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Developing Solutions for Tomorrow’s Problems


By Steve Blatney, Account Manager
Published: April 4, 2017

Categories: Articles

One of the best things about my job is that I get to work with many different companies in various industries across the globe. I’ve had the opportunity to tour a tire manufacturing plant in Korea, go down (under) mines in Australia, get a behind the scenes look at a Life Sciences facility in China, help healthcare organizations improve patient quality of life from the US to Hong Kong, and learn the inner workings of a national supply chain for live hogs here in the U.S. (yeah, it’s complex, it’s fascinating, and I wrote about it here).

But what’s even better, is that I’m in a position to help all of my customers solve their unique challenges, regardless of the industry or application. Manufacturing, Healthcare, Mining, Financial Services, Oil & Gas, Food & Beverage. You name the industry, and we support it. If you can describe your process, we can almost always help you to solve your problem. It’s a satisfying feeling to say the least. But if I’ve learned anything about working with Engineers it is this;

Engineers like to solve problems and if there are no problems readily available, they will seek them out.

And it is this spirit of innovation that keeps my job so interesting, but it also breeds more challenges. We recognize that you can’t always solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions, and that is why we continue to improve Arena. The latest technology we’ve released in Arena 15 is allowing us to develop solutions for tomorrow’s problems.

Full Disclosure: I’m not an engineer. I’m a sales guy. And the first thing I did after we decided to put 64-bit on the product roadmap was to Google, “What is 64-bit?”. I’ll save you some time and spare you the technobabble and break it down in layman’s terms. Here’s what Arena 64-bit means for you:

  • More Entities: This means we can look at hundreds of millions of discrete pieces in the system instead of grouping items together. Less assumptions, greater fidelity.
  • Fast Run Times: More processing power means that these large models with many entities or many attributes will run quickly. This means answers to larger, more complex problems, more quickly.  
  • Flexibility:  Modeling large complex systems with greater fidelity grants us flexibility in building models, tracking performance metrics, and analyzing data to make better decisions, faster.
  • Analysis: We can capture more detailed statistics for analysis and better control the statistics that we are using.

I’ll give you an example. We just wrapped up a project in which we converted a high speed packaging model using Arena 15 module constructs. In the new version, Arena modeled millions of discrete entities with numerous attributes which provided significant improvements to model fidelity. This provided us more flexibility in how and what we could model, and more flexibility in the data extracted for analysis.  The most impressive gain was that with Arena 15’s power, we reduced the runtime from 45 minutes to 28 seconds (a 98.8% improvement). You can read more about this in Darrell’s Consulting Corner Article.

Analytics in your Hands

  • Experienced Modelers:  In 1789 Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  I like to say, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except bigger data and more complex systems.” Arena 15 provides an open world to manage those new certainties. 
  • Decision Makers:  Arena 15 provides actionable data and process visualization to make better decisions, faster.  After all, we’re not modeling to model.  We’re modeling to answer your questions.
  • Operation teams and schedulers:  You’re collecting data, and not sure how to use it.  Arena 15 allows you to integrate Arena into your existing business systems to quickly run operational scenarios to make daily planning decisions. You can read Rob's article on using Arena for Operational Decision Making here.
  • New Industries:  We’re solving new types of problems 
    • Large Populations – Planning in government, health, pension, and battle scenarios
    • High speed lines – Packaging, food & beverage, semiconductor, pharmaceutical
    • Supply Chains – E-commerce, warehousing, postal, 3PL, maintenance
    • Communication Structure – Security, cloud, networks

If you're an engineer, decision maker, scheduler, part of an operations team, or anyone else in industry with a new probelm to solve, I challenge you to look at Arena for the answer. 


The Author

Steve Blatney

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