Material Handling System Simulations

See your system in its entirety before it's ever constructed

Computer simulation analysis helps visualize changes in layout and process as well as answer what-if questions before implementing automation technology, information management systems, or procedural changes.  Computer simulation models can be used to help evaluate potential new automation investments or even changes to current operations.  Results of a computer simulation can help determine throughput rates, the number of employees needed to pick orders, design problems, and system bottlenecks.

Bastian engineers use Demo3D and AutoMod® for model development on warehouse simulation projects. Demo3D and AutoMod® have CAD-like functionality to define the layout to scale with 3D virtual reality animation for an accurate graphical representation of the system.

Interested in simulation services or want to know more?


What is a Simulation?

A simulation model:

  • is a discrete event, stochastic model of a real or proposed material handling system
  • allows to "look ahead" and perform "what-if" scenarios
  • solve various operation problems such as equipment layout, asset or resource utilization, etc.
Conveyor Robotic Simulation

Bastian Robotics system simulation


Benefits of Simulations

  • Risk mitigation and cost avoidance – a better understanding of the overall financial and operational risk inherent in a project will lower contingency planning costs for both the customer and supplier.
  • The ability to challenge “what if” scenarios
  • Increased confidence in the final design meeting operational performance measures
  • The ability to analyze expected throughput capability
  • The identification of process bottlenecks for continuous improvement
  • The ability to measure cycle time for specific activities
  • The ability to study the dynamic interactions within the facility
  • The ability to determine optimum staffing levels in each area
  • Avoid costly mistakes – verify design and ensure the material handling system will meet your current and future needs
  • Aid in choosing the right material handling system – aids in choosing the right material handling equipment in the design phase
  • Validate material handling system design – existing or new designs
  • Help with integration to existing systems – ensure complete integration with existing material handling systems
  • Provide in depth understanding of your system and business operations – provide insight into your operations
  • Establish and verify labor and manning requirements
  • Experiment – see how changes to one area of your system affects other areas

Simulation process

Step 1

  • Project initiation
  • Kickoff meeting
  • Assignment of committee members
  • Begin data collection process

Step 2

  • Assumptions document
  • Continue data collection
  • Objectives of the model
  • Detailed operation description
  • Input data requirements
  • Project schedule
  • Experimentation to be performed

Step 3

  • Base model development
  • Automod programming
  • Detail conveyors and equipment
  • Detail resource utilization methodology
  • Processes black-boxed
  • Animation for transport systems

Step 4

  • Base model validation
  • Verify model execution against assumptions document
  • Hands-on demonstration
  • Initial data summaries reviewed for accuracy

Step 5

  • Model experimentation
  • Run experiments detailed in assumptions document
  • Test key system parameters
  • Identify potential problem areas

Step 6

  • Model review
  • Create base line configuration
  • Present and review initial findings
  • Present alternative concepts
  • Select best alternative

Step 7

  • Optimization of design
  • Minor system changes
  • Present draft final report

Step 8

  • Final report
  • Deliver final presentation
  • Includes recommendations
  • Comprehensive

Simulation implementation

Small Systems - $5 - 10K

4 - 6 week duration

Medium Size Systems (Typical) - $20 - 30K

6 -10 week duration

Large Systems - $30 - 50K

10 - 16 week duration

Robotic Simulation

Robotic Simulation


Simulation resources


Related literature

Partial client list

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Anheuser-Busch logo
Dicks Sporting Goods logo
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Interested in facility layouts & warehouse design or want to know more about it?