The TALUMIS FloWorks module consists of over 20 objects which have been carefully designed to aid in simulating systems that move material as a continuous flow. The material does not necessarily need to be liquid, but can be nearly anything that is measured by weight or volume. In contrast, the standard FlexSim library is designed to move material that is in discrete amounts (boxes, pieces, etc).
In contrast to the FlexSim Fluid Library, FloWorks are event-based instead of ticker-based. Material only moves at specified events, such as a rate change, a full or empty tank or a user-defined trigger. This greatly increases the accuracy and performance of systems with continuous flow over the ticker-based approach.
The amount of material that moves between objects at the end of each event is based on the (input and output) rates defined on each object, as well as the amount of material that is available to move and the amount of space available to move it to. The FloWorks objects have a standard way of moving material between themselves. The object's maximum rate is the maximum amount that will be allowed in or out through all of the ports combined in a time unit. Because FloWorks flow movement is evaluated one port at a time, this value may be used to stop certain ports from sending or receiving.
All of the FloWorks objects use this system to transfer material. All of the values that the user can edit are presented in the Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for each object, and are discussed in more detail elsewhere in the manual.
The content-holding objects have a system for displaying the current content of the objects as a percentage of the maximum content. This system is a colored bar called the level display or level indicator. For the Tank and the Mixer this bar is used by default to visualize the object. The bar consists of two layers. One is dark gray and is generally drawn above the other. This represents the amount of empty space in the object. The other is the color of the product and represents the current content. If a bar is displayed as fully gray, that object is empty. If a bar is fully colored, that object is full.
The level indicator bar can be moved, resized and rotated for each object in the model. The modeller can also state whether the bar is rectangular or cylindrical. The size of the bar is measured as a percentage (from 0 - 1) of the size of the object. The location is relative to the size of the object as well. The point (0,0,0) is one corner of the object's bounding box while (1,1,1) is the opposite corner. This flexibility allows the modeller to position the level indicator bar in such a way that it appears to be part of the object's 3D shape.