Controlling Items on Spatial Links

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Controlling Items on Spatial Links

All spatial links have a control attribute (like a pipe).

This control attribute means you can alter the item transit time, either scaling the transit time, or stopping item movement altogether.

This attribute gives the modeller much control over the use of spatial links to move items.

By default the control attribute's value is 1, meaning "go".

If this attribute is set to 0:

  • The link will be "stopped".
  • All items on the link will be frozen.
  • End points of the link will block any item attempting to enter them.

You can also use the spatial link run/stop control to scale the item transit time.


  • 1.0 uses the nominal time,
  • 0.5 doubles the time,
  • 2 halves the item time.

Usage Note

The minimum "on" value is 0.01. Any lower value and the spatial link is considered stopped. The scaling occurs only once, as the item enters the spatial link and changes will not affect that item whilst its on the link

It is very important that the control attribute is something Planimate® can "unblock" from, so portal attributes and fixed cell references are OK, but item or dynamic table references are out.

Planimate® looks for the control attribute starting in the "from" portal of the spatial link.

Advanced user note:

If you click on an item on a stopped spatial link, the "TIME" field will show the start model date + the time the item has spent MOVING on the link.

If the link is restarted and you click on an item, the "TIME" field will show the resume time - the time the item has spent moving on the link (ie: as if the link never stopped).

This is to keep the animation calculations consistent.

Item Behaviour ahead of 'Stopped' Spatial Links

If an Item that has been assigned a Transit Target tries to exit a subsystem whose portal joins Spatial Link Objects that are 'stopped' (i.e. a Control Attribute set to Zero), the item will be blocked.

This behaviour applies even in the case where that portal ALSO has flows connected to it.

If NO spatial link leading to a target portal is found, it just "blocks" the item that cannot find a destination, as occurs with a stopped spatial link.

It is conceivable that a modeller may later add a spatial link, enabling the "blocked" item to proceed.

Control Attribute with Pipe View Spatial Links

Spatial Links with the optional Pipe View options can stop/start the pipe animation if there no items moving on the spatial link (ie: the link was stopped), because it reads the "pipe control" attref every display update interval.

However this means that the "pipe control" attref cannot reference an item (because there may not be one to read).

Pipe activity colour and section colour can reference item attributes because they are computed as each item crosses a pipe "bin" boundary.