The daily goal of a newspaper organization is to produce papers and deliver them to customers. The mailroom provides the necessary link between the two functions. Newspapers are transported from printing presses to the mailroom, where the papers are tied into bundles and distributed to delivery trucks. These mailroom operations occur while newspapers are being printed and must proceed efficiently if newspaper production is to continue. Rockwell International uses discrete event simulation extensively in systems analyses of newspaper mailrooms. These analyses are undertaken for the purpose of assessing the compatibility of proposed facilities with planned operating conditions, solving operational problems in existing systems, and developing support software for customer use. A necessary condition for such a study to be successful is a mutual understanding between customer and analysts of goals and proposed solutions. The customer is the sole judge of success and determines when and whether objectives have been satisfactorily met. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the simulation of newspaper mailrooms and to describe activities and methods which have culminated in successful simulations and useful results. Illustrative examples from past work are provided.
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