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  • By Geoff Hook
  • In Blog
  • Posted 17/12/2015

Geoff Hook talks us through the success of the recent WITNESS User Conference in Italy.

November saw the 16thAnnual WITNESS User Conference Italy, hosted by Geico Taikisha at its Pardis Innovation Centre in Milan. Over 40 delegates from all over the country, including household names such as Pirelli, Ferrero and Logmarin, gathered together at this state-of-the-art global technological centre to share experiences and best practice, while staying up-to-date with the latest WITNESS product developments.

After a welcome by Daryush Arabnia, executive marketing director of Geico Taikisha, Paolo Ravizza from Studio Zeta, Lanner’s partner in Italy, opened proceedings by taking a look back at the last 21 years of WITNESS in action in Italy.

Paolo then introduced Daniel Raspone of long-standing WITNESS customer, Geico Taikisha, who shared his experience of using dynamic simulation to support the planning activities of pre-treatment facilities in the automobile industry. He went on to explain how WITNESS has helped Geico Taikisha to respond quickly and effectively to changing customer requirements, supporting the difficult decision making process by facilitating the testing of design assumptions in a simulated environment.

The focus then moved to the energy sector, with Paolo Pierdomenico from Wärtsilä. Paolo discussed the increasingly competitive nature of the energy market but how, in spite of a difficult business environment, with the help of dynamic simulation, Wärtsilä has been able to identify and prevent potential problems, improving performance metrics systems and consequently cutting costs, exceeding goals and increasing profits.

It was then over to Luca Ghezzi who is part of ABB’s central research group and is tasked with driving innovation across all areas of ABB. He discussed ABB’s project which links genetic algorithms to WITNESS to create a scheduling solution which minimises the makespan of products on the line, ensuring compliance with delivery dates.

Following ABB’s presentation, all delegates had the opportunity to hear about a recent study undertaken by the Faculty of Economics at the University of Genoa. Using event simulation tools from Lanner, the team analysed a fictional scenario which looked at the flow of passengers and freight through one of the terminals at Sydney airport, in order to optimise the efficient management of passenger and freight flow, identifying potential bottlenecks and other critical issues.

Under the heading of ‘New Horizons’, I then discussed the escalating pace of change, and how an increasingly volatile business world means predictive simulation has more to offer than ever before. I also explained the many benefits that will be realised with the next release of WITNESS.

This was a particularly inspiring user conference where all the delegates were there to share ideas, thinking and best practice. It’s only by holding these kinds of interactive events that we can foster collaboration among WITNESS users. The Italian WITNESS community never fails to provide us with extremely valuable feedback which we invariably use to inform WITNESS product development, driving innovation and creating competitive advantage for each and every one of our customers.

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