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Old 04-09-2015
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Michal,

Thank you for your post. I am really glad you brought up such important points. And even show no fear to post this on our own forum. I like it.

Since you are the German distributor of Simio I am sure your very interested in making sure Simio looks as good as possible. You make a list of things that Simio does but you make no attempt to compare them to FlexSim. After all this is a product comparison thread. You also make no attempt to acknowledge if FlexSim has similar features. So here is where I would like to help you out.

We will start off by seeing if what you have said about Simio is true as compared to FlexSim (statements may be true about other products, but that is another discussion).

You say " I am posting my prospective on Simio as I see it has been very much underestimated here."

You're probably right about that. Since this is a FlexSim forum we don't say a lot about Simio.

We don't underestimate Simio because Simio was created by a highly respected man. He has our respect. We have both been in this business for a long time and the respect should be mutual.

So lets have some fun and compare Simio and FlexSim. We will try and use Simio's material that is published on the web so I don't make a fool out of myself. Let’s look at some material.

You say " Simio drastically reduces the simulation project time and quickly leads to quality results."

Let’s see if this statement is really true or just marketing hype. Let’s take a look at a Simio Simbit and a FlexSim video that compares the same feature.

When you’re done viewing both, answer honestly, does Simio reduce modeling time compared to FlexSim? I will let you make your own conclusion.

Take a look:







You make a list of features of Simio so lets compare what you have said (giving you the benefit of doubt that Simio has everything you say).

You say:

"There are very strong features of Simio that help achieve this agile usage:
1. relational data tables that help avoid mundane data searches. Entity connected to one row in a table knows its related rows in other tables. No indexing (looping through data) needed.
2. it is a very well structured software with many ribbons and few, just 15 objects in the standard library (incl. path, node, server, vehicle and a few others) that allow constructing almost every simulation model.
3. Visio like process trees that flexibly extend functionality of the standard objects. No programming needed. No constant focus changing to deep down programming in VB or similar.
4. automatic collection of many results, using interactive dashboards for results presentation
5. experiments on all cores at ones
6. 3D animation is just an addition to all that. It helps to locate and solve the issues. It takes just a few clicks to create it. 3D Animation is meant to show and understand, not to make movies out of it. there is other software for movies."

Let’s look at each of these 6 claims in detail and see if FlexSim has somehow failed to see a need for this feature. It is good to see that Simio has these 6 features.


“1. relational data tables that help avoid mundane data searches. Entity connected to one row in a table knows its related rows in other tables. No indexing (looping through data) needed.”


First of all, I need to know the definition of “mundane data searches”. Are there non-mundane searches? I mean anyone who likes searching data really needs to skydive to bring some excitement in their life.


Most simulation products have relational data tables. FlexSim provides more than just referencing related rows in a table. You can even nest a table within a cell in FlexSim. Relational SQL searches can also be inside FlexSim. Here is a list of the table commands in FlexSim. I am not sure if Simio allows string data in tables. If not then Simio tables are of the basic variety. I see no weakness of FlexSim compared to Simio.

reftable("GlobalTable")Returns a reference to the Global Table that can then be passed into subsequent table commands.
gettablenum(table, row, col)Returns the number value stored in the table at the cell specified by row and col.
gettablestr(table, row, col)Returns the string value stored in the table at the cell specified by row and col.
settablenum(table, row, col)Sets the number value in the table of the cell specified by row and col.
settablestr(table, row, col)Sets the string value in the table of the cell specified by row and col.
gettablecell(table, row, col)Returns a reference to the cell (node) in the table specified by row and col.
settablesize(table, row, col)Sets the size of table to rows and cols. See commands documentation.
gettablecols(table)Returns the number of columns in table.
gettablerows(table)Returns the number of rows in table.
clearglobaltable(table)Writes zeros to all the number cells and clears the text in all string cells of the table.
addtablecol(table)Adds a new column to the table.
addtablerow(table)Adds a new row to the table.
deletetablecol(table, col)Deletes the specified column from the table.
deletetablerow(table, row)Deletes the specified row from the table.
movetablecol(table, col, newcol)Moves the table column col to newcol.
movetablerow(table, row, newrow)Moves the table row row to newrow.
gettableheader(table, row/col, rowcolnr)See commands documentation.
executetablecell(table, row, col)Executes the cell in table as Flexscript. If the cell contains number data, returns the number.
importtable(table, "filename", importcolheaders, importrowheaders)Imports table data from the file specified by filename from a .CSV format.
exporttable(table, "filename")Exports the table in .CSV format to the file specified by filename.

2. it is a very well structured software with many ribbons and few, just 15 objects in the standard library (incl. path, node, server, vehicle and a few others) that allow constructing almost every simulation model.


Ribbons are a Microsoft feature. As you have watched the previous video comparison, I don’t think you would find a weakness in either product in the interface. Other than it takes many more clicks and custom processes to build the same model in Simio. I would say less clicks make for better structured software. Take a look at these 2 videos and look how clean the interface of FlexSim is compared to Simio. You be the judge. Notice how it takes many more clicks in Simio to build the same model.







3. Visio like process trees that flexibly extend functionality of the standard objects. No programming. . No constant focus changing to deep down programming in VB or similar.


We should call this what it is. It is visual programing. In the previous 2 video comparisons there is more programing and defining custom processes in Simio than in FlexSim. You say no programing in Simio. This is absolutely not true. A product that has no way of customizing the model is worthless. Without some way to customize you have no flexibility. Simio requires programing to build a real model. Just like any other worthwhile simulation software. You hurt yourself when you say Simio has no programing. FlexSim’s customization is limitless. Simio does not even compare because in FlexSim you can code anything if you desire. FlexSim’s wizards reduce coding without limiting flexibility.

4. automatic collection of many results, using interactive dashboards for results presentation

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Good to know. Simio has finally added this capability that FlexSim has had for years.

5. experiments on all cores at ones
FlexSim also does this and has for a long time.

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This computer has 4 cores so 4 runs in the experimenter running at the same time.

6. 3D animation is just an addition to all that. It helps to locate and solve the issues. It takes just a few clicks to create it. 3D Animation is meant to show and understand, not to make movies out of it. there is other software for movies."


As you have watched the videos you have noticed that FlexSim’s 3D animation is much better. Simio uses some basic 2D representation and then changes to a basic 3D. Simio only support a few 3D file formats when FlexSim uses many. Here are a list of 3D file types FlexSim uses directly:
*.wrl; *.3ds; *.dxf; *.stl; *.skp; *.dae; *.obj; *.ac; *.x; *.ase; *.ply; *.ms3d; *.cob;*.md5mesh; *.irr; *.irrmesh; *.ter; *.lxo; *.csm; *.scn; *.q3o; *.q3s; *.raw; *.off; *.mdl; *.hmp; *.scn; *.xgl; *.zgl; *.lvo; *.lvs; *.blend


When you say "3D Animation is meant to show and understand, not to make movies out of it." it almost sounds like your saying Simio’s 3D is so bad that you recommend not making movies out of it. FlexSim thinks 3D is very important and we include a “AVI Maker” complete with fly paths and object animations to create stunning videos of your models to share with clients. I believe that Simio does not even compare in the 3D feature set with FlexSim. If this is one of the issues you think we have under estimated in Simio then you are unfamiliar of FlexSim’s capabilities. You should watch these videos so you become familiar with FlexSim animation.


FlexSim's Conveyor Module from FlexSim Simulation Software on Vimeo.


FlexSim for Material Handling Simulation from FlexSim Simulation Software on Vimeo.



https://vimeo.com/120641539
https://vimeo.com/85480181
https://vimeo.com/122804019

So if I have misstated anything please let me know. I have tried to focus my comments on FlexSim features and have let the Simio published video stand on their own merit. My comments of 3D capability should be validated by the videos. If my observations here are incorrect please help me understand.

Last edited by Bill Nordgren; 04-14-2015 at 03:43 PM.
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