Today, a variety of tools exist for the simulation of material flows in production. They form central elements of the digital factory and are used worldwide. This was different in the 1980s. At that time, production processes were largely planned without simulation support. The consequences were high modification costs and additional investments. Simulation studies were costly and the business of a few specialists.

The goal of inpro at that time was to establish the method of material flow simulation in the planning departments of the shareholder companies. The planner was to be provided with an easy-to-use system to evaluate and optimize production processes. For this purpose, simulation systems, ready-made building block libraries and extensive standard strategies were developed, which guarantee a high productivity in the execution of simulation studies. For the extension of the application range, an integrated development environment for the construction of own building block libraries was created.

inpro provided essential impulses for the development of the simulation tools used today. A direct result of the inpro work was the simulation system SIMPRO. In the 1990s, more than 500 simulation projects were successfully carried out with SIMPRO. According to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, such simulations can save up to 3% of the investment in a production system.

inpro has provided the decisive impetus for the development of building block-oriented simulation models for material flow. inpro has thus laid a foundation for standards on which today’s simulation systems are based and which will continue to be highly relevant in the future with a view to the digital factory.”

Prof. Bernd Noche, Managing Director SDZ Simulations Dienstleistungs Zentrum GmbH, Professor of Transport Systems and Logistics at the University of Duisburg-Essen