Student using Enterprise Dynamics Software successfully at Royal Schiphol Group

During my graduation project of the master Operations Management and Logistics at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) I conducted a research project at the Royal Schiphol Group. In my research I worked with the software of InControl Enterprise Dynamics to improve the trucks’ lead time designated for the air cargo handling. This software was preferred since Royal Schiphol Group already collaborated with InControl before. Besides, the software is suitable for the proposed model since it is able to develop discrete-event simulations, shows the flow of the trucks, and has the possibilities to analyze and visualize the model in 2D and 3D perspectives. Moreover, the TU/e provided a user license to the students for this software.

In more detail, my research investigated the flow of trucks arriving at five airport locations to pick up or deliver goods. Specifically, their waiting times at each location were evaluated for the current situation and how the waiting times would change with the adoption of a new concept. The new concept was called Drop and Collect and allows trucks to park their trailers at a truck parking until their goods need to be further processed. This concept ensures more control of the trucks’ flow and a just-in-time handling of goods when they are needed for the next stage of transport (e.g. flying to the next destination). Since a truck parking is added to the current situation, the trucks’ waiting times will change. Enterprise Dynamics was able to measure the change in time well. The design of my models consisted of three steps. Thereafter, the results were analyzed and evaluated.

First, I developed a simulation model of the current situation in the software. Before I started this research I had never worked with Enterprise Dynamics. However, a lot of information could be extracted from the InControl community where a lot of students had asked questions that were similar to my questions. Besides, tutorials and videos were available with basic models to compare and receive information. And what I really liked about InControl is that they were very accessible to ask questions.

Second, I developed additional models for five different scenarios of the Drop and Collect concept in Enterprise Dynamics. These scenarios were more complex than the current situation. Additional simulation objects were necessary to model these scenarios. Also changes in the behavior of the model was necessary. The new scenarios required a lot of capacity and processing constraints. These could be easily implemented using the Enterprise Dynamics Script language 4DScript.

Third, I run the models using the real data sets. During the development phase of the models I worked with small self-conceived data sets to build accurate models. After the models are validated and verified real data sets were used. Therefore, the corresponding trucks’ waiting times could be analyzed by running the models. The software was really helpful by analyzing and quantifying the trucks’ flows.

Last, the results of the simulation were evaluated and conclusions about the adoption of the Drop and Collect concept were drawn.

Overall, the software of InControl gave a good representation of the trucks’ flow at the airport and show where bottlenecks occur. The possibility to show the movements in 3D are very valuable for the understanding of the system and possible errors could be found more easily.

Are you interested in a thesis project about modeling with Enterprise Dynamics? The Enterprise Dynamics Pro license is an affordable license for students working on their bachelor’s or master’s thesis. Please find more information here or contact the research education team via email. 

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