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Frequently Asked Questions

Keyboard shortcuts for the action logic window.

Command Key
Magnify text size. Ctrl+Keypad+
Reduce text size. Ctrl+Keypad-
Restore text size to normal. Ctrl+Keypad/
Open Keywords and Filters. Ctrl+K
Show autocomplete. Ctrl+Enter
Show Calltip. Ctrl+Shift+Space
Print. Ctrl+P
Undo. Ctrl+Z, Alt+Back
Redo. Ctrl+Y, Alt+Shift+Back
Cut. Ctrl+X, Shift+Del
Copy. Ctrl+C, Ctrl+Ins
Paste. Ctrl+V, Shift+Ins
Select All. Ctrl+A
Find. Ctrl+F
Find Next. F3
Find Previous. Shift+F3
Replace. Ctrl+H
Incremental Search. Ctrl+Alt+I
Selection Add Next. Ctrl+Shift+D
Go to Line. Ctrl+G
Match Brace. Ctrl+E
Select to Brace. Ctrl+Shift+E
Make Selection Uppercase. Ctrl+Shift+U
Make Selection Lowercase. Ctrl+U
Full Screen. F11
Indent block. Tab
Dedent block. Shift+Tab
Delete to start of word. Ctrl+BackSpace
Delete to end of word. Ctrl+Delete
Delete to start of line. Ctrl+Shift+BackSpace
Delete to end of line. Ctrl+Shift+Delete
Go to start of document. Ctrl+Home
Extend selection to start of document. Ctrl+Shift+Home
Go to start of display line. Alt+Home
Go to end of document. Ctrl+End
Extend selection to end of document. Ctrl+Shift+End
Go to end of display line. Alt+End
Expand or contract a fold point. Ctrl+Keypad*
Find selection. Ctrl+F3
Find selection backwards. Ctrl+Shift+F3
Scroll up. Ctrl+Up
Scroll down. Ctrl+Down
Line cut. Ctrl+L
Line copy. Ctrl+Shift+T
Line delete. Ctrl+Shift+L
Line transpose with previous. Ctrl+T
Selection duplicate. Ctrl+D
Previous paragraph. Shift extends selection. Ctrl+[
Next paragraph. Shift extends selection. Ctrl+]
Previous word. Shift extends selection. Ctrl+Left
Next word. Shift extends selection. Ctrl+Right
Previous word part. Shift extends selection. Ctrl+/
Next word part. Shift extends selection. Ctrl+\
Rectangular block selection. Alt+Shift+Movement
Extend rectangular selection to start of line. Alt+Shift+Home
Extend rectangular selection to end of line. Alt+Shift+End
Help. F1

If you need further help, please contact support.

Update to the Model Objects fails after click Model Objects \ Check for Updates with the following prompt:

Model Object Update FailedTitle: ProcessModel Update
Message: ProcessModel was unable to connect to the server at this time, please try again later.

Reason: The above prompt is usually received when the user is not connected to the internet or access to remotely connect and check for updates on the ProcessModel server are blocked by your IT.

Solution: Please follow the procedure manually download Model Objects.

  1. Click here to download Model Objects as a zip file.
  2. Once downloaded, extract the zip file.
  3. Copy/replace all the models (model objects, demos and layout) to their specific directories under the following path: C:\Users\Public\Documents\ProcessModel.

If you need further help, please contact support.

The Properties Dialog does not show properly when I start ProcessModel with any model.

Properties dialog does not displaying correctly

Answer:

The default language in Windows is not set to English, please change the default language for Windows to English to fix the situation.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When simulating a model, the graphics do not show up during simulation.

graphics do not show

Answer:

The reason for the situation can be that the .glb file that is contained within the .SPG is missing some information, in order to regenerate the .glb file follow the instructions below.

  1. Move any object in your model for one pixel, or more.
  2. Simulate the model

If you need further help, please contact support.

When trying to run SimRunner, the following error is encountered: An unsupported operation was attempted.

An unsupported operation was attempted.

An unsupported operation was attempted.

iGrafx executable is not responding.

iGrafx executable is not responding.

Reason:

There is a known incompatibility between Sequel Viewpoint and SimRunner on ProcessModel.

Solution:

The issue can be resolved by replacing the GSW files that are overwritten by Sequel Viewpoint to the original ones.

  1. The GSW files can be downloaded here, the downloaded zip will have two folders SimRunner and ViewPoint.
  2. Copy / paste the files in the SimRunner folder to the following path C:\Windows\SysWOW64 to make Simrunner work.
  3. If you are unable to use Sequel ViewPoint after replacing the files, copy / paste the files in the ViewPoint folder to the following path C:\Windows\SysWOW64 to make ViewPoint work, you will need to replace the files again to make SimRunner work.

If you need further help, please contact support.

A run-time error is received during the simulation start saying “Run-Time Error (Graphic ID *#* In GRAPHIC statement exceeds the number of defined graphics.).”

Run-Time Error

Reason:

The reason for this happening is when a user adds the NEWGRAPHIC() Action Logic at the Arrival Route.

Solution:

Please remove the NEWGRAPHIC() Action Logic from the arrival route and place it in an appropriate place (like in an activity, storage or other connecting routes).

If you need further help, please contact support.

Receiving the following error “Error while unpacking program, code LP5. Please report to author.” When ProcessModel is ran.

Code LP5

Error while unpacking program, code LP5. Please report to
author.

Reason:

This error is usually received when limited hard disk space is available or there are bad sectors in the hard drive.

Solution:

In cases where hard disk space is limited/full, please free up hard disk space in order to allow ProcessModel to unpack. Please use disk defragmentation tool afterwards.

In cases where there are known bad sectors on hard drive, please use disk defragmentation tool.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When I attempt to simulate, I receive the following prompt:

Translator Exception

Dialog Heading: Translator Exception
Message: Error: A translation Error occurred
Chart:*ACTIVITY name*
Pass: Node Translation
State: Node Translation

Reason:

An activity in a sub-model has a duplicate name with an activity in another sub-model. Example: Submodel1 and submodel3 have an activity called “Inspect.”

Solution:

You can easily identify the culprit submodel by turning off each submodel, and then turn them back on one-at-a-time – running the model after each submodel is added. Once you find the problem submodel. Put a prefix in front of every activity name (i.e. S1 for submodel or S2 for submodel 2).

If you need further help, please contact support.

processmodel reserved wordsWhat reserved words are used by the system that cannot be used to name entities, activities, variables, attributes, scenario parameters, etc.

The following words are reserved by the system and cannot be used as variable names, attributes, or scenario parameters. using these reserved words will result in a simulation error. Rather than use a reserved word directly an underscore can be applied as a prefix or a suffix to make the word usable as one of the names variables, attributes, or scenario parameters.

  • accum
  • activate
  • all
  • alt
  • and
  • animate
  • arraydims( )
  • arraydimsize( )
  • as
  • b
  • backup
  • begin
  • bi
  • board
  • break
  • breakblk
  • bvatime
  • by
  • calday( )
  • caldom( )
  • calhour( )
  • calmin( )
  • calmonth( )
  • calyear( )
  • cancel
  • cap( )
  • case
  • char( )
  • claim
  • clock
  • clock( )
  • close
  • combine
  • condition
  • cont
  • contents
  • contents( )
  • convey
  • cost
  • create
  • cyclestart
  • d2
  • d3
  • d4
  • d5
  • day
  • debug
  • dec
  • default
  • dep
  • dispatch
  • display
  • do
  • dosload
  • downqty( )
  • drop
  • dtdelay( )
  • dtleft( )
  • e
  • else
  • empty
  • end
  • ent
  • ent( )
  • entity
  • entity( )
  • entries
  • entries( )
  • er
  • exit
  • exp( )
  • fifo
  • first
  • for
  • forlocation( )
  • format
  • forresource( )
  • free
  • freecap
  • freecap( )
  • freeunits
  • full
  • g
  • geo
  • get
  • getcost
  • getresrate
  • goto
  • graphic
  • group
  • groupqty( )
  • hide
  • hr
  • id
  • if
  • iff
  • ig
  • in
  • inc
  • incentcost
  • incloccost
  • increscost
  • inf
  • infinite
  • install labels
  • int
  • join
  • jointly
  • jointlyget
  • keep
  • l
  • labels
  • last
  • lifo
  • ln
  • ln( )
  • load
  • loc( )
  • location
  • location( )
  • locstate( )
  • log
  • lu
  • maparr
  • match
  • min
  • mod
  • most
  • move
  • move for
  • move on
  • move with
  • ms
  • n
  • name
  • newgraphic
  • newname
  • next
  • next( )
  • off
  • or
  • order
  • ot
  • ownedresource
  • ownedresource( )
  • p
  • p5
  • p6
  • pause
  • percent
  • percentage
  • percentop( )
  • percentutil( )
  • pick
  • preemptedres
  • preemptor
  • priority
  • prompt
  • queue
  • rand
  • rand( )
  • random
  • read
  • real
  • real( )
  • recently
  • rename
  • report
  • res( )
  • reserve
  • reset
  • reset stats
  • resource
  • resourceunit( )
  • resqty
  • return
  • round
  • round( )
  • route
  • sec
  • send
  • setrate
  • show
  • skip
  • snapshot
  • sound
  • split
  • split as
  • sqrt
  • sqrt( )
  • stop
  • t
  • take
  • then
  • threadnum
  • time
  • timeleft
  • timesused( )
  • timeused
  • to
  • trace
  • trunc
  • trunc( )
  • turn
  • u
  • ungroup
  • units
  • units( )
  • unload
  • until
  • up
  • use
  • variable
  • vatime
  • view
  • w
  • wait
  • warmup
  • while
  • wk
  • write
  • writeline
  • xsub
  • xwrite

If you need further help, please contact support.

A “Server Busy” prompt may be received in any of the following cases:

  • An object is added to the layout window.
  • When a model is saved.
  • When a model is simulated.
Server Busy This action cannot be completed because the other program is busy. Choose 'Switch To' to activate the busy program and correct the problem.

Server Busy
This action cannot be completed because the other
program is busy. Choose ‘Switch To’ to activate the
busy program and correct the problem.

Reason:

The prompt is displayed if the application does not receive communication between translation modules within the expected time frame. This is often caused by the use of imported graphics which take a longer time to translate, It could also occur if the model is extremely large or if your computer is low on memory.

Solution:

This is not an error condition. It is just a warning. So you should be able to click Switch To and continue your work.

The solution is a result of fixing several of the items listed under the Reason.

  • If the model uses graphics that are other than WMF or EMF, these graphics should be replaced.
  • If the model is very large and complex, sections should be removed from the main model and placed into submodels.
  • If the computer has limited RAM for the OS and programs in memory, then the RAM should be increased.
  • If non-required programs are active in RAM, the unneeded programs should be “killed” and removed from the startup procedure.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When the model is simulated it crashes ProcessModel at 312 hours, displaying any of the following error message:

Main Program, Windows is checking for a solution to the problem

Main Program,
Windows is checking for a solution to the problem

Main Program, Main Program has stopped working

Main Program,
Main Program has stopped working

Pmmain, Pmmain has caused an error in PMSIM.DLL Pmmain will now close.

Pmmain,
Pmmain has caused an error in PMSIM.DLL
Pmmain will now close.

Pmain, Pmmain has caused an error in KERNEL32.DLL Pmmain will now close.

Pmain,
Pmmain has caused an error in KERNEL32.DLL
Pmmain will now close.

Program Error, Pmmain.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. You will need to restart the program. An error log is being created.

Program Error,
Pmmain.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows.
You will need to restart the program.
An error log is being created.

Main Program, Main Program has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Main Program,
Main Program has encountered a problem and needs to
close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Reason:

There are 24/7 shift files in use.

Solution:

Having 24/7 shift files is the same as not having a shift file at all. Remove the shift file reference.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Simulation crashes with the following error as the output report is being generated.

Main Program, Main Program has stopped working

Main Program,
Main Program has stopped working

Main Program Main Program has stopped working

Main Program
Main Program has stopped working

Program Error, pmmain.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. You will need to restart the program. An error log is being created.

Program Error,
pmmain.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows.
You will need to restart the program.
An error log is being created.

Reason:

This can be cause by a number of things.

  1. Your system may have run out of virtual memory while generating the output report.
  2. You could be overloading the system due to extremely large bottlenecks in your model.

Solution:

If the reason is due to low virtual memory, you can resolve this problem in one of two ways:

  1. Add more memory to your computer.
  2. Reduce the number of entities remaining in your model at the time the simulation ends. The easiest way to do that is to lower the number of arriving entities.

If you have a zero quantity resource, change the quantity to a non-zero value. If you have bottlenecks in your model run the simulation and watch where entities are building up. Then alter your model to reduce those bottlenecks. You can also shorten your simulation run length in an attempt to generate an output report so it can be analyzed to locate bottlenecks.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When I generate a lognormal distribution in Stat::Fit it has 3 parameters. But when I copy and paste it to ProcessModel it only has 2. What do the parameters mean?

Answer:

For the Lognormal distribution, Stat::Fit uses the parameters [min, mu, sigma] where min is the offset from 0, and mu, sigma are the mean and standard deviation of the included normal distribution. ProcessModel uses mean, sd which are the mean and standard deviation of the data after the offset is subtracted. The conversion is:

mean = exp(mu + (sigma^2)/2)
sd = exp(2*mu + sigma^2)*(exp(sigma^2) – 1)

You can find this and more in ”Simulation Modeling & Analysis”, Law & Kelton, 3 rd ed., 2000, p307.

Please note that Stat::Fit will do the conversion. Just open the Distribution Viewer for Lognormal, enter one set of parameters and the other set will be there as well. Also, the Distribution Viewer can be used to export to ProcessModel.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When I simulate my model I get the following error:

Percent Routing Do Not Add Up

Answer:

You have a single percentage route leaving an activity with a Percent value of less than 100.

Go to the activity with a red outline and review the routes out of that activity. If there is only one route, make certain it is set to 100 percent. If there is more than one route out of the marked activity, make certain that the combined routes add up to 100 percent.

If you need further help, please contact support.

 When I select Save and Simulate I receive the following prompt:

Translation Status: Normal Run

Translation Status: Normal Run

Then the simulator crashes with the following prompt:

Main Program, A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.

Main Program,
A problem caused the program to stop working correctly.
Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is
available.

The program then returns to the build menu, which appears to be unaffected.

Reason:

There are two known reasons for this to happen,

  1. The path and file name of the model has exceeded 126 characters (including spaces).
  2. An activity box has more than 181 characters (including spaces) in the description.

Solution:

  1. Shorten the path where the model is stored. The maximum, including the filename, is 126 characters.
  2. Shorten your activity description to be less than 181 characters including spaces. It is good to use verb noun descriptions for activity names. Long activity name cause two problems:
    1. The name will stretch the output report and make it difficult to read on a normal sized screen.
    2. Long descriptions make it difficult to follow the flow in a quick read. The main point of what is happening at the activity should be in the description. Sub-points and further information can be in the notes.

If you need further help, please contact support.

The first time I start ProcessModel I get an error saying it can’t execute iGrafx or Flow80.exe.

ProcessModel 5.x and earlier versions, use iGrafx as the front end of the application. Therefore, if you have any iGrafx software already installed on your computer there will be conflicts with the version which ProcessModel installs and uses.

If you have a stand-alone iGrafx product installed (not related to ProcessModel), simply uninstall it, uninstall ProcessModel, then reinstall ProcessModel (see the steps below).

The other condition where you could get this error is as follows. If you try to install 5.x (or higher) over top of 4.2.x without uninstalling 4.2.x first, ProcessModel will not install iGrafx properly because of conflicts with the old version.

In either case you must:

  1. Uninstall iGrafx System using Programs and Features.
  2. Uninstall ProcessModel.
  3. Reinstall ProcessModel.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When I simulate my model I get the following error:

Compiler Error, UpdateAfterGet()

Compiler Error,
UpdateAfterGet()

Reason:

You have tried to Get an entity rather than a resource.

Solution:

Change the object you are getting from type Entity to type Resource, or if you have incorrectly entered the Get object, add the correct object.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When the Gallery disappears in ProcessModel process improvement software it can be restored from the tools menu.

Using the temporary minimize arrow allows the gallery to be restored quickly.

When the gallery disappears it is usually the result of one of two actions.

  1. Closing the gallery (rather than minimizing).
  2. Dragging the title bar of the gallery outside the borders of the ProcessModel window (accidentally or intentionally).

Solution:

  1. If the gallery has been closed, go to the View menu and select gallery
  2. If the title bar of the gallery has be dragged off the bottom of the layout (you really have to work hard to accomplish this) then it has been moved behind the taskbar. Minimize the taskbar, move the gallery and dock it to the side.
  3. If you are unable to see the gallery title bar, then restart ProcessModel and the gallery will return to the standard position on the right of the layout window.

If you want to temporarily remove the gallery from view use the side arrow.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Run-Time Error, UNLOAD 9999

Run-Time Error,
UNLOAD 9999

After attaching two entities to the main entity, and detaching them later in the model, using two detach routes, the following error is displayed.

Reason:

Only one detach routing can exist at any given location.

Solution:

You can use one of two methods to detach multiple entities from a main entity.

  1. Detach all entities at the same time – use a single detach route with no condition. Then at the activity immediately following the detach route, use conditional routes to separate each entity.
  2. Detach each entity at separate activities – use a single detach route with a condition (e.g. Name = Entity1) to detach the first entity. Then in the next activity (containing the main entity and the remaining attached entities), use another detach route. A condition is not required at the second detach if there is only one remaining entity attached.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Why is the Time Series icon (or View / Time Series menu options) not available when viewing the Output Detail Report?

Time Series reports are not available if:

  1. You have not created variables.
  2. When your variables are defined using the None or Basic Stats reporting type.
  3. When using multiple replications.

To use Time Series reports make sure you have:

  1. Defined at least one variable when building your model (see Insert / Attributes & Variables).
  2. When defining your variable(s) select either Detail or Detail (Time) in the Stats drop down list (see Insert / Attributes & Variables).
  3. Only use a single replication (see Simulation / Options).

If you need further help, please contact support.

When the model is simulated the following error is received.

Translation Status: Normal Run, Compiler Initialization Compiler Initialization Macro name 'ACCUM' is a reserved name.

Translation Status: Normal Run, Compiler Initialization Compiler Initialization Macro name ‘ACCUM’ is a reserved name.

Reason:

You used a reserved name when creating a “Descriptive” attribute or variable value (look in the descriptor list), or a scenario parameter name.

Solution:

Change the attribute/variable descriptor name or scenario parameter name.

If you need further help, please contact support.

After the model has simulated the following prompt is displayed.

Simulation Complete, Do you want to see the results? (NOTE: There were entity arrival failures due to insufficient capacity)

Simulation Complete, Do you want to see the results? (NOTE: There were entity arrival failures due to insufficient capacity)

Reason:

Entity arrivals were scheduled to arrive. But because of limited capacity at the arrival location, they could not enter the model.

Solution:

Make sure you have a large enough capacity and/or input queue on the first activity following the arrival. Also make sure you haven’t assigned a shift to the activity that would cause the activity to be off shift when entities are scheduled to arrive.

Another way to avoid this message is to place a storage with sufficient capacity at the arrival location to act as a collection queue.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When I try to use the Export Data command I get the following error:

Unable to open Excel for writing

Unable to open Excel for writing

Reason:

The file you are trying export to is already open.

Solution:

Close the Excel file you are trying to export to, then re-export the data.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When the model is simulated the following error is received.

Compiler Error, Missing subroutine parameter. Subroutine 'Time_' has 2 parameters.

Compiler Error,
Missing subroutine parameter.
Subroutine ‘Time_’ has 2 parameters.

Reason:

Your action logic is missing a space between the parameters in a statement. For example, if you are using a TIME statement (as shown in the graphic above) you have typed Time(15Sec) rather than Time(15 Sec).

Solution:

In the graphic above, note the highlighted line in the Context section (For All Entities at Process: Operation: Line 1). This indicates that the error can be found in the 1st line of action logic in the activity named Process. Edit that action logic to make sure there is a space between statement parameters.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Why won’t a Global variables show up in the Name drop down list in the Label properties dialog box?

Label

Label

Answer:

When a variable is marked to be displayed in the scoreboard, it cannot be displayed by a Label.

Remove the checkmark from the Scoreboard option when defining the variable (see Insert / Variables & Attributes / Global Variables).

Remove Check

Remove Check

If you need further help, please contact support.

Not using any shift files in the model but when the model is simulated the following errors are received.

Can't find file

Can’t find file

Translation Status: Normal Run, Shift Assignments

Translation Status: Normal Run,
Shift Assignments

Translation Status: Normal Run, Shift Assignments Record #1 Assidned Shift Files No shift file was specified. The simulation will be terminated.

Translation Status: Normal Run,
Shift Assignments
Record #1
Assidned Shift Files
No shift file was specified. The simulation will be terminated.

Reason:

A space is in one of the shift file boxes on an activity, resource or in the default file location boxes under Simulation / Options.

Solution:

Check all your activity and resource Shift tabs for a space in the Shift File box. Also check the Simulation / Options / File tab. The default activity or shift options could have a space in the File Name box.

If you need further help, please contact support.

During the simulation run the following message is received:

(Error, Entity_exits system before releasing all captured resources!)

(Error,
Entity exits system before releasing all captured resources!)

Reason:

A resource was captured using a Get or JointlyGet statement but not Free’d before exiting. The entity left the system with a resource still attached. The engine recognizes this as an error because the model will soon run out of resources and not be able to function.

Solution:

The problem is easy to find using a process of elimination. Place a FREE ALL at all exit points of the model, then remove the statements one by one until offending activity(s) can be determined. Follow the chain of activities backward until it can be determined why a resource was captured without a corresponding Free.

If you need further help, please contact support.

The Triangular distribution is a continuous distribution bounded on both sides. It starts at the minimum value, increases linearly to peak at the mode, and then decreases linearly to the maximum value.

The Triangular distribution is often used when no or little data is available; it is rarely an accurate representation of a data set (see Law & Kelton). This distribution is generally employed in the first stage of building a model, when time is critical and a basic understanding of the system is being developed.

The information needed for the this distribution can be captured by asking three questions:

  1. What is the least amount of time it has ever taken to complete this activity?
  2. How long does it usually take to complete this activity?
  3. What is the longest it has ever taken to accomplish this activity?

If example if the result of your questions were:

  1. One
  2. Three
  3. Seven

The distribution would be formatted T(1,3,7). The result would be entered into a time field and would produce a result of the output shown graph below:

 triangular distribution used for process simulation triangular distribution used for business process simulation
traingular distribution used in process improvement

This distribution can take on very skewed forms, as shown above, including negative skewness. For the exceptional cases where the mode is either the min or max, this distribution becomes a right triangle.

If you need further help, please contact support.

The Uniform distribution is a continuous distribution bounded on both sides. Its density does not depend on the value of x. It is a special case of the Beta distribution. It is frequently called rectangular distribution. Most random number generators provide samples from the Uniform distribution on (0,1) and then convert these samples to random variates from other distributions.

The Uniform distribution is used to represent a random variable with constant likelihood of being in any small interval between min and max. Note that the probability of either the min or max value is 0; the endpoints do NOT occur.

f(x) = 1 / max – min

min = minimum x
max = maximum x

When use a Uniform Distribution

The uniform distribution is usually used when you want your results to range between two numbers.

Formula

ProcessModel uses the following formula for uniform distribution in its simulation engine:

U(<mean>,<half range>)

Example:

You have a time range of 10-15 minutes and you want the ProcessModel simulation engine to choose a time within that time range, the formula for uniform distribution to use over here will be:

U(12.5,2.5)

Mean: (10 + 15) / 2 = 12.5

Half Range (the maximum up or down a value can go from mean): (Up: 12.5 + 2.5 = 15 — Down: 12.5 – 2.5 = 10) = 2.5

If you need further help, please contact support.

When I place an action logic line that contains the word TIME (e.g. VATIME) before my actual TIME statement, I get an error saying “Missing ‘)’ in expression”.

This error is caused by a very specific set of conditions.

  1. You must have an action logic line that contains the word TIME (e.g. v_CheckTime)
  2. That same line of code must also include parentheses following the word “time”
  3. That line must appear before an actual TIME statement

For example:

v_Check_Time = Clock() – CycleStart
Time(1 Min)

The TIME statement is being parsed for proper syntax. But because of a bug where only the first occurrence of the word TIME is being checked, the actual time statement is misinterpreted, producing the syntax error.

If possible, move the action logic containing the word TIME (prior to the actual TIME statement) to the route or activity prior to the problem location. Or, if you can, change the name of the variable or attribute containing the word TIME.

After simulating my model I want to change the report options found under Options / Customize Current Window, but the report options are grayed out. How do I enable the output report options?

The report options are only available when a model has run more than 1 replication. This is required in order to compare the resulting output data.

  1. Setup multiple replications from the modeling window by clicking Simulation / Options. Then enter a number greater than 1 in the Replications field.
  2. After simulating your model, while viewing the output report, click Options / Customize Current Window. Your options should now be available.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When adding Daily Pattern arrivals, the following error occurred:

(Warning, Time segments may not overlap)

OR

Translation Status: Normal Run
Arrivals Table
For Item arrives at Process_inQ
Cycle Table Attribute1
ERROR: The time entries are required to be cumulative!)

Answer:

The arrival schedule has overlapping times. For example, a Daily Pattern arrival is set for 10:00am to 10:15am. Another arrival on the same day is 10:10am to 10:30am. There is a 5 minute overlap between the two schedules.

Edit the arrival schedule to ensure the arrival times don’t overlap.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When I simulate my model I notice graphic misalignment, the moving entities don’t line up with the routing lines.

This could occur for two different reasons.

  1. The model was originally saved using video setting which were different than the current settings. This may occur if the model was saved on a different computer, or if your computer was recently upgraded.
  2. If you have imported custom graphics using a graphic file format other than .wmf or .emf, the graphics could shift or be discolored during simulation.

To rectify for above reason:

  1. Save the model by clicking File / Save. This will save the graphical data using the current video settings. It’s also generally a good idea to keep your video drivers up to date.
  2. Replace the imported graphics with graphic files that have been created in .wmf or .emf format.

If you need further help, please contact support.

There have been a few rare occasions when a user has faced model corruption due to unrecommended changes or imports into the model, the following should help in recovering your model from a model corruption.

Other causes for model corruption can include:

  1. If you copy and paste objects within a model. You can copy and paste to a -new- blank model, but not within an existing model.
  2. Using any of the 4 bottom shadowing types in the Shadow/3D palette.
  3. Rapid mouse movements when you are drawing a routing line.
  4. Starting to draw a routing away from an activity, then returning to the starting point (as if to change your mind about drawing the routing).

Model Corruption Recovery

Starting from ProcessModel 5.5.0, ProcessModel has implemented automatic backups of your models. An automatic back by default is taken every 15 minutes, upto 3 backup models are stored for recovery and are stored in the same directory as your original model. Browsing though the original directory you should be able to find the backup models with an extension of .SPGB. Once discovered please make open each backup to see if you have an uncorrupted model backed up, if yes, please save the backup model with a new name and use that model.

If you are unable to find a backup that has not synced corrupted items from your original model, you can then follow the instructions below:

Copy and paste everything into a new model

  1. Select everything using CTRL + A.
  2. Copy everything using CTRL + C.
  3. Open a new blank layout page (new model) and press CTRL + V to paste the clipboard contents.
  4. Save the model using a different filename.
  5. Some model elements are not copied using this method and will need to be re-entered (i.e. attributes, variables, and scenario parameters)

Process of elimination

  1. Cut out half your model and try saving using a different filename.
  2. If that works, return to the original model and cut out less, then repeat the first step.
  3. If the first step doesn’t work, return to the original model and cut out more.
  4. Continue the steps above until you have narrowed the problem to a small area or an individual object.
  5. Delete and recreate the problem area in the model.
  6. Remember to save the model using a different filename so you always preserve the original model.

If neither of the methods mentioned fixes the problem, you will need to recreate the model starting with a completely new file.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Why does my resource remain “on shift” even after the shift ends?

If a break is defined at the end of the shift, the end of break signal occurs -after- the end of shift signal. Therefore, the shift ends, but the resource is put back on shift when returning from the break. Since the end of shift signal has already past, the resource remains on shift.

Either change the break so it ends before the end of the shift or delete the break and shorten the shift by the length of the break.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Ishikawa diagrams (also called fishbone diagrams or cause-and-effect diagrams) are diagrams that show the causes of a certain event. Common uses of the Ishikawa diagram are to identify potential factors causing an overall effect. Each cause or reason for imperfection is a source of variation. Causes are usually grouped into major categories to identify these sources of variation.

More Information

Background

Ishikawa diagrams were proposed by Kaoru Ishikawa in the 1960s, who pioneered quality management processes in the Kawasaki shipyards, and in the process became one of the founding fathers of modern management.

It was first used in the 1960s, and is considered one of the seven basic tools of quality management, along with the histogram, Pareto chart, check sheet, control chart, flowchart, and scatter diagram. It is known as a fishbone diagram because of its shape, similar to the side view of a fish skeleton.

How is this Relevant to ProcessModel, Process Improvement and Simulation?

  • In some processes you will find problems for which the cause cannot be easily determined.
  • ProcessModel has a great “fishbone” diagramming tool built-in

When To Use It

You may find it helpful to use the Ishikawa diagram in the following cases:

  • To analyze and find the root cause of a complicated problem
  • When there are many possible causes for a problem
  • If the traditional way of approaching the problem (trial and error, trying all possible causes, and so on) is very time consuming
  • The problem is very complicated and the project team cannot identify the root cause

Then Not To Use It

Of course, the Fishbone diagram isn’t applicable to every situation. Here are a just a few cases in which you should not use the Ishikawa diagram because the diagrams either are not relevant or do not produce the expected results:

  • The problem is simple or is already known.
  • The team size is too small for brainstorming.
  • There is a communication problem among the team members.
  • There is a time constraint; all or sufficient headcount is not available for brainstorming.
  • The team has experts who can fix any problem without much difficulty.

Causes

Causes in the diagram are often categorized, such as to the 4 M’s, 8 P’s or 4 S’s described below. Cause-and-effect diagrams can reveal key relationships among various variables, and the possible causes provide additional insight into process behavior.

Causes can be derived from brainstorming sessions. These groups can then be labeled as categories of the fishbone. They will typically be one of the traditional categories mentioned above but may be something unique to the application in a specific case. Causes can be traced back to root causes with the 5 Whys technique. Typical categories are:

The 4 M’s (Used in manufacturing)

  • Machine (Equipment)
  • Method (Process/Inspection)
  • Material (Raw,Consumables etc.)
  • Man power

The 8 P’s (Used in service industry)

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place/Plant
  • Promotion
  • People
  • Process
  • Physical Evidence
  • Productivity & Quality

The 4 S’s (Used in service industry)

  • Surroundings
  • Suppliers
  • Systems
  • Skills

Steps:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Brainstorm
  3. Identify the causes
  4. Elliminate unimportant causes
  5. Take action on remaining causes

If you need further help, please contact support.

For disassembly of previously attached entities see Detach Routing

Example: build an assembly, test, if failure occurs then disassemble

For disassembly of entities not previously attached in your model see Create Routing

Example: airplane maintenance facility. Plane arrives, inspection, parts are removed…

What is a confidence interval?

A range of values so defined that there is a specified probability that the value of a parameter lies within it.

The purpose of taking a random sample from population and computing a statistic, such as the mean, is to approximate the mean of the population. How well the sample statistic estimates the underlying population value is always an issue. A confidence interval addresses this issue because it provides a range of values which is likely to contain the population parameter of interest.

Confidence intervals can be accessed by first selling up multiple replications in ProcessModel simulation software

Setting a model to run multiple replications prior to accessing confidence intervals.

Confidence intervals are constructed at a confidence level, such as 95 %, selected by the user. What does this mean? It means that if the same population is sampled on numerous occasions and interval estimates are made on each occasion, the resulting intervals would bracket the true population parameter in approximately 95% of the cases.

See Chapter 6 of the User’s Guide to learn how to view the confidence interval in the output report.

Why have confidence interval?

Confidence intervals are one way to represent how “good” an estimate is; the larger a 95% confidence interval for a particular estimate, the more caution is required when using the estimate.

Confidence Intervals in ProcessModel

To obtain confidence interval data, multiple replications must be run. To setup a model for multiple replications go to the Simulation/Options menu and set the number of replications. Set the number of replications and uncheck the animate checkbox.

The Cause and Effect diagram identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem. It can be used to structure a brainstorming session. It immediately sorts ideas into useful categories.

How to Develop a Cause and Effect Diagram

1. Agree on a problem statement (effect). Place an activity at the center right of the ProcessModel layout. Write the problem statement in the activity. Use the cause and effect line style to draw a line connecting to the problem statement.

Cause and Effect diagram problem statement in ProcessModel process improvement software

Cause and Effect diagram problem statement.

2. Brainstorm the major categories of causes of the problem. If this is difficult use generic headings:

  • Methods
  • Machines (equipment)
  • People (manpower)
  • Materials
  • Measurement
  • Environment

3. Write the categories of causes as branches from the main arrow. Use the connector tool to draw connectors attaching to the backbone of the diagram and type after each line is completed to create the headings.

Adding categories to the cause and effect diagram.

Adding categories to the cause and effect diagram.

4. Brainstorm all the possible causes of the problem. Ask: “Why does this happen?” As each idea is given, the facilitator creates it as a branch from the appropriate category. Causes can be created in several places if they relate to several categories.

Cause and Effect sub-categories for ProcessModel process improvement software

Cause and Effect sub-categories

or

Cause and Effect diagram in ProcessModel software.

Reorganizing causes may yield greater clarity and understanding.

5. Again ask “why does this happen?” about each cause. Write sub–causes branching off the causes. Continue to ask “Why?” and generate deeper levels of causes. Layers of branches indicate causal relationships.

6. When the group runs out of ideas, focus attention to places on the chart where ideas are few.

Why use ProcessModel to create a Cause and Effect diagram?

These diagrams can be drawn on a white board, on a flip chart or put together using sticky notes. They are especially easy to draw if you know what they look like ahead of time. The problem is that you don’t know what the diagram is going to look like ahead of time. Much of the time is spent correcting, redrawing or moving things around. ProcessModel has great features for:

  • Moving items to other locations on the diagram
  • Copying elements
  • Spell checking
  • Deleting
  • Resizing
  • Printing
  • Templates

Also known as: Ishikawa Diagram, Fishbone Diagram.

If you need further help, please contact support.

In probability theory, the central limit theorem (CLT) states conditions under which the mean of a sufficiently large number of independent random variables, each with finite mean and variance, will be approximately normally distributed (Rice 1995). The central limit theorem also requires the random variables to be identically distributed, unless certain conditions are met. Since real-world quantities are often the balanced sum of many unobserved random events, this theorem provides a partial explanation for the prevalence of the normal probability distribution. The CLT also justifies the approximation of large-sample statistics to the normal distribution in controlled experiments.

The balanced scorecard is a strategic management system used to drive performance and accountability throughout the organization.

The scorecard balances traditional performance measures with more forward-looking indicators in four key dimensions:

  • Financial
  • Integration/Operational Excellence
  • Employees
  • Customers

Benefits include:

  • Alignment of individual and corporate objectives
  • Accountability throughout the organization
  • Culture driven by performance
  • Support of shareholder value creation

If you need further help, please contact support.

A best practice is a way or method of accomplishing a business function or process that is considered to be superior to all other known methods.

“Best practice” is sometime bestowed by a governing body (such as a professional association) or by published research results. In general, a method or program gains such status by being:

  1. Measurable. That means that its goals are clear and that progress toward them can be measured. An emergency department waiting reduction program would require that common measurements were captured for door to doctor, doctor to admit, doctor to discharge and patients that left without being seen.
  2. Notably successful. The method or program not only gains good results, but the results are aligned with the program goals.
  3. Replicable. The method or program is documented well enough so that it can be reproduced elsewhere.

Replication is usually an issue. Actually when each point of interest of a system is recorded, and its philosophical base is deliberately clarified, its rarely conceivable to recreate it precisely. Groups and populaces are diverse in size, character, society, and different ways, and the majority of that influences the operation of a project or the application of a method. Furthermore, a few projects function and also they do due to the individual abilities or character of the individuals who run them, a component that its regularly difficult to repeat.

The genuine test of replication, the extent that you’re concerned, ought to be whether you can replicate it – precisely, or adjusted to your needs – in your own particular circumstance. In the event that you would, it be able to’s replicable; in the event that you can’t, its not, paying little respect to what the exploration says. It could be said, the more versatile a project or practice is, the more replicable it is, and that may be the way to whether it will be received by others.

If you need further help, please contact support.

The Beta Distribution is a continuous distribution that has both upper and lower finite bounds.

Because many real situations can be bounded in this way, the Beta distribution can be used empirically to estimate the actual distribution before much data is available. Even when data is available, this distribution should fit most data in a reasonable fashion, although it may not be the best fit.

Beta distribution used in business process simulation beta distribution used in process simulation
beta distribution used in process simulation software beta distribution used in process improvement.

As can be seen in the examples above, This distribution can approach zero or infinity at either of its bounds, with p controlling the lower bound and q controlling the upper bound. Values of p,q<1 cause the Beta distribution to approach infinity at that bound. Values of p,q>1 cause the Beta distribution to be finite at that bound.

Beta distributions have many, many uses such as to model distributions of hydrologic variables, logarithm of aerosol sizes, activity time in PERT analysis, isolation data in photovoltaic system analysis, porosity / void ratio of soil, phase derivatives in communication theory, size of progeny in Escherchia Coli, dissipation rate in breakage models, proportions in gas mixtures, steady-state reflectivity, clutter and power of radar signals, construction duration, particle size, tool wear, and others. Many of these uses occur because of the doubly bounded nature of the Beta distribution.

If you need further help, please contact support.

The concept of discovering what is the best performance being achieved, whether in your company, by a competitor, or by an entirely different industry.

Benchmarking is an improvement tool whereby a company measures its performance or process against other companies’ best practices, determines how those companies achieved their performance levels, and uses the information to improve its own performance.

Benchmarking is a continuous process whereby an enterprise measures and compares all its functions, systems and practices against strong competitors, identifying quality gaps in the organization, and striving to achieve competitive advantage locally and globally.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Scenario:

When trying to change arrival type, the only option available is Periodic, all the other options are gone. How do I get the missing arrival types back?

18-Arrival-Type

Reason:

You are running in Live Process Mapping mode rather than ProcessModel mode.

Solution:

Live Process Mapping is a mode for running simple animation-only models which are typically used to demonstrate a basic process flow. Many of the features of ProcessModel such as times, cost, resources, etc. have been removed. Take these steps to switch from Live Process Mapping mode to the full ProcessModel mode.

  1. Click Tools / Switch to ProcessModel.
  2. Close ProcessModel and start it again.

If you need further help, please contact support.

There is no way to display the actual graphic ID number of an entity. It must be calculated. A brief explanation will be needed for this process.

Each shape (entity, activity, storage, etc.) on the screen has an ID number associated with it which is assigned in the order in which the shape is placed on the layout window. Entity graphic ID numbers are different numbers than the shape number, but are likewise assigned in the order in which they are placed on the layout window. Since the entity graphic ID number is never displayed, you must first determine what order the entities were placed in the model. This can be done by displaying the shape number and ordering the entity graphic ID number accordingly. The first 20 graphic ID numbers are reserved, so an entity’s graphic ID number is calculated by adding 20 to the sequence number that the entities were placed on the screen. For example, if you placed six shapes on the screen in the order Entity A, Activity 1, Activity 2, Activity 3, Entity B, Entity C, then the entity graphic ID numbers would be as follows:

  • entity A = 21 (20 + 1st entity placed)
  • entity B = 22 (20 + 2nd entity placed)
  • entity C = 23 (20 + 3rd entity placed)

There are two methods which can be used to display shape numbers. The first method displays all shape numbers on the screen at once.

  1. Click any object except a routing.
  2. Click Format / Numbering and select Show All Shape Numbers.

The next method shows a single shape’s ID number.

  1. Click View / Notes or press the F6 key. This will display a Notes window for the currently selected shape.
  2. Click on an entity. The entity’s shape number is displayed in the window’s title bar. By clicking on each entity, you can determine the order in which the entities were placed in the model.

If you need further help, please contact support.

When using a single FREE command in my If – Then block I get the error “Else is a reserved word” even though my action logic syntax appears to be correct.

When using FREE statements in an If – Then or If – Then – Else block, subroutines are being called by the system to update statistics before the FREE command is executed.  This makes the action logic a multi-line block, requiring the use of open / close squirly brackets.

Even though the FREE command may be the only line of action logic in your If – Then block, there are actually multiple actions occurring since there are statistical update subroutines being called.  To eliminate this error simply include open / close squirly brackets in your If – Then block.

Example:

If v_Counter = 2 Then
{
Free All
}

Scenario:

When a resource is placed on the layout window it shows properties dialogs for activities.

14-Activity

Reason:

You are running in Live Process Mapper mode rather than ProcessModel mode.

Solution:

Live Process Mapping is a mode for running simple animation-only models which are typically used to demonstrate a basic process flow. Many of the features of ProcessModel such as times, cost, resources, etc. have been removed. Take these steps to switch from Live Process Mapping mode to the full ProcessModel mode.

  1. Click Tools / Switch to ProcessModel.
  2. Close ProcessModel and start it again.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Several fields and output report options are missing in the ProcessModel:

  • Missing Options in the Simulation Menu.
  • When an object is placed on the layout window and we try to change the object type, the only options available are Activity, Entity and Label. Resource, Storage, and Link are gone.
  • When trying to change arrival type, the only option available is Periodic, all the other options are gone.
  • When a resource is placed on the layout window the properties dialog shows options for an Activity.
  • Many of the output report options have disappeared.
Missing Fields 1

Missing Options in the Simulation Menu

Resources Show Properties Dialogs For Activities

Resources Show Properties Dialogs For Activities

Missing Arrival Types

Missing Arrival Types

Missing Object Types

Missing Object Types

Missing Output Report Options

Missing Output Report Options

Reason:

You are running in Live Process Mapper mode rather than ProcessModel mode.

Solution:

Live Process Mapping is a mode for running simple animation-only models which are typically used to demonstrate a basic process flow. Many of the features of ProcessModel such as times, cost, resources, etc. have been removed. Take these steps to switch from Live Process Mapping mode to the full ProcessModel mode.

  1. Click Tools / Switch to ProcessModel.
  2. Close ProcessModel and start it again.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Question:

All the data from my model is gone. The graphics are still there but the there is no data in the properties dialog box, it doesn’t show any parameters, action logic, etc. previously entered.

Answer:

Starting ProcessModel by double-clicking on the .igx file Your data has been overwritten with system defaults. If you have created a Model Package then you can reinstall the package. Always open ProcessModel and then open the model file (.spg).

Note: Model packages can be double-clicked to open.

If you need further help, please contact support.

What is the sequence of processing events as entities arrive at and leave activities, and route between activities?

At an Activity

  1. Any batching function before an activity
  2. Get connected resources (Get or Get & Free)
  3. Attach child entities
  4. Perform action logic in the Action tab
  5. Perform processing time in the General tab
  6. Perform activity cost calculations
  7. Detach child entities
  8. Free connected resources (Free or Get & Free)
  9. Any batching function after an activity

At a Routing

  1. Get connected resources (Get or Get & Free)
  2. Perform action logic in the Action tab
  3. Perform routing move time in the General tab
  4. Free connected resources (Free or Get & Free)
  5. Perform routing cost calculations

If you need further help, please contact support.

Question:Index out of Range

A model runs fine for a short to medium length of time. However, if I run the same model for a very long time I get an Index out of range error on an  Entity_CycleTime_Data variable.

Answer:

There can be two causes for this.

  1. The array used to collect Standard Deviation statistics for entity cycle time has reached maximum capacity. The default value is 10,000 and the maximum is 34,464.
    1. There are two ways to resolve this problem. Both are located under Simulation / Options… / Output Summary
      1. Uncheck the Show Standard Deviation check box OR
      2. Select a larger number from the Number of Cycle Time drop down list.
  2. An entity name is being changed (e.g. using the NewName statement) to a name that hasn’t been defined.
    1. Add an entity graphic to your model with the name used in the NewName statement.

If you need further help, please contact support.

The Anderson-Darling test is used to test if a sample of data came from a population with a specific distribution. It is a modification of the Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) test and gives more weight to the tails than does the K-S test. The K-S test is distribution free in the sense that the critical values do not depend on the specific distribution being tested. The Anderson-Darling test makes use of the specific distribution in calculating critical values. This has the advantage of allowing a more sensitive test and the disadvantage that critical values must be calculated for each distribution.

If you need further help, please contact support.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Contact support for help.