InControl supports communities with corona test track simulation

InControl supports communities with corona test track simulation

During the Covid-19 pandemic, communities and municipalities in particular have to deal with many challenges. The preparation and planning of tests, training and vaccination locations are top of mind. Besides drive-in locations such as event centers, stadiums and public buildings have to be properly arranged, facilitated and people trained. 

Figure 1: Example of drive-in test facility

A municipality in Austria asked InControl to support the organization of test tracks by delivering data, plans and insights. In this case the planned tests and training staff facility is a combined elementary and middle school.

Simulation and visualization can support and improve decision-making processes; they can support and visualize the design and optimize key processes, costs and provide feedback during every stage. InControl contributes to the security issues and procedures as well. 

Test tracks for the upcoming Covid-19 swab tests has to be set up in a municipality in Austria and these should be evaluated and validated in advance. The thorough preparation is contributing to the test and training activities but forms a good set up for the vaccination activities as well. There are rooms available for this purpose at both schools, primarily organized on the ground floor. In this case a total of 6 test tracks are designed, planned and evaluated.

Figure 2: Middle and elementary school – test tracks 1 to 6

A test track includes: the outside waiting area, the registration and the test area. The flow of people should not cross, so separate entrances and exits and a marked route (one-way system) are specified in order to minimize personal contacts.

Figure 3: Example for test track 1 in detail

Compliance with the general distance rules and local protocols are taken into consideration in the entire test area and is also part of the simulation model and scenarios. In Austria, a personal indoor distance of 2 meters is applicable.

Information on the simulation with Pedestrian Dynamics® was made available to InControl by the municipality, based on both scientific and empirical values. So in this case the assumption was that 1000 people per day (8 hours) has to be tested. Another assumption is that no values for the arrival distribution has to be taken into consideration. The documents required for registration will be announced in the waiting area and can be verified too. The registration should take place in 2 till 5 minutes and in the test area 3 minutes are accepted at each station.

To analyze the routes, simulation runs were carried out in order to check the capacities and distance regulations. The assumption described above was refuted on the basis of the simulation results; only 60% of the people can be tested in 8 hours. The capacity check has shown in this case that there is a lack of time and staff. In addition to the simulation experiments, necessary changes in the process were discussed directly with the community and health care representatives and adopted in the test planning, routing, staff training and real time execution.

Pedestrian Dynamics® is a leading crowd simulation tool that has been used for more than a decade to model large crowds in all types of infrastructure. Pedestrian Dynamics® helped answer questions about capacity, keeping in mind the safety and comfort related to crowded places.

Cities and municipalities are struggling with organizational and financial hurdles due to the Corona crisis. InControl would like to get involved and support communities by not charging the usual daily rates for simulation engineers for this type of projects.

If you need support with the test streets and / or vaccination routes, check capacity with the Pedestrian Dynamics® simulation software and / or model according to COVID-19 measures and guidelines including physical distancing in any environment, please do not hesitate to contact us.

InControl’s crowd simulation supporting Transportation industry

InControl’s crowd simulation supporting Transportation industry

The transportation industry is facing a dramatic drop in passenger activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to ensure safe travelling for passengers and complying with physical distancing requirements InControl’s crowd simulation software Pedestrian Dynamics® has been used.  InControl simulation software predicts pedestrian flows and human behavior in a detailed way with high accuracy and processing large number of travelers.

Our software in 2D and 3D visualization models enabled business partner CGI and their end customers to get insights in several key questions, if and how to:

  • meet health legislation and protocols;
  • optimize schedules and capacity;
  • support management decisions and
  • organize the content of staff training.

Business partner CGI and InControl run several scenarios and delivered reports including What-If and Impact-scenarios and 2D and 3D visualizations.

Read the article of our business partner via this link.

Simulation for mechanical engineering and technical business administration

Simulation for mechanical engineering and technical business administration

For the graduation of two different courses it is the intention to optimize two different production processes. For the course in mechanical engineering at the HAN University of Applied Sciences the paint shop is optimized. Enterprise Dynamics is very suitable for this because during the process the new paint shop still had to be realized. By means of simulations, the most optimal control and product flow could be determined, making sure that the new paint shop could deliver good and efficient work from the start.

For the second course in technical business administration at Saxion University of applied Sciences, the goal is to determine whether it is profitable to implement a 3D print production in the process. The Enterprise Dynamics simulation model was used to determine the batch size for the 3D print process in order to produce as efficiently as possible and to maintain stock in the 2Bin system of assembly lines. On the basis of the results of the simulations it could be determined whether it is profitable to invest in the implementation of a 3D print production in the production process. Both assignments were carried out within the company Van Raam which is the global market leader in the production of customized bicycles for people with disabilities.

Robin Rust continuous using Enterprise Dynamics. Currently Robin Rust is following a Master Industrial Engineering & management at the University of Twente where he continues strengthening his knowledge in simulation.

Student Project: Optimization of a paint shop and 3D print process

Van Raam was founded in 1900 as a blacksmith’s shop in Amsterdam. In 1933 the first bicycles were made in Amsterdam. In the seventies the company moved to Aalten and started producing bicycle frames. In 1984 Van Raam was taken over by P. Boezel and started to specialize in the design and production of adapted bicycles and frames. In 2004 Van Raam moved to Varsseveld, after which it moved to its new premises in Varsseveld in early 2019. This building has a size of 13,500 square meters and has 150 employees. The Van Raam bicycles are all available as electric bicycles.

Van Raam is a family business and is the global market leader in the production of customized bicycles for people with disabilities or who are looking for more stability and security. Van Raam has been proclaimed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation as the fourteenth most innovative company in the Netherlands.

Figure 1.1: Model Easy-Rider-2

Figure 1.2: Model Fun2Go

At the beginning of 2019, Van Raam switched to a new and improved building. It was the opportunity to make big steps in the production process. For example, a completely new automated paint shop will be built and they were looking at how 3D printing can be implemented in the production process in order to create a constant flow.

The simulation software of Enterprise Dynamics was used to determine how these two innovations can best be used. Figure 1.3 shows the simulation used for the paint shop. This is structured as follows. In order to simulate a process as well as possible, all possible variations and demand patterns must be taken into account. The normal distribution is used for the capacity demand of the different assembly lines. The normal distribution is used to look at the reliability of a system. This is done by means of the standard deviation.

A requirement is that the employees of the spray booth work 85% of the day. In order to organise the flow of the paint shop as efficiently as possible, the outgoing products from the cooling tunnel have priority over the incoming products from the 1st part of the track.  The products from the cooling tunnel go either directly to the spray booth for the next layer, or first through the sticker lane, or to the assembly lines. By giving priority to these products, it is ensured that the products are occupied by the system and the employee(s) as soon as possible. This is also the reason why buffer 3 has priority over buffer 2 and buffers 2&3 again have priority over buffer 1.

In addition, the system has been designed in such a way that if batches are used, they will always stay together. When the first product of a batch passes a point where several products can enter at the same time, all other inputs are temporarily closed until the batch in question is complete.

The simulation of the 3D printing process is shown in Figure 1.4 and connects to the magazine and the assembly line. The simulation was used to find out how best to fill the 3D printer’s batch in order to produce as efficiently as possible and to maintain stock in the 2Bin system of assembly lines.

Through the simulation program, several scenarios were tested for a production time of more than 2400 hours. The best scenario is determined based on an optimal flow in which almost no intermediate stock is needed and all internal processes are well attuned. In the best scenario, only safety stock is used and Just in Time Delivery continues to be used, drastically reducing production time and stock levels. It will be easier to achieve a higher output.

Figure 1.3: Paintshop simulation

Figure 1.4: 3D-print simulation

Future Multimodal Hub Schiphol modelled with InControl Software

Future Multimodal Hub Schiphol modelled with InControl Software

The Multimodal Hub of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is one of the largest public transport hubs in Europe and The Netherlands. Under normal (pre-COVID 19) circumstances the Schiphol public transport hub sees an average of 109,000 travelers per day. Every hour, 140 public transport buses passing through the center of Schiphol. These and other modalities all arrive, depart and transfer in and around Schiphol Plaza.

In the near feature an increasing number of people (up to 120,000) travelling through the Schiphol public transport hub is expected. In line with these numbers the current Multimodal Hub Schiphol (MHS) will be redesigned in order to create sufficient capacity to handle this increase.

InControl was requested by Schiphol to take a seat in the project organization as the passenger flow specialist. Over the course of 14 months, our team of experienced simulation engineers will assist Schiphol and the other project team members by simulating the complete new infrastructure of the new Multimodal Hub Schiphol. This will contribute to the vision of Royal Schiphol Group to create the world’s most sustainable, and high quality airport.

Pedestrian Dynamics®, InControl’s crowd simulation modelling software, is globally implemented to analyze passengers flows on airports and other public transport hubs.

Source Schiphol Group

Student Simulation Project in Public Transportation Crowd simulations at railway station Hoofddorp, The Netherlands

Student Simulation Project in Public Transportation Crowd simulations at railway station Hoofddorp, The Netherlands

Written by Jurian Fijen – Amsterdam University of Applied Science – Built Environment, Mobility

During my last year at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Bachelor of Built Environment (Mobility), I used a program called Pedestrian Dynamics of InControl for my thesis about crowd simulations at railway station Hoofddorp, the Netherlands.

I did my research in a graduation studio within my study Built Environment, which was supervised by two teachers and the Haarlemmermeer council. Hoofddorp is the main town of the Haarlemmermeer municipality. My research goal was to find out whether Hoofddorp railway station is capable of handling all pedestrian flows in the coming years. Expectations are the station will become busier. Are adjustments needed to the station? The expected increase is partly caused by the North-South metro line which is planned to be extended from Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport and Hoofddorp. Because of this extension, pedestrian flows at the station will change and become busier. The big question is whether the bottlenecks (stair cases, platforms and concourses) at the station will be sufficient to handle an increasing number of travellers.

For my thesis I first examined the concept of crowd simulations and looked at how this could be used at railway stations. To find out whether Hoofddorp station can handle the increased demand, I looked at two things: which data and other information do I need to model pedestrian flows and how can I find out when capacity is reached?

I used the crowd simulation program Pedestrian Dynamics of InControl to model and examine pedestrian flows. My supervisors from the university provided a Pedestrian Dynamics Student Pro license for my thesis project.  I used the programs tutorials and examples to master the program, after which I started my own case. By loading an AutoCAD map of the station into Pedestrian Dynamics the infrastructure was well implemented. Adding all data I gathered from the public transport time table, the available public transport equipment, pedestrians and accompanying numbers and routes, I was able to model the pedestrian flows into the station’s infrastructure.

3D Simulation Model of Hoofddorp trainstation

In the model using capacity requirements one can find out bottlenecks’ capacity. The functionality offered by Pedestrian Dynamics allows you to examine the station using frequency maps, density maps and flow counters which allow you to find the possible problems at the stations. This all can be clearly presented in a graph visualizing results over time. This program really helped to show me what a good pedestrian capacity study for Hoofddorp station could look like.

2D Simulation Model of Hoofddorp trainstation

My final assignment made me look differently at the built environment and public transport. When it comes to capacity problems in public transport, I mainly thought of too many passengers on the trains or too little space for even more trains on the track. It shows that stations will also have to be expanded in future, because it is becoming increasingly busy and there is too little room for passenger flows. I thought it was interesting to be able to demonstrate this in my thesis.

Personally, I think it can be interesting for many courses, such as Built Environment, Civil Engineering, Traffic Engineering, Urban Planning and Architecture, to include crowd simulations in the curriculum. It allows people to view outdoor spaces and buildings, such as stations, stadiums and shopping streets in a completely different way. Finally, we have seen recently how difficult it is to come up with good solutions for environments where the infrastructure is too narrow for too large groups of people.

I am happy that I used Pedestrian Dynamics for my assignment. It is a great program for modelling pedestrian flows in stations. The manual, the contact with the people at InControl, the tutorial and sample models have all ensured that Pedestrian Dynamics was a great program for me to work with. I would like to keep on using the program to further improve my skills and expand my knowledge about pedestrian flows.

There are many interesting research topics in the area of crowd simulation. At the moment, many organizations struggle with capacity issues and social distancing measures. Are you interested in a thesis project about crowd modelling with Pedestrian Dynamics? Pedestrian Dynamics Student Pro license is an affordable license for students working on their bachelor or master thesis.

Find more information here or contact our research and education team at education@www.incontrol.us

COVID-19 simulation by German Universities

University of Trier simulates stadium with InControl simulation software

Coronavirus, lock down, reopening and specific protocols are headlines these days. In order to slow down and control COVID-19 several measures were published in Germany, such as school, café and restaurants closing and a general limitation of physical contact. These measures lead to severe restrictions on public and private life.

Governments, management of infrastructures, communities and local authorities wonder when and in what form these measures and protocols can be reduced or abolished. But what happens when a school closed due to Corona returns to regular operations? What will be the impact if under half of the population use an app that is supposed to help contain the corona virus?

These and other scenarios can be simulated using artificial intelligence methods on the computer. For this purpose, the working group of Mr. Prof. Timm at the University of Trier uses agent-based simulation models, which are enriched with various parameters such as disease courses and behavioral patterns of people. These simulations calculate how people interact at work, in schools or during free time and how a virus can spread. The calculated results help in the assessment of which measures makes sense, which tend not to be and when we can do without them again.

Some of the simulation models require input data that relate to statistical probabilities for the spread of an infectious disease in exemplary facilities: in theaters, stadiums, swimming pools, city areas, etc. To generate such data, possible effects of various measures are simulated and analyzed separately on a more detailed level in a flow of people. Independent questions regarding the implementation of various measures and their effectiveness can be evaluated directly in a flow simulation using a model of a specific environment. Pedestrian Dynamics® is the leading crowd simulation software fully supporting COVID-19 measures including physical distancing due to its overall and detailed analysis.

As one of the programs a group of students of the University of Trier (Germany) is currently analyzing the spread of the virus in a stadium. To support this research program InControl provides software Pedestrian Dynamics®, a generic stadium model and supports them discussing technical aspects.

Are you interested in doing research with Pedestrian Dynamics® simulation software and/or modeling COVID-19 measures and protocols including physical distancing in any setting, please check: education@www.incontrol.us.

If relevant: the InControl Training & Education team is standby to support you!

How simulation contributes to reopen sport facilities

How simulation contributes to reopen sport facilities


Sport venues and other leisure infrastructures are closed during a long period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, sport facilities e.g. stadiums are planning to reopen. Worldwide national football (soccer) organizations are currently formulating protocols to facilitate -partly- filled stadiums. 

Aspects which has to be addressed are besides meeting the overtime changing physical distancing rules and protocols (safety) rerouting the flows (guidance), the to be expected capacity (utilization), minimal staff required (cost control), specific instructions for signing for both fans and staff (communication), and last but not least the experience of fans. Leading football (soccer) associations e.g. UEFA are requested to discuss innovative ideas and concrete models in order to facilitate the return of spectators in the football stadiums.

KNVB (the Dutch football association) has been one of the first football institutions to publish its protocol for next football season 20/21. Other European football associations e.g. La Liga have published draft protocols recently and final versions are on their way. UEFA and a set of partners have created a consortium to develop innovative ideas including field-tests in order to plan, facilitate and evaluate the reopening of European stadiums for fans.

The main measures described in those protocols to guarantee a safe event are:

  1. Registered ingress timeslots: fans will be asked to access the stadium at specific time slots accordingly their seat location. The main goal of this measure is to minimize queueing during the entry processes such as security and ticket check.
  2. Extra ingress and egress processes: several new processes might be applicable before the spectator is entering the stadium. Health questionnaires and several temperature scans in different security perimeters might be compulsory.
  3. Operational crowd measures: several crowd measure will need to be implemented to avoid and reduce the physical contact between fans. An example of these measures are unidirectional corridors, reduced usage of elevators and escalators or pre-booking of food and beverage by mobile apps.
  4. Partial usage of stands: stands might be filled partially guaranteeing sufficient space between spectators of different households. This also implies several challenging dynamic crowd measures during ingress and egress to fill or empty stands dynamically per stand sector.
  5. New mobility scheme: the mobility (how fans get to the stadium) will change. Spectators will prefer modes of transport with low risk of virus transmission. Travelling by private cars and by feet will be the preferred transportation modus for most fans, while the number of fans use traditional mode of transport, travelling to stadiums by e.g. metro, train or bus will be substantially low for a longer period of time. Stadium operators will be asked to re-assess mobility plans to ensure that the surroundings of the stadium can deal with the new mobility scheme.

Crowd Simulation to ensure safety and efficiency
Sport stadiums around the world are dealing with the same challenges and questions:

  • How should the new ingress and egress processes layout look like?
  • How many staff do I need?
  • How much flow time and queuing can I expect?
  • How many timeslots do I need during ingress?
  • Which operational measures do I need?
  • How much I utilize my stands given the COVID-19 regulations, protocols and (in)possibilities of my stadium?
  • How can I optimize my mobility planning?
  • How can I get approval of my management and (local) authorities to reopen my stadium in a safe way?

INCONTROL’s crowd modelling software, Pedestrian Dynamics®, allows you to build a Digital Twin of your stadium and simulate all kind of operational measures (‘what if’ and impact scenarios) to find the most optimal scenario for both safety and economic profit. Pedestrian Dynamics® incorporates advanced algorithms in order to simulate pedestrians’ behaviors given the physical distance rules. Simulation allows end users, management and other stakeholders to test and validate their plans on aspects e.g. safety, utilization, guidance, cost control and communication. Moreover, thanks to its 2D and 3D visualization, all stakeholders will get insights of the impact, and how all new measures will look like. At the same time, Pedestrian Dynamics® can be also used for training, and instruction purposes of stadium staff.

The above images are examples of a simulation in a major stadium in United States focusing on ingress process (including security, health and hygiene checks). The pictures show unidirectional corridors at the stadium concourse as well.

The complexity and dynamics of these most of the time simultaneously processes are compared to pre-COVID-19 settings extremely increased. More than ever crowd simulation by INCONTROL’s Pedestrian Dynamics® is implemented to prove to stadium management and (local) authorities that ruling and protocols can be implemented accordingly. Pedestrian Dynamics® provides insights to ensure safe, efficient and pleasant experiences for your stadium visitors!

Interested? Contact our Crowd Simulation Team at: siminfo@www.incontrol.us