Welcome to the Fall 2002 issue of the GoldSim Newsletter!
Our goal is to provide information that helps you
get the most out of GoldSim. We also hope that the
Newsletter can act as a vehicle to build connections
between users within the GoldSim community.
Each newsletter will deliver the latest GoldSim news,
as well as a number of regular items. This will include
a Featured GoldSim Application, tips from the GoldSim
developers, a list of new models added to the GoldSim
Model Library, a list of new GoldSim Knowledge Base
articles, and a description of new features that the
GoldSim Development Team is currently working on.
Each Newsletter will be archived on our website so
you can revisit old issues.
Since this newsletter is for you, we encourage you
to send us your comments and contributions. If you
send us a contribution and we use it, we will acknowledge
you in the Newsletter. Send your contributions to
The GoldSim Technology Group
Mining Companies Rely on GoldSim for Life-Cycle Analysis
In recent months, a number of the world's largest mining
companies have begun using GoldSim to support the full range
of life cycle analyses. Although GoldSim has historically
been used for environmental and water management issues,
these companies are beginning to deploy GoldSim to address
the following areas:
· Mine feasibility analysis (Should we develop the
mine or not?)
· Mine construction simulation (How should we build
· Evaluation and refinement of production alternatives
(How should we operate the mine?)
· Closure and permitting studies (How should we close
the facility when mining is finished?)
Because the mining industry must address a broad range
of risk management issues (e.g., uncertainty in metal prices,
changes in environmental regulations, political instability,
mine accidents) GoldSim's ability to incorporate uncertainty
and disruptive events in the analysis make it an ideal tool
for these applications.
Academic Users Discover GoldSim in Time for the New School
The number of GoldSim Academic users has grown over 100%
during the two-month period of August and September 2002.
This dramatic growth reflects the growing awareness that
while GoldSim Academic offers the power and flexibility
to simulate real-world systems, it's also an excellent educational
tool. Because GoldSim Academic is free to qualified academic
users, Professors and instructors can include GoldSim modeling
as part of their regular curriculum knowing that there will
be no cost to their students.
GoldSim Now Shipping with a Basic Tutorial
A basic tutorial that provides an introduction to GoldSim
is now available for download. New and existing users can
update their current GoldSim software by visiting the GoldSim
Resource Center and following the instructions for downloading
and installing the tutorial file. We also anticipate releasing
an on-line help system by the end of the year.
GoldSim Releases Service Pack SP-1 and SP-2 for GoldSim
GoldSim released two service packs, SP-1 and SP-2, in the
months of June and August respectively. These releases insure
that users have access to the latest and more reliable version
of the software. In particular, SP-1 corrects several memory
issues associated with versioning and SP-2 corrects a problem
associated with models created in version 7.21 or earlier.
SP-2 also provides the following new features:
· Cumulative and discrete stochastic data entries
can now be copied to the clipboard using Ctrl-C.
· Dynamic model settings can now be changed when
model is in Ready Mode (e.g. GoldSim Player before starting
These service packs are available for all current members
of the GoldSim Upgrade and Support program.
Economic Analysis of Manufacturing Business Opportunities
Manufacturing Economics Group
Centre for Automotive
Materials and Manufacturing
Kingston, Ontario Canada
The area of manufacturing economics lies at the interface
between engineering and business, and has offered us 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, but we have
thus far concentrated on supply chain design and management
and the economic analysis of manufacturing business opportunities.
In the economic analysis of business opportunities, we
employ several tools, including two that we'll discuss a
bit further here. Cost models are developed most often as
a comparative tool, used to evaluate alternative manufacturing
processes or materials. These are generally spreadsheet-based,
and the results can be used in other models that incorporate
the dynamics of the system under investigation. The dynamic
model is the other tool that we have used extensively, and
has been used in two forms: the systems dynamics variety,
and the discrete events variety.
With the adoption of GoldSim, we have begun 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.
The GoldSim spreadsheet element provides a very powerful
mechanism to link your GoldSim models to an Excel spreadsheet,
and every GoldSim user should be familiar with it. The spreadsheet
element can be used in two different ways: as a function
or subroutine, and as a database. In the former case, during
a simulation you send data to the spreadsheet, tell it to
recalculate itself, and then retrieve the calculated values
back into GoldSim. In the later case, you don't send any
data to the spreadsheet at all. Instead, you use it as the
repository for all your inputs, and GoldSim pulls the data
from the spreadsheet at the beginning of each run.
This is particularly useful if you have a large amount
of data to enter into GoldSim, particularly if that data
may be modified frequently in the future. The featured GoldSim
application in this issue of the newsletter discusses the
usefulness of spreadsheet links in more detail. In addition,
an article has recently been added to the Knowledge Base
that describes how to correctly utilize VBA within spreadsheets
linked to GoldSim. A corresponding model illustrating this
has also been added to the Model Library.
The GoldSim Model Library allows GoldSim users to build
on the experience and knowledge of others by sharing models.
The Library is available from within the GoldSim Resource
Within the last several months, we have added a number
of new models to the library, including a drug portfolio
model, a demonstration supply chain model, a series of simple
inventory models, and a model that illustrates the use of
a Spreadsheet element in conjunction with Excel VBA (Visual
Basic for Applications) in order to create a custom external
If you have a model that you think would be worthwhile
to post to the library, please send it, along with text
describing the model, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GoldSim Knowledge Base contains articles addressing
frequently asked questions, workarounds for known problems,
and advice on applying GoldSim. The Knowledge Base is available
from within the GoldSim Resource Center (GRC). A few of
the recent additions include:
· How to use Spreadsheet elements and Excel VBA to
create more powerful models.
· How to create and use units for items (like widgets,
boxes, or cars).
· Several articles addressing installation errors.
We encourage you to visit the Knowledge Base, as even expert
users are likely to find useful information there.
Version 7.5 of GoldSim will be released before the end
of the year. Some of the new features included in release
· Memory management has been significantly modified
to improve computing performance for large models and models
that use external elements.
· Development of an enhanced cell-net solver algorithm
for the CT/RT modules that will produce much faster, more
stable solutions with large numbers of Cell elements.
· All math and logical functions in GoldSim now support
arrays. For example, for matrices A and B the expression
A * B will create a new matrix with each term being the
product of the corresponding terms in A and B.
· A new distribution type, the Student's t-distribution,
has been added to the Stochastic element.
· New math functions have been added for calculating
normal, Student-t and gamma distributions.
· A basic printing capability for result tables has
been added. This can be used to print out time histories,
result statistics, etc.
· Dashboards have been enhanced to allow model date/time
settings to be updated, along with the input values of Information
and Material Time History elements.
As most users are aware, we are constantly adding new features
to GoldSim, based on feedback from our own modelers, as
well as those of our clients, partners and customers.