Thank you for Subscribing to CIO Applications Weekly Brief
Thank you for Subscribing to CIO Applications Weekly Brief
To rescue the sinking ship, the hospital executives recognized the value of a simulation study to gain a deeper perspective into the pain points. Rockwell Automation Arena consultants were called upon to develop a hospital simulation model of the current ED and assess various change scenarios. The hospital felt that by simulating every system interaction all the way from patient entrance to exit, it could improve its decision-making processes.
After defining process flows and finalizing specifications, Rockwell Automation consultants developed an Arena® hospital simulation model to allow for a complete evaluation of “what if” scenarios and experimentation with the system before making any significant changes. Since the human element typically creates hurdles in healthcare predictive modeling, Team Rockwell Automation made a concerted effort to define a realistic patient flow and collect accurate data from doctors and nurses. For the hospital simulation model to be successful, it had to adequately represent the current ED in a way that resonates with hospital officials. The final model consisted of an Excel user interface aligned with the Arena hospital simulation model. The interface was designed to enable the users to easily enter inputs, run the model and view outputs. Besides creating numerous scenarios for comparisons, the user could manipulate process flows, process delays, patient routings, resource schedules, and bed capacity—all from the same user interface. By this time, the hospital was anxious to see the output to understand the factors that affected the average time patients were spending in the ED.
The results were in, and the hospital was left shocked. Contrary to the hospital’s initial findings, psych patients constituted only 4 percent of the total patient population (at the ED). The simulation also noted that the proposed new facility was not the solution to improving the declining ED service. The hospital simulation concluded that the ED needed to increase process efficiency by using all available ED beds and adding another physician resource. Eventually, the data generated by the simulation software propelled the hospital’s decision-makers to follow through with suggestions in the existing ED facility rather than investing $500,000 in an unnecessary new facility.
Rockwell Automation’s installed base and our engineering software provides a great opportunity to better address customer needs in today’s rapidly changing, technologically-advanced manufacturing environment
This hospital use case provides a peek into how Rockwell Automation’s Arena simulation software is helping a range of businesses analyze the impact of new business ideas, strategies and rules in an offline mode, before implementing them on live customers. Rather than causing disruptions in service to their customers, businesses can utilize the powerful simulation tool to demonstrate, predict, and measure system strategies before changing existing processes.
Identifying Bottlenecks, Improving Processes
With tailor-made industry solutions for sectors such as manufacturing; minerals and mining, food and beverage, packaging; government and military; retail, and logistics, Arena simulation software has emerged as the one-stop solution for businesses to increase reliability, find bottlenecks, and improve real-time decision-making. In the manufacturing sector, for example, the Arena simulation software is enabling organizations to increase throughput, identify process bottlenecks, improve logistics, and evaluate potential process changes. By using Arena software, manufacturing firms can seamlessly model and analyze process flows, job routing, inventory control, warehousing, distribution, staffing requirements, and packing systems.
It’s fair to say that Rockwell Automation’s Arena simulation software has impacted three industry verticals the most— supply chain, higher education, and healthcare. Used by the Top 5 supply chain organizations in the country, Arena’s supply chain simulation software has a proven track record of helping companies model and evaluate everything from global supply chains to warehouses. By leveraging the flowchart modeling methodology, companies can easily define and communicate the intricacies of a complex supply chain. Some of the common capabilities include JIT operations, evaluating shipping and transportation alternatives, dispatching rules, warehouse picking strategies, and determining facility size requirements and the best location for warehousing.
In the realm of healthcare, hundreds of hospitals across six continents and 20 countries are maximizing the benefits of Rockwell Automation’s Arena simulation software. As for higher education, a total of 52,000 students per year are trained within the framework of Arena simulation software. The educational version of Arena—used by more institutions worldwide than any other discrete-event simulation software tool—provides value by introducing students to the principals of simulation. Besides individual student and laboratory licensing, the software includes an educational research package designed to meet all simulation research needs.
Calling all Innovators: The “You Make It” Challenge
Earlier this year, Rockwell Automation launched the “You Make It” Challenge, with an aim to excite the next generation of innovators about technology and manufacturing.
“Today’s dynamic new technologies are driving advances in nearly every profession and industrial sector—from cars to medicine. But there aren’t nearly enough skilled workers to fill the open jobs created by these technologies. It’s up to us, as an industrial automation and information leader, to inspire the next generation of innovators, problem solvers and makers,” says Blake Moret, chairman and CEO at Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information.
Submissions from the “You Make It” Challenge will be judged based on four main criterions: purpose, innovation, creativity, and presentation. Three finalists will receive a grant toward a FIRST program of their choice and a trip to Chicago, where they will be guided by a Rockwell Automation mentor to present their ideas to industry thought leaders at Automation Fair®, the premier industrial automation event. One grand-prize winner will walk away with a personal Maker Space Kit worth an estimated $7,500. “Through our technology and people, we are helping to inspire the next generation of innovators to fill the talent pipelines for our customers and for our company,” added Moret.
New Acquisitions to Engineer a Better Tomorrow
The road ahead is paved with infinite possibilities for Rockwell Automation, which currently employs over 23,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries. In its endless pursuit of helping businesses benefit from simulation, the Milwaukee-headquartered organization recently acquired Emulate3D, a leading software developer for simulating and emulating industrial automation systems. Emulate3D’s software is designed to enable customers to virtually test machine and system designs before incurring manufacturing and automation costs by committing to a final design. By adding Emulate3D’s technology to its digital design portfolio, Rockwell Automation will deliver solutions to automotive, logistics, material handling, and other industrial applications. The software, rebranded as Emulate3D by Rockwell Automation, is now featured as part of the FactoryTalk DesignSuite.
“As a former Rockwell Automation Encompass partner, we established great working relationships with Rockwell Automation and its customers. We look forward to building on those relationships under our new ownership. Rockwell Automation’s installed base and our engineering software provide a great opportunity to better address customer needs in today’s rapidly changing, technologically-advanced manufacturing environment,” says Ian McGregor, Emulate3D global sales and marketing director.
For nearly 30 years, Rockwell Automation has been the industry leader in helping business reimaging processes through discrete-event simulation. As more businesses identify and leverage the benefits of simulation software and predictive modeling, Rockwell Automation is in prime position to stay true to its new slogan of Expanding Human Possibility.