Physics Simulation of Material Flows: Effects on the Performance of a Production System

Authors Moritz Glatt , Bahram Ravani, Jan C. Aurich

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Moritz Glatt
  • Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Production Systems, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Germany
Bahram Ravani
  • Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California at Davis, CA, USA
Jan C. Aurich
  • Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Production Systems, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Germany

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Moritz Glatt, Bahram Ravani, and Jan C. Aurich. Physics Simulation of Material Flows: Effects on the Performance of a Production System. In 2nd International Conference of the DFG International Research Training Group 2057 – Physical Modeling for Virtual Manufacturing (iPMVM 2020). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 89, pp. 15:1-15:26, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


In cyber-physical production systems, material flows show complexity due to varying physical aspects of transported work pieces and autonomously selected transport routes. As a result, physically induced disturbances that may lead to delays or damages are hard to predict. The on-line usage of a physics engine offers potential to derive material flow parameters that enable safe transports with optimized accelerations. Previous work showed the feasibility of this approach and potential operational benefits through faster material flows. In consequence, the scope of this paper is to apply discrete-event simulation to investigate whether physics simulation of material flows leads to positive impacts on production system performance indicators such as throughput times and capacity utilization. The results indicate that increased velocity and acceleration of material flows can positively influence these indicators. In consequence, applying physics simulation to ensure safe transports with such high velocities and accelerations can improve the overall performance of a production system.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computing methodologies → Modeling and simulation
  • Physics simulation
  • discrete-event simulation
  • cyber-physical production systems


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