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Working alongside our German partner, Lanner SimTech, BEWO Engineering used predictive simulation to design and validate a new sugar production facility.

BEWO Engineering, an engineering service company focused on the planning and development of bulk material handling systems, provide their customers with a competitive edge through the broad range of technical services they offer.

Due to their expertise, BEWO were approached by a sugar production facility looking to expand and relocate part of its process to another location, 20 km away from the original site. The move included establishing six production lines, storage facilities, packaging areas and distribution channels.

The relocation needed to be as seamless as possible, with minimal disruption to the existing production line and its processes. To ensure the success of the move, BEWO turned to Lanner SimTech and predictive simulation to give insight and certainty to the new facility design.

The first thing BEWO did was to build a Digital Twin within WITNESS of the existing facility and production process. The model was used to understand the production flows; including paths of nearly 100 products. To ensure the Digital Twin gave an accurate representation of reality, the model was run over the course of a year and then validated with input from the shop floor staff.

With a validated model of the status quo, alternative layout designs were then developed within WITNESS. By creating a data interface through Excel to run the model; different cycle times, speeds and production schedules were quickly tested and analysed.

Through the use of predictive simulation, BEWO Engineering had a clear understanding of the best options available for configuring the moved production lines. Specifically, they were able to discern which production lines were susceptible to bottlenecks, allowing them to adjust and plan accordingly to avoid future problems, while accounting for varying market demands.

Additionally, by analysing the pallet and packaging needs of each layout design, BEWO Engineering could determine if an additional forklift would be required depending on the layout chosen, saving time and giving confidence in their decision making.

WITNESS predictive simulation provided BEWO Engineering, and their customer, with a deeper understanding of their processes and interdependencies and will continue to support strategic decision making throughout the facility relocation, until the project's completion in 2019.

The model confirmed the necessity and importance of a particular line and identified optimal storage sizes and locations, reducing the risk of moving such a large part of the production line. With measurable and objective data available, gut instincts were replaced by analytics, allowing better, quicker and more confident decision making. 


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