About Simulation

Simulation is a broad field encompassing everything from training simulators for planes or trains, visualisation, animation, and industrial process simulation.

In the case of 4dm, we provide services in industrial process simulation.  This means building a virtual model, a “4d model”, which resembles the real world equivalent.  The elements in our models can be anything from mine vehicles to conveyors, people, parts on an assembly line, or forklifts driving around a site.

These elements are given the same properties as the real thing, for example : speed, process time, break down frequency, and process requirements.  The elements are then connected and given the logic algorithms to make them replicate real world behaviour.

Simulation programs provide engineers with general algorithms to replicate things like vehicle routing or part destinations, but at 4dm we recognised long ago that there aren’t two mines, or two factories in the world that operate by exactly the same rules.  So we customise all our algorithms to each clients specific set of circumstances.

This provides the most accurate simulation, and thereby the best results.

Fortunately we’ve been doing this for a long time now, so writing new algorithms, or modifying an existing one to better replicate a new facility is a breeze.

Having built and verified the model, we can run scenarios to optimise a process, or test the sensitivity of certain parameters.  Using custom reporting we can measure absolutely anything that’s occurring  in the model, and report on it in a sensible way.

Why 4d Modelling?

Because graphical models provide you with much more than just the hard numbers, they are easier to understand, and therefore easier to verify and communicate ideas through.  When you can actually “see” your facility in operation, you can see the vehicles driving around and blocking each other, or see parts running down conveyor belts, or the impact of machine breakdown, it gives you, the client, the opportunity to participate in the verification process, and then the optimisation process.  When a simulation is in 2d, and all you see is icons moving on a screen, your opportunity to really become involved and therefore have confidence in the results is diminished.

Our models usually end up in board presentations for exactly this reason.  Everyone from the fitter to the CEO can understand what’s being analysed, and this is incredibly important.


Comments are closed.