AnyLogic 8.4 Alpha release

Jib Crane in the updated Material Handling Library of AnyLogic 8.4 Alpha

Coinciding with the Winter Simulation Conference in Gothenburg this Dec 9–12, AnyLogic 8.4 Alpha is available for testing. It can be run alongside the current stable release.

This new version of AnyLogic includes two sets of major changes as well as a few smaller ones too. Read on for more details and to download the installer. If you are attending the conference, come and see it in action. We are in booths 15-16 and also have a schedule of events.

The first set of major developments are in the Material Handling Library. The functionality of this library is developing quickly, along with developments in industry. The other major changes are in file management, relating to how all the files associated with a model are grouped and tracked.

Minor changes in the Process Modeling Library help boost performance, while elsewhere there are also performance and other functionality updates. To begin, let’s look at the major changes.


Material Handling Library

A new network port means two sections of a conveyor, or regular network, can logically connect to form a single network. In addition, a new Lift object now enables the connection of network fragments located on different levels — the routing works seamlessly across network ports and lifts. Together, these objects simplify the modeling of multi-component multi-tier conveyor and transporter systems.

A Jib Crane object is now available and is operated by the MoveByCrane block. It can connect one or more networks.

Dynamic route recalculation can now be done on demand by calling agent.recalculateRoute(). For example, if reading the current conditions from the Convey block shows that there is congestion, it can change the route of a material item or AGV.

A simple split/merge connector for conveyors now provides the simplest possible side connection. These are useful when a turntable or transfer table is not needed.

Improved collision avoidance for transporters, such as AGVs. Now you can query various information about the transporter and the network state, such as the number of other transporters on different paths, their state, speed restrictions, and other parameters. This enables custom routing and, for example, the modeling of restricted zones. You can also now tell the transporter to avoid certain paths. In the final 8.4 release it will also be possible to include paths.

Note: The final release of AnyLogic 8.4 will enable transporters, such as AGVs, to move in free space. Furthermore, the final release will also include: heat maps for AGVs and conveyor networks, extended failure and maintenance profiles, and statistics on equipment states.


Management of model related file resources

Other major changes are related to the management of files associated with the model. Apart from the model itself, the model database, and other standard files there are also additional files, such as images, GIS shapefiles, text, Excel, CAD drawings, and others. In AnyLogic 8.4 Alpha, all these files can be easily managed from the model tree view in the Resources group. AnyLogic keeps track of which files are being used and which are not, so it knows which should not be exported with the model and which files are missing.

This feature is the first step to enabling files, such as text or Excel files, to be model parameters and outputs in AnyLogic Cloud.


Process Modeling Library

To improve the animation performance of large storage systems, the default drawing mode of the Rack System is now color indication mode.

The Pickup block now has a new operation mode ‘Exact quantity’. This causes it to wait until it has the specified number of items before moving on. For example, packaging items coming off a conveyor in a material handling model.


…and a few extras

Automatic code formatting can now be applied to one or more model elements, or even the entire model, by selecting them and choosing ‘Format Code’ in the context menu.

Models can now be exported as standalone applications directly from command-line mode without invoking the AnyLogic GUI.

Many more minor changes and fixes have been made and these can be found in the Changes History.


Legacy — out with the unused

Starting from this alpha version, Action Charts have been removed and converted into functions.

Download AnyLogic 8.4 Alpha, try out the new functionality, and send us your feedback!

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Note: This alpha version will expire on 28th February 2019.

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