process characteristics. Then, the connection weight approach was used to determine the relative importance of the input variables. The connection weight approach was applied in three different steps:

(1) On all input variables to identify predictive and non-predictive inputs

(2) On all predictive inputs and

(3) After removal of a dominating predictive input.

This produced a clearer picture of the relative importance of input variables on the outcome variable than applying the connection weight approach once.

You are welcome to access the published article at the journal’s website or the full original paper at the ProModel website.

 

Process Simulator 2019 – Released!

Aaron Nelson Product Development Manager Process Simulator

Aaron Nelson Product Development Manager Process Simulator

As ProModel’s new Process Simulator Product Development Manager, I’m really excited to bring you my first blog post in this position.

We launched Process Simulator 2019, our Microsoft® Visio ® plug-in, earlier this year which now supports both 64 and 32 bit Visio 2016.  We have added many other great features to this redesigned product. Check out the highlights below and get the full details on the What’s New page.

Visio 2016 64 and 32-bit support

Dockable Windows – We have redesigned all element property windows and tables and made them dockable within the Visio application work-space. This allows you to keep them open and out of the way so your diagram view space will be clear for quicker modeling changes.

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Find & Replace – Process Simulator now has its own find and replace capability, separate from Visio, which will search across its elements and objects only. It even automatically brings the shape into view and opens the associated property or field where the searched text is found.

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Model Compile – When you run your model, it is checked for errors prior to simulation. In this release, you are presented with a list of all errors, which allows you to quickly navigate to and resolve the issues.

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Referenced Hierarchical Models – Submodels now have the ability to be referenced in addition to their current capability of unique instances. This means that activities linking to the same submodel at different points in your diagram will send their entities to that exact submodel (not just unique copies of the submodel).

Activity Multi-Entity Table – We have added Multi-Entity functionality. This allows you to convert your existing models that use multi entity, and create new ones as well, without having to code the functionality using logic. In Shape Properties you can select Multi Entity and then Define.

In this initial release for our US and Canadian customers with current Maintenance and Support, you can get the download in the Solutions Café.  You can also access the Process Simulator 2019 What’s New webinar recording from the solutions cafe.  If you are not a current customer, please contact your Account Manager for details.

Process Simulator 2019 will be available to everyone later this year.  Please let me know if you have any feedback by leaving a comment below or contacting me directly. Thanks!  anelson@promodel.com

Univ. Texas Master of Public Health Program Teaches Lean Concepts With Process Simulator

headshot_prof michael kennedy 10-14-18

Michael H. Kennedy PhD, MHA, FACHE Assoc Prof & Chair Dept of Healthcare Policy, Economics and Management University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler

I was first exposed to ProModel simulation products as an alternative to GPSS-H when earning my doctorate in Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic University from 1988 – 1992.  I taught one simulation course as a graduate elective for the U.S. Army-Baylor University Graduate Program in Healthcare Administration soon after graduation.  Since then, I have employed MedModel as a component of several health administration courses, with simulation comprising approximately one-third of the course content.  Simulation modeling is a wonderful tool to reinforce concepts from statistics and probability such as the effects of random variation, practical application of probability distributions, and employment of goodness-of-fit testing.

After I arrived in January 2017 at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler to begin teaching in our Master of Public Health Program, I decided to revise my approach to teaching quality.  Previous iterations of my quality course had generally proceeded as follows:

image_kennedy blog chart 1

Content was taught face-to-face and students used their laptops to create process analysis tools and control charts with me in class.

My decision to include Lean in the quality course provided the opportunity to learn and teach Process Simulator, another ProModel product.  Process Simulator operates as an add-in to Visio.  I couldn’t think of a better way to teach flow than to have students build process flow diagrams in Visio and then to model the flow of entities through the system using Process Simulator.  The revised course proceeded as follows:

image_kennedy blog chart 2

The first process model was built after an introduction to M/M/1 queuing formulas in an exercise to establish the correspondence between queuing and simulation.  I modified a problem provided by Ragsdale (2004) to model Acme Pharmacy which has one pharmacist with the capacity to fill prescriptions from 12 customers per hour.  The pharmacy averages 10 customers per hour seeking to fill prescriptions.  Students used an M/M/1 Excel template to compute and characterize Acme Pharmacy operations and to record queuing formula and simulation results.  The Process Simulator model looked like this:

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The comparison of the first two columns of Table 1 between queuing results and simulation results confused me until I remembered that the M/M/1 queuing formulas represented a steady state solution.  An 8-hour run with 20 replications shown in the third column produced results more closely aligned, but not as close as expected.

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Table 1.  Comparing Queuing and Process Simulator Results                                                        Note – Expected times have been converted from hours to minutes.

An extended 2080-hour run and an 8-hour run after an 8-hour warm-up were also subsequently modeled to determine if those efforts to move the system towards steady state produced results more closely aligned with queuing formula results.  The results in the last two columns showed that to be true.

During the remainder of the course, Lean principles were reinforced with a variety of Process Simulator models.

Reference

Ragsdale, C. T. (2004). Spreadsheet modeling and decision analysis: A practical introduction to business analytics (4th ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.

About Dr. Michael H. Kennedy

Dr. Michael H. Kennedy, FACHE, arrived at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler on January 23, 2017 to begin service as an Associate Professor in the Department of Healthcare Policy, Economics and Management in the School of Community and Rural Health. He has 42 years’ experience in teaching and health services administration that have been divided between academic positions and operational assignments in the military health system as a human resources manager, equal opportunity advisor, ambulatory care administrator, and other positions of leadership culminating as the Chief Operating Officer of a small military hospital.

In past academic assignments, Dr. Kennedy has served as Director of the Health Services Management Program at East Carolina University, Director of the Doctor of Health Administration Program at Central Michigan University, and Associate Professor in the Health Services Administration Program at Slippery Rock University. Dr. Kennedy was also Deputy Director of the U.S. Army-Baylor University Graduate Program in Healthcare Administration where he was twice selected by the students as Instructor of the Year.

Dr. Kennedy is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.  He was appointed as Chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy, Economics and Management on September 1, 2018.