The area of manufacturing economics lies at the interface between engineering and business, and offers the opportunity to solve problems critical to not only the operation of manufacturing processes, but also the viability and profitability of the manufacturing business and the industry in general. There are a host of issues within this area. The Centre for Automotive Materials and Manufacturing (CAMM), at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario was interested on supply chain design and management and the economic analysis of manufacturing business opportunities.
In the economic analysis of business opportunities, CAMM employed several tools. Cost models were developed most often as a comparative tool, used to evaluate alternative manufacturing processes or materials. These were generally spreadsheet-based, and the results could be used in other models that incorporated the dynamics of the system under investigation. The dynamic model is the other tool that CAMM used extensively, and it was generally used in two forms: the systems dynamics variety, and the discrete events variety. With the adoption of GoldSim, CAMM began to meld these tools together, using the capabilities of the software to incorporate discrete events in a system dynamics model, and to read and write variable values to/from the spreadsheet in a dynamic fashion.