Intelligent industrial goods and ERP-systems

A trend within the logistical area is to connect information systems of different actors. This concerns the integration of information system of distributor, customers, and transport operators, where information in one ERP-system is connected to another ERP-system. We believe there is a need to develop the information and the intelligence connected to the goods, before, during and after the transport occurs. There are delays between ERP-system and the deliveries (goods), such that the goods do not contain relevant information such as delivery address and time windows for loading. Further, requirements from the ERP-system of the receiver need to be made available to the goods. If this is done, vehicles and other resources can be used more efficiently and support a higher filling rate of vehicles and fewer vehicles are needed and thereby this contributes to a more sustainable society. Further, a low filling rate can partly be contributed to a not enough open market, i.e. transport resources and transport needs are not known to the relevant actors. The reason can be inadequate information and to lack of trust between partners. This can be connected to, for instance, the inability to mediate exact transport requirements, the handling of damaged cargo, and the handling of delays, which is accentuated in intermodal transports. Subsequently, we see a need to be able to trace the goods, for example with respect to damages (who is responsible?), contaminations of food products, and in particular with respect to environmental consequences. Also real time tracking can potentially contribute to an increased efficiency by, for example, better knowledge of time windows for loading and unloading operations.

Intelligent goods can support a better cooperation and handling of goods and thereby achieve better resource utilization; and generate a higher level of trust between actors. Intelligent goods can and should enable new forms of transport agreements and can, for instance, play a part in identifying unused capacities. It can also support better handling of the responsibility of the goods during transportation (who is responsible at certain points of the transport). This enables a more efficient outsourcing. There is also a potential, that the infrastructure holder may use the information for better planning of the infrastructure.

The purpose of the project is to identify and develop system solutions based on intelligent goods in order to make transports and goods handling more efficient and thereby decrease costs, reduce negative environmental consequences, and reduce the usage of infrastructure. Important components to consider are information (including ERP-systems), communication, and information analysis for decision support (management and control).

An important part of the project is to investigate the benefits and possibility to achieve these benefits connected to intelligent goods, and further to identify the need of knowledge for realizing these benefits. This concerns, for instance, how the system architecture affects different functionalities and the reliability of the system, communication needs, information security and system costs. System architecture may include communication links, information storage, and information processing in relation to the goods, vehicle, and information system (e.g. ERP-system). The method will include literature surveys, interviews, analyses, and cooperation with other projects. Some modeling and simulation are to be expected and a conceptual demonstration will be performed.

 

Projektet financed by Swedish Road Administration TTS, Transport Telematics R&D Group Sweden.

 

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