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Getting Started


2 • GETTING STARTED What are entities? Entities are the items—customers, documents, parts—that are being served, produced, or otherwise acted on by your process. In business processes, they often are documents or electronic records (such as checks, contracts, applications, purchase orders). In service systems, entities usually are people (the customers being served in a restaurant, hospital, airport, etc.). Manufacturing models typically have some kind of part running through the process, whether it’s raw material, a subcomponent, or finished product. Other models might have different types of entities, such as data packets in network analysis or letters and boxes in package-handling facilities. You may have different types of entities in the same model. For example, customers moving through a check-in counter at an airport might be separated into regular, firstclass, and priority entity types. In some cases, entity types might be of an altogether different form rather than classifications of some basic type. For instance, in a pharmacy, prescriptions would be modeled as entities, running through the process of being filled. At the same time, customers might be competing for the pharmacist’s attention with medical inquiries; they would also be modeled as entities. Appendix A describes the distributions available in Arena. Review passenger identification (Process module) Remember that as we create the flowchart, we’re looking at the process from the perspective of the entity. The Create module is a starting point for an entity’s flow through the system being modeled. Next, in our case, the passenger identification will be reviewed for completeness by a Secutiry Agent. Because this will take some amount of time, holding the entity at this point in the flowchart for a delay and requiring a resource to perform the activity, we use a Process module. We’ll call this process Check for Proper Identification. For the time delay, we also want to capture the natural variability that exists in most processes. Very often, for work done by people or equipment, a triangular distribution provides a good approximation. You specify the minimum time in which the work could be done, the most likely value for the time delay, and the maximum duration of the process. During the simulation run, each time an entity enters the process, Arena will calculate a sample from the distribution information you’ve provided—in our case, a triangular distribution. Over the course of a long simulation run where thousands of individual samples are taken, the times will follow the profile illustrated next. 15

GETTING STARTED WITH ARENA If more than one resource is required for a process to be performed, add as many as are necessary in the Process dialog’s Resources list. An entity won’t commence its process delay until all listed resources are available. For our Check for Proper Identification process, we’ll use a minimum time of .75 minute, most likely value of 1.5 minutes, and a maximum of 3 minutes. We will assign a resource, the Transportation Security Officer, to perform this process. 1. Double-click the Process module to open its property dialog box. 2. In the Name field, type Check for Proper Identification. 3. To define a resource to perform this process, pull down the Action list and select Seize Delay Release. Arriving entities will wait their turn for the resource to be available. When its turn comes, each entity will seize the resource, delay for the process time, and then release the resource to do other work. 4. A list of resources will appear in the center of the dialog box. To add a resource for this process, click Add. 16

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