During the last decade visual interactive simulation has become established as a useful new tool for solving real life problems. It offers the Operational Research professional the opportunity to impact beneficially on important new decision making areas of business and industry. As an example, this paper discusses its application to the scheduling of production on batch chemical plants, which to date has remained largely a manual activity. Two different approaches are introduced, and it is concluded that while discrete event simulation is most useful as an aid to learning at a time of change, bar chart simulation is preferred for the day to day scheduling. The technique has been implemented on a number of plants and has led to significant improvements in their performance. Some areas for further development are identified.
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