Precise infrastructure modelling
Unlike other tools, Villon's infrastructure model is not based on simplified (schematic) approach. Villon's infrastructure model is accurate and respects all important physical properties (such as shape, length, diameter or slope) of infrastructure elements (e.g. tracks or roads). The data needed can be obtained either directly from a DXF data format (import utility) or even from paper plans that have been scanned and vectorized. For additional editing and corrections of the infrastructure, specialised editor is at hand. The infrastructure model contains also information about signalling equipment and additional structures, e.g. buildings, platforms, retarders, etc. In order to support 3D visualisation, the infrastructure model can be extended with additional required data (e.g. heights of elements, terrain shape).
Individual Modelling of Resources
Villon's modelling of resources is not limited to the infrastructure only (as many other tools are), it enables individual (single entity level) modelling of stabile (infrastructure, storage places) as well as mobile resources (e.g. personnel, engines, trucks). Resources are modelled individually, respecting their working hours, professions and other properties. The status, position and utilisation of resources can be inspected any time during the simulation run (using automatically updated live inspectors) or afterwards using post-simulation statistical reports.
Detailed and Flexible Modelling of Operation
Definition of operating procedures in Villon is realised utilising network charts (flowcharts, also called technologies) that are assigned to each customer of the system (e.g. train, truck). Flowcharts are composed of activities, which represents single tasks executed during serving of customers (e.g. moving, loading, resource assignment, brake testing, storing etc.). Villon contains a set of predefined template activities (more than 30) which cover the whole spectrum of functions found in operation of transportation terminals. Each activity has distinct set of parameters and resources that are required for its execution. The succession and mutual dependence of these activities in a service process is defined by the shape of the flowchart. This approach makes the modification of serving procedure of customers very flexible – user can modify parameters or resources, change mutual dependency of activities (change the network chart drawing) or even exchange the whole technology at once (simply by assigning another technology from the list of defined technologies).
Besides animated output of modelled activities in 2D or 3D presentation (the user can see elements moving on the scene), Villon offers also the presentation of the execution status of serving procedures. User can immediately recognise current state of the attendance; colour coding makes it possible to distinguish between already executed activities, activities being executed right now and activities which will be executed in the future. Villon also provides a set of post-run evaluations that makes it possible to analyse executed operating procedures, e.g. PERT analysis or visualisation of critical path.
Microscopic Modelling of Transport processes
When it comes to the modelling of transportation processes, Villon goes down to the microscopic level. Vehicle movement is modelled utilising continuous simulation with the help of differential equations. The computation takes into account the engine power characteristics as well as the parameters of the infrastructure, the vehicle is moving on (e.g. curve diameters, slopes, maximum speed allowed, etc.). Rules of transportation are also strictly followed - trains respect the occupation of tracks, the interlocking system (e.g. 3-sign, 4-sign automatic blocking system) and signals positions, cars obey the traffic rules, etc.
Modelling of Multi-modal Systems
Villon's modelling abilities encompass rail, road as well as special (e.g. cranes) transport modes, respecting their distinct properties. In a single simulation model, all supported modes can be combined in order to evaluate their mutual interactions (e.g. blocking of road crossings by trains, occupation of shared unloading slot by trucks). This enables, for example to completely model the transportation processes inside a production facility including factory sidings operation (trains, locomotives), road traffic (trucks, fork-lifters, cars) and also other transportation (AGVs, cranes, transport bands).
Extensive Evaluation Possibilities
In addition to the detailed interactive 2D or 3D run-time animation of most simulated processes, Villon offers (during the simulation run) various tools for exploring the attributes of simulation entities (statuses of resources, positions of trains, cars, etc.). After the simulation run, extensive set of post simulation evaluations is at hand - these are based on detailed simulation trace recorded during the simulation run. Besides graphical presentation of simulation results using time dependent reports on utilization of resources, waiting times, etc. (see image), statistical evaluations are also provided, in the form of tables, graphs and charts (including PERT analysis of flowcharts describing operational procedures, resource utilisation statistics and many others). Villon also offers the chance to export all collected information to the XLS file for further processing using spreadsheet editor.
3D Animation of Simulated Processes
Animation of modelled transportation processes as well as other serving processes (e.g. brake testing) during simulation run is an integral part of Villon. The animation can be presented in a top view 2D (either GDI based or hardware accelerated, based on MS DirectX) or 3D environment (DirectX only). The environment is fully interactive (mouse object picking) and freely explorable (any camera position or viewing angle; even driving on vehicles is possible). Besides detailed infrastructure and vehicle models, the scene can be enhanced with models of station interiors, buildings, terrain, signs, signals as well as trees.
Modelling of Storage Systems and Passenger Transportation
Villon supports modelling of storage systems found in production facilities, warehouses, logistic centres and other transportation systems. Even though this area is not Villon's primary focus, zonal storage, material warehouses or automatic storage systems can be modelled, in order to amend the simulation models of transportation logistic terminals. Modelling of passenger transportation is also not a problem - vehicle (train, tram or bus) occupation rate, required capacity of stations, platforms or bus stops as well as number of passengers transported during specified time period can be easily investigated utilising Villon's support for storage systems modelling.
|Brno Main Station Junction|
|Verification of significant infrastructure changes in part of the junction in relation to planned changes in train flows.|
|Verification of internal coil transport and storage proposal (utilising AGV on a circular route and cranes) in newly designed steel production facility.|
|Simulations of industrial sidings processes within BASF – minimizing operation costs; investigating the operation during infrastructure rebuilding stage.|