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#1 Posted : Thursday, May 14, 2015 3:55:08 PM(UTC)

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Erik Singer

- I have used simulation software in the past, specifically Arena when I was in college. I am now looking to bring in simulation at my current company and wanted to find out how the two compare.



Hi Eric, I would be happy to discuss some of the differences between Simcad and Arena. First and foremost, the technology that the software are built on is completely different. Here’s a list of key capabilities that are unique to Simcad Pro, and how Simcad’s capabilities compare with Arena: • Simcad Pro has a patented user interface that does not generate code as the models are built. While there’s an optional VB scripting environment for customization as needed, the vast majority of models require no coding. o In contrast, Arena requires the user to write and modify code in order to create accurate models. While there is a drag-and-drop interface to start the models, accurate behavior requires extensive coding. Many behaviors that are provided out-of-the-box with Simcad have to be coded into Arena. • Simcad Pro provides a single interface to build, analyze, simulate, and animate both in 2D and 3D.

All changes to the model are automatically updated visually and behaviorally. o Arena requires the user to build the model multiple times in a process flow model, a coding environment, and a separate visual environment. These three environments are all disconnected, so updates to one do not necessarily update the other. As a result, you can end up with visuals that do not really reflect the behavior of the model, and it can be very difficult to troubleshoot problems, since you have to work with multiple environments that may not be completely integrated. Building the model in multiple views makes it harder to debug and complete the model, and it has no impact on the validity of the visualization.

In contrast, with Simcad Pro the animation represents exactly what the engine sees, rendering the animation as a as a more effective way to debug and visualize the model. • Simcad Pro has a patented dynamic modeling capability that allows the user to interact with the model during the simulation run to immediately view the impact of changes and validate model behaviors. This becomes very time-consuming over the course of a simulation project, since the user can’t determine whether the change he or she made had the intended effect until the user has run through a simulation. Often you will find yourself having to make a change, run the simulation, stop the model, see if the behavior was correct, then readjust and repeat the process. In Simcad Pro you can immediately view the impact of changes without stopping the simulation.

Simcad Pro provides as out of-the-box reporting on extensive summary statistics for all aspects of the model, custom metrics can be identified using the Results process and new stats can be added at any time, even during the run. Arena requires the user to identify prior to running the model specific stats the are needed for analysis, i.e. "Record Cycle Time" as seen in the example Arena model "Assembly Line.doe". Moreover, Simcad Pro provides time stamped tracking and traceability reports that provide additional insight into the model and can be used operationally for scheduling purposes. • Simcad Pro can dynamically connect to external data sources prior to, after and during run-time (SAP, ERP, WMS, EMR, etc.). This data connectivity can be used for predictive forecasting and schedule optimization. o Arena will only load data up front, before the model starts. This limits the amount of data that is available to the model, especially since the software will only run in a 32 bit environment.

The Siman engine, on which Arena is built, lacks the dynamic behavior and connectivity during the simulation run that Simcad Pro provides. Simcad Pro also provides users with a multitude of reporting and modeling capabilities that are not found within Arena. This reporting includes dynamic Value Stream Mapping, Swim Lane diagrams, as well as a variety of Lean metrics that are all automatically created. Simcad Pro also provides object pop-ups that can be displayed by hovering the mouse over the object to quickly identify which object is moving through the system, as well as any metrics about the object the user wishes to see.

To provide you with more specific information, I would be happy to chat with you and learn more about your situation. You can give us a call at 630-428-2850.

Edited by moderator Monday, June 15, 2015 3:32:56 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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