Review of simulation software for cyber-physical production systems with intelligent distributed production control
Many intelligent distributed production control architectures have been developed for cyber-physical production systems (CPPSs), but the difficulty in predicting performance has hindered acceptance by industry. Performance predictions for systems with conventional control can be made by simulating product flow using discrete-event simulation (DES) software. However, DES is inadequate for capturing the intricacies of intelligent distributed production control architectures. Alternatively, agent-based simulation (ABS) software is more effective for capturing distributed intelligence. A hybrid discrete-event and agent-based simulation tool combines the strengths of both approaches, making it effective for capturing the intertwined physical and cyber layers of a CPPS. In this paper, a review is carried out to determine which off-the-shelf simulation tools are capable of using hybrid discrete-event and agent-based simulation for performance predictions in the conceptual design phase of a CPPS. This review is carried out using the following structured steps. First, the scope and evaluation criteria are identified. Next, a selection of simulation tools is collected. The selected tools are then evaluated and classified. Finally, the most promising simulation tool according to this evaluation – Anylogic – is subjected to a case study to assess if hybrid simulation can be used to predict the performance of a CPPS.