Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics

Dortmund, Germany

Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics

Dortmund, Germany
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Feldhutter V.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Steck C.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Hawer S.,TU Munich | Ten Hompel M.,TU Munich
Procedia CIRP | Year: 2017

Globalization and higher market heterogeneity have led to a substantial increase of model variety in the automotive sector. Caused by the necessity to integrate a growing number of models into existing plant structures a considerable increase of complexity is observable within the OEMs' manufacturing plants, especially in logistics. This often has a negative effect on the companies' processes and cost structures. To examine these impacts on logistics, structural equation modeling is used in this paper to determine causalities between indicators for product-complexity and logistics KPIs. Furthermore, a method for the operationalization of product-driven complexity is provided and implemented in a use case. © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Parlings M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Klingebiel K.,FH Dortmund
International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management | Year: 2017

Existing recommendations for the management of supply chains in terms of product innovation primarily address the needs of companies in innovative sectors, and are predominantly based on a snapshot classification of product and market characteristics. As technology cycles become shorter and product innovations more radical, it is argued that supply chains have to be realigned step by step to fit the degree of maturity for a product innovation. This aspect has not yet been discussed in research or practice to a large degree, though product and technology life cycle discussions may clearly contribute to the debate. This paper introduces a framework for aligning supply chains based on radical product innovation life cycles: after presenting the state-of-the-art in terms of literature, technological innovation is classified and product innovation life cycle phases are systematised. The applicability and significance of this supply chain design innovation framework is demonstrated based on the example of e-mobility.


Buchter H.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Naumann S.,IFAK Institute fur Automation und Kommunikation e.V. Magdeburg
Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing | Year: 2018

Electrically powered buses in public transportation are increasingly being put into operation. The energy supply needs a careful planning just to keep all busses continuously in operation and to avoid power peaks in the grid. This problem is solved by a two-step planning procedure which is based on a linear model. The first step is an analytical optimization under simplified constraints. In a second step a simulator works on an extended model. The planning objectives are to minimize the investment and to minimize the power peaks. Additionally a simple decision algorithm computes the charging power at run time. The models are developed in detail and a small numerical example illustrates the work. © Springer International Publishing AG 2018.


Straub N.,TU Dortmund | Hegmanns T.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Kaczmarek S.,TU Dortmund
ZWF Zeitschrift fuer Wirtschaftlichen Fabrikbetrieb | Year: 2014

In modern production and logistics systems the employee’s focus of work is more and more turning from executing shop-floor operations towards controlling, technical monitoring, solving machine malfunction and maintenance activities. The new tasks are affected by high intensification of knowledge, complexity and the continuous change. Simultaneously, qualified personnel is becoming more and more difficult to acquire and the corporate staff structure is influenced by the demographic change. This paper is going to present the motivation and purpose of the joint research project called „ABEKO-Assistenzsystem zum demografiesensiblen betriebsspezifischen Kompetenzmanagement für Produktions-und Logistiksysteme der Zukunft“. © 2014, Carl Hanser Verlag, München.


Geis I.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Schulz W.H.,Zeppelin University
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2016

The past decade has been characterized by a substantial increase in transport volume. In particular, road networks have reached their limits. Increasing emissions, congestion, and accidents have signaled a need for action. Besides technological innovations and behavioral change due to regulations, incentivizing voluntary modal change is increasingly becoming important for European policy makers. The deployment of a multimodal information and ticketing system (MMITS) is considered an appropriate incentive to facilitate intermodal trips by reducing transaction costs and uncertainty (the system provides pre- and on-trip information and a booking option for one ticket for the whole intermodal trip). This study analyzed travelers' willingness to accept such a system and the impact of the intention to use an MMITS on travelers' modal choice, especially for medium and long distances. From a sample of six European countries, multiple regression analyses reveal high acceptance of the MMITS but a low impact on the intended behavioral change. Remarkably, for frequent car users, a reverse relationship is identifed. The results give empirical proof that an MMITS has an impact on travelers with weak habits and an empirical basis for the political decision whether to promote the deployment of an MMITS.


News Article | April 25, 2016
Site: motherboard.vice.com

Military drones, sheep herding drones, delivery drones—a lot of game-changing tech has emerged out of the recent drone boom. And it’s only beginning. Now, drones are being outfitted with radio frequency identification (RFID) to help businesses track inventory. Picture this. A few times a week, a sales manager grabs a clipboard and walks around a car lot to see what is on the ground. That information is then entered into a computer and managed through an auto dealer’s software, which maintains data on everything from the car model, to price, and market value. That's the old way of taking inventory, and it is time-consuming and inefficient. Now, with the advent of drones, a fleet of airborne assistants can automate the drab inventory process. These drones whiz through outdoor yards to collect information about what items are available, and where. AGE Steel, a supplier in the United Arab Emirates, started using RFID drones in 2015 to locate pipes, coils, hot-rolled bars, and plates. Since then, according to managing director Asim Siddiqui, its ability to locate items in a 950,000-square-foot outdoor lot “jumped from around 70 percent to 99.8 percent.” “Our main issue was matching the system’s inventory to the physical inventory,” Siddiqui told me, speaking over the phone from his office in Dubai. “Often times, our computers would show that we have a particular part, but we couldn’t locate it when we needed it.” Locating items more quickly means it can them send out faster, too. The average loading time decreased from nine minutes to around four minutes after the RFID tag reader was introduced, according to Siddiqui. The AGE Steel drones were created by Exponent Technology Services, a UAE-based company that also has an office in Montreal. Its model mounts an RFID reader on a small, unmanned aerial vehicle. The RFID-equipped drone flies above goods, which are marked with active RFID tags, and collects data. The drones are functional in up to -35°C, making them capable of weathering a harsh Canadian winter—and torrid desert heat. Maroun Hannoush, CEO of Exponent North America, says this technology could transform the steel, oil and gas, lumber, retail, transport and construction, which are all big business here in Canada. According to Hannoush, who is based in Montreal, inventory problems are common in a number of industries. “One American transport company told us that they have had cases where inventory is loaded onto the wrong truck, and what is supposed to leave California for Florida ends up in Texas. Things get misplaced all the time. These kinds of errors cost companies a huge amount of time and money.” So just how much does it cost to purchase your very own flying robot? Hannoush says the cost can vary for different jobs in different industries.Each drone is “uniquely designed” for the buyer. The price varies according to “how many products require scanning, how often the customer needs the item scanned, the distance between each item,” as well as a number of other factors, he said. Some are skeptical that RFID-outfitted drones are the way of the future. Michael Carmichael, president of City Buick Chevrolet Cadillac GMC and regional vice president of the Humberview Group, one of the largest auto groups in Canada, says that for the auto industry, inventory management is critical because “used car inventory is perishable as it ages.” While a solution to speed up the dull and time-consuming inventory process sounds ideal, Carmichael says it’s not that simple. As a business, there is a lot to consider: “Will I have to replace the drone every six months? Can it truly handle a Canadian winter? Do we have to keep the cars completely clear of debris or snow? Because I know if I send my auditor out, he will touch every car and he will scrape off the car to check the VIN.” ADASA, an Oregon startup, has been developing its own RFID tag-reading drones. Founder Clarke McAllister said the goal is to “have push button inventory which is to know exactly what you have in store at any time.” Both Exponent and ADASA only offer outdoor models for now, but they say they are working on an indoor one. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Germany has also been working on a project that would overhaul the way inventory is tracked inside warehouses. InventAIRy’s goal is to create “flying inventory assistants” to replace people having to walk around and collect information about what’s in stock. Whether or not RFID drones become the norm in Canada, Carmichael believes that “precise inventory management” is the key to growth for a business. “In the old days, you just put a sales tag on a car and waited for someone to buy it. That day is gone.”


Weichert F.,Sudan University of Science and Technology | Mertens C.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Walczak L.,Sudan University of Science and Technology | Kern-Isberner G.,Sudan University of Science and Technology | Wagner M.,Saarland University
Journal of Biomedical Informatics | Year: 2013

In this paper an approach for developing a temporal domain ontology for biomedical simulations is introduced. The ideas are presented in the context of simulations of blood flow in aneurysms using the Lattice Boltzmann Method. The advantages in using ontologies are manyfold: On the one hand, ontologies having been proven to be able to provide medical special knowledge e.g., key parameters for simulations. On the other hand, based on a set of rules and the usage of a reasoner, a system for checking the plausibility as well as tracking the outcome of medical simulations can be constructed. Likewise, results of simulations including data derived from them can be stored and communicated in a way that can be understood by computers. Later on, this set of results can be analyzed. At the same time, the ontologies provide a way to exchange knowledge between researchers. Lastly, this approach can be seen as a black-box abstraction of the internals of the simulation for the biomedical researcher as well. This approach is able to provide the complete parameter sets for simulations, part of the corresponding results and part of their analysis as well as e.g., geometry and boundary conditions. These inputs can be transferred to different simulation methods for comparison. Variations on the provided parameters can be automatically used to drive these simulations. Using a rule base, unphysical inputs or outputs of the simulation can be detected and communicated to the physician in a suitable and familiar way. An example for an instantiation of the blood flow simulation ontology and exemplary rules for plausibility checking are given. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Li C.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Fang D.,Tongji University
WIT Transactions on Information and Communication Technologies | Year: 2014

In today's dynamic market, numerous dynamic influencing factors have seriously aggravated the difficulties of inventory planning of the complex distribution systems. This paper focuses on the decision support system for inventory policies of such complex distribution systems. This decision support system is based on the professional simulation tool OTD-NET, developed by Fraunhofer-Institute for Material flow and Logistics (IML). The special evolutionary algorithm NSGA-II is introduced in the simulationbased optimization model. They function like a black box, which accepts a set of values as the input parameters, and uses the performances collected from simulation to make decisions about the next selection. That means that the metaheuristics start from an initial solution, and then carry out an improving search guided by certain principles. Through comprehensively analyzing the KPIs (logistic service level and logistic costs) of this set of multiechelon inventory policies, their levels of robustness can be clearly ascertained. Based on the simulation results, a metaheuristic-based optimizer regenerates improved (more robust) multiechelon inventory policies, which are once again comprehensively and precisely evaluated through simulation. This closed feedback loop forms a simulation optimization process that enables the autonomous evolution of multiechelon inventory policies of complex distribution systems. © 2014 WIT Press.


Kamphues J.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics | Hegmanns T.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics
IFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline) | Year: 2015

Distribution networks are subjected to an increasing dynamic. The ability to adapt to dynamic influences is, therefore, of great importance for the competitiveness of companies. This applies both to planning and material flow processes. However, common planning processes are inflexible due to the underlying planning approaches. Against this background, a modular planning approach that is capable of integrating diverse planning functionalities of inventory management was developed. For this purpose, a service-oriented architecture was introduced. In order to demonstrate the applicability, the approach is validated with a use case in the field of inventory management from the wholesale business. © 2015, IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Hosting by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Stroehmer M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics
18th IAPRI World Packaging Conference | Year: 2012

Global e-commerce sales are heading for the $1 trillion dollar mark. In 2010, 170 million people purchased goods online in the US alone [1]. The growth of world wide web sales results in an increasing number of parcel deliveries. Most of the time a shipment consists of more than one product or the packaging design is not suitable for parcel transport. Therefore transport packaging is used to bundle the products and to ensure safe transport. The volume utilization (product to packaging ratio) of most shipments is poor, 20 percent or less is not unusual. The outcome is a lavish use of packaging and void filling materials which then have to be disposed of by the unsatisfied customer. The impacts on the environment are enormous. This excessive use of material destroys ecological resources. Furthermore, the poor utilization of transport capacities leads to increasing carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, neither the carbon footprint nor the packaging related costs (material, storage and distribution costs) are at an optimum. Triggered by this problem, the research project "repac" (reduced packaging assortment costs) was initiated at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, Germany. The scope of the project was the development of a tool which carries out computer aided optimization of packaging spectra with regard to volume utilization.

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