Game Development Reference
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Figure 7. A view of the academic simulation (rear view)
an isolated interface PC card containing more
than 40 digital I/O points.
A weakness of the virtual system is its “anima-
tion based simulation”, which means that only
predicted scenarios can be rendered. And since
the number of possible states of the warehouse is
very high, a considerable part of them was neces-
sarily not considered for the simulation. As a
consequence, training and demonstration sce-
narios based on the virtual system are much more
limited that those based on the real one, which
reduces somehow the visual impact and the edu-
cational value of the application.
Another problem with the simulation is that
exchanging data between a controlled system and
its controller via an OPC server introduces some
latency, which may be incompatible with the
real-time requirements of some highly dynamic
applications. In the simulated application, the
latency do happens to be considerable. For this
reason, in the virtual warehouse, everything moves
much more slowly than in the real system. This
is good for students who are trying to control the
virtual system; but terribly boring for students
who are more interested in assessing operating
policies and other management problems.
The perfect solution for training operating
policies in warehouses was finally found in one
of the ITS PLC synthetic training environments
- Figure 8.
In fact, ITS PLC includes a virtual but very
realistic warehouse specially designed to be used
in inventory training. Using the ITS PLC auto-
mated warehouse, storage and retrieval policies
or storage and retrieval order sequencing and
Figure 8. A view of the ITS PLC warehouse
simulation
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