Multi-stem mechanised harvesting operation analysis : application of discrete-event simulation
In this study, a multi-stem harvesting operation was observed and time studies carried out on its machines. A stump-to-mill simulation model (System 1) of this system was subsequently built using a commercial simulation software package (Arena 9) and data from the time studies were incorporated into the model. Following this, another two stump-to-mill multistem models (Systems 2 and 3) were built using the same simulation software package and parameterised input data. These two models represented hypothetical systems which were tested against System 1 and against one another in terms of machine balance within the system, production rate and cost. System 2 used identical equipment to System 1, but practised alternative operating methods. Some of System 3’s machines and operating methods differed from those in Systems 1 and 2. The objectives of the study were to: 1. Determine whether or not commercial simulation software can be used to adequately model forest harvesting operations. 2. Gauge potential system balance, production and/or cost improvement/s achievable through application of simulation-based operation adjustments. 3. Define beneficial equipment operation and application practises for multi-stem systems. 4. Through construction and use of the commercial software package in producing forest harvesting operation models, evaluate the software’s usability in terms of its applicability to and ease of use in such models, as well as its ability to meet forestrybased user requirements.