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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Automation in Construction, Volume 21, January 2012, Pages 229–236
Simulation is often used to model production processes with the aim of understanding and improving them. In many cases, however, information produced by simulation is not detailed enough and can be misinterpreted. The use of visualization in combination with simulation can provide project participants with a detailed-level model to prevent misinterpretation of information and to understand the production process. The purpose of this research is to automate the visualization process as a post-simulation tool through sharing interactive information between simulation and visualization. The proposed methodology has been applied to the production line of modular buildings with the output of lean, simulation, and visualization in the form of animation. Based on the new scheduling developed by applying lean principles, a simulation model was built and its output was extracted to an ASCII file to be used as input for visualization. 3D visualization was developed using Maxscript in 3D Studio Max for automation of the visualization process. The proposed methodology has been applied to a case study to illustrate the essential features of the work and its benefits for decision making.
Modular buildings are pre-fabricated buildings that started to gain popularity in the early 20th century. The Modular Building Institute (MBI), founded in 1983, defines modular as a construction method or process where individual modules, stand-alone or assembled together, make up larger structures. Even though revenue growth in the modular building industry has recently dropped, it remains a market with increasing benefits. The modular building industry is also becoming more widely recognized for its environmentally-friendly construction process, speed of construction, and waste reduction at cost competitive prices . Further improvement of productivity and potential cost reduction can be gained by redesigning the production process, facility layout, and material handling. Previous research has shown that various disciplines including lean  and , simulation, or integrated systems are used to set stable and effective production flow. A combination of these principles has also been used for such purpose; see ,  and . Computer simulation is defined by Pritsker  as the process of designing a mathematical–logical model of a real world system and experimenting with the model on a computer. It can be used to eliminate unforeseen bottlenecks, to effectively use resources, and to optimize system performance before an existing system is altered by the proposed design. There are many existing simulation tools that have been developed and used in construction. Simphony , used in this research, is an example of such tools. Simphony was developed under the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)/Alberta Construction Industry Research Chair Program in Construction Engineering and Management. It can be used either as a general purpose or a special purpose simulation (SPS) tool. Parallel to the use of simulation several researchers and planners in recent years have focused their work on using 3D visualization in the fields of construction management, productivity and cost analysis, resource management, and assessment of site layout ,  and . Based on their work, it has been found that 3D visualization provides more realistic and clear feedback of the simulation output and dynamic graphical depictions. These include features such as the state of each task at a specific time, the work space required for construction activities, and clear communication about the work with the project participants.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
A case study of a manufactured production line of modular buildings was used to validate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology and to illustrate the essential features of the developed models. The research demonstrated that a combination of simulation and 3D visualization can provide important information to assist project managers in understanding the effectiveness of changes made to the new production process. The project manager can also use the system developed in this work to experiment with improving the processes of the production line before implementing the proposed changes in real-world situations. This will decrease rework, reduce cost, and save time. Animation also helps to predict possible spatial interference of crews and identify space limitation, making it possible to decide on whether the sequences of tasks should be adjusted. The Kullman case study was used to verify the proposed production line in simulation models as numeric results and to concurrently validate the results of simulation and lean in 3D visualization. This would be significantly helpful for lean results' verification and validation. The simulation with its visualization was presented to the production management at the case study company. It was recognized as a useful tool for identifying improvement focuses and increasing the credibility of lean implementation plan. The effectiveness of the visualization in the different projects was identified in previous research . The dynamic graphical depiction of the production process in 3D visualization with a 3D schedule will provide decision makers with important detailed information such as the state of each task at a specific time to facilitate communication for the results of the simulation and lean.