Project idea and potential
A more global supply base, operations and markets, as well as digitalization and sustainability requirements, put the integration of manufacturing and logistics as one key element for the transition of future European manufacturing industries (ALICE, 2018). Dynamic capabilities will be a key competitive advantage. Visibility within the Production Logistics is a key instrument in this future dynamic development, for resource efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness. External and internal information need to be transparent to development, planning and control of the production logistics, enabling a smart asset management including processes, technology and organizational issues.
LOVIS will address this challenge by exploring and demonstrating two production logistics visibility applications; (1) an intra-site real-time visualisation system for material management including dynamic synchronisation, takt and resource planning, and (2) a supply visibility system for dynamic status and prediction of supply network status. The results from these two studies will be synthesised into a framework for integrated Production Logistics Visibility. The applications will be explored in two world-class companies in different business segments, and shown and spread to a wider industrial and academic audience through dissemination activities. The aim is to demonstrate visibility applications that support decision making in the planning and control of supply-related internal and external logistics activities, for increased dynamic responsiveness and resource efficiency, in turn leading to industrial competitiveness.
Brief background and state of the art
New solutions are proposed and developed for improved value-creating information sharing, intra-site as well as throughout supply chains, based on advanced analytical and machine learning methodology for measurement, visualization and prediction, supporting decision making processes. This supplier relationship management domain is for instance expanded by applying block-chain technology for companies choosing, developing and collaborating with their suppliers. The goal is to significantly improve traceability and transparency in all parts of the value system, through technology that enables increased transparency in suppliers’ working methods, performance and fulfilment of requirements.
Business intelligence applications such as QlikView, Cognos and Microsoft Power BI are growing in applications, while information transfer standards such as WEB-EDI are used for different business segments. Still, the use of these technologies, standards and applications are mainly driven by and for large OEM customer perspectives, challenging the use and development in SMEs. Examples of use include visualising the status, within a site or across tiers, of material flows considering time and bottlenecks, with different views for different products or components.
The integration of manufacturing and logistics is in LOVIS viewed as one key element in acquiring a holistic perspective and improving dynamic capabilities. While manufacturing represents the nodes in an operations network, logistics represents the arcs that connects the nodes in a full operations network. For this purpose, Production Logistics Visibility, with the internal and external perspectives, have the ambition to contribute to increasing sustainability and competitiveness in the Swedish manufacturing industry. Visibility is viewed as a key for responding to other top challenges, including cost containment, risk, customer and globalization issues.
The project will be implemented on several levels. Primarily, the project will include activities of development and test implementations at industrial companies, in close collaboration with research actors. These efforts will also be linked to potential demonstration arenas at the academic environments for extended result dissemination. The project results are also to be integrated into existing education at the participating universities, and when suitable, will Master’s students perform well defined sub projects. The project will also develop educational material to be used for broad dissemination
aiming at competence development of professionals in industry.
Project participants, roles, and management
The team has a well-established collaboration practice and has shown its capabilities in previous projects. The project will be performed by researchers from KTH and Lund University together with two manufacturing companies (Scania and AstraZeneca) and a standardisation organisation (Odette) exploring industrial cases and industrial standards. The roles are defined with specific engagement in the different WPs, but with a common interest and knowledge exchange of logistics visibility. Project management includes the project leadership, WP leaders and steering group.