Control of Automated Guided Vehicle Systems
Müller - LGV Supply Chain Planning
A just-in-time system for the control of transport logistics chains.
Mueller Transports is one of Austria‘s leading transportation companies in the area of temperature-controlled cargos. For many years, market leaders in the food, pharmaceuticals and electronics industries have been relying on Mueller as a trusted transportation and distribution partner to transport their temperature-sensitive goods. With 200 in-house truck trailers, Mueller Transports has been working in the international transport business for over 50 years.
LGV Fresh Vegetables is a cooperative made up of approximately 110 gardener families, and supplies 60 percent of Austrians with fresh vegetables in the domestic vegetable season.
As part of a supply chain-wide, innovative IT solution completely new for the transport industry, a „just-in-time system for fresh produce transports“ was developed. This system is used for the rapid and efficient exchange of information between all parties involved in the supply network.
At the beginning, the purpose of the system was discussed with the stakeholders: Significant issues were more modern, more transparent, simpler and faster communication, reducing the amount of paper, avoidance of multiple processes, and more accurate planning and improvement of data quality.
The main and secondary processes were identified at several workshops and the workflow for this software was developed as a result. Upon receipt of orders at LGV, an AVISO is automatically generated. The aim is to provide the freighter with immediate information regarding possible transport and delivery volumes.
Changes due to lack of availability or a change of the dispatching warehouse can be transferred immediately to the freight companies. After the expiration of defined time windows, the AVISOs are converted to ORDERS, and the dispatching process is automatically started at the freighters.
Upon the acceptance of the goods by the freight companies, the actual quantities, which are again registered by SCAN when loading, are transmitted with the delivery data to the system, respectively provided to the freighter. The transport now being executed is monitored by means of a telemetry system in the vehicle. A status message is generated upon arrival at the
customer, which, in turn, is made available to LGV. In this way, information about delivery status is also available for the client.
Access to the necessary data was provided to everyone by means of XML technologies, and web services were implemented for the corresponding interfaces. Moreover, the existing telemetry data is integrated into the system via web services and linked to the job data. With an additional web portal, the orders to be processed and their current status are displayed.
After an appropriate introduction phase, this system was transferred to the operating mode and provides a win-win situation for all participants.
Picture: Müller Transporte, LGV
Research Project LeWaDis
Magna Logistics Planning Tool
A central software tool for logistics planning in the automotive industry.
The central tasks of Magna Logistics Europe (MLE) are the analysis, evaluation and optimization of the supply chain of the global automotive supplier Magna. This applies to both existing as well as planned production plants, and requires the use of potential synergies between different locations.
As part of the process chain in addition to the Magna plants, external suppliers also fall within the working range of the MLE, as do production sites of customers whose factories should be supplied as cost-optimally as possible with the necessary vehicle components / modules in the required quantity.
Based on bills of material, sender-receiver relationships, rate tables, packaging data, warehouse information, and many other input parameters, various logistics planning scenarios with different locations, delivery processes (direct deliveries, deliveries through consolidation centers, milk runs, ...), and different delivery frequencies are calculated and compared with each other to finally select the optimal variant and to give reliable predictions about expected logistics costs and capacities.
MLE approached RISC Software GmbH with the requirement to include all these analyses and calculations performed up to now with different, non-interlinked systems into a single logistics planning system that is standardized and accurately specialized to the needs of the logistics planner.
The new logistics planning system should primarily provide a common database for all the persons and locations involved in planning scenarios and reproduce all the detailed steps of a planning process, starting with the collection of master data, via the definition of the delivery processes, to the planning of storage capacity and returning the empties to the starting point. Moreover, once planned, a logistics scenario should be able to be quickly and flexibly customized to adapt to changing conditions (e.g., the loss of a supplier).
Within a year, from November 2011 to October 2012, a prototype was developed in close cooperation with the employees of MLE, who set specific targets for the software from the beginning and provided their expertise to the RISC Software GmbH team. The prototype was immediately of great interest to the first test users and received consistently positive feedback. During the test phase, many constructive suggestions eventually incorporated into the first version of the finished product were adopted.
Since the beginning of 2013, the logistics planning software has been rolled out gradually in the group. Already in planning is a follow-up project, in which the logistics planning tool, mainly focusing on the planning of the supply chain, i.e., the extra-logistics up to now, is to be complemented by a module for planning the internal logistics, i.e., the planning of the internal supply processes from the warehouse to the production facility. Additionally, the existing module “Extra Logistics” is planned to be expanded in the context of this extension. In particular, the software ergonomics should be further improved by graphical editors that are additions to the currently offered tabular representations.