Business innovations and new technology in focus at Northern LEAD Day

​Autonomous vehicles in urban freight transport, more efficient maintenance solutions for heavy vehicles and the first mile problem of waste collection. Those were some of the topics at the Northern LEAD Day 2018, which gathered almost 60 participants – all eager to ask questions and engage in discussions.
​Six researchers from Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg presented their work during the day, which was focused on business innovations and new technology within the field of logistics and supply chain. These themes were also picked up by a panel discussing the feasibility of industrial realization. Hinders and enablers in this respect were discussed in a most engaging way by representatives from various types of organizations.

Business innovations

The first presentation focused on the first mile problem of waste collection logistics and its influences on the quality of household waste. According to Ceren Altuntas Vural the consumer is the new supplier in a circular economy. The consumer plays an important role when it comes to sorting the household waste in fractions so that it can be converted into new material in an effective way.
 
In the area of supply chain finance, Viktor Elliot presented concepts for how forwarders’ knowledge of product location and status facilitates trade and lowers credit risks in the supply chain. Viktor’s experience is that there is much to gain if you can make the international supply chains visible in order to enable more efficient and less risky chains.
 
Klas Hedvall studies how heavy vehicle maintenance solutions can be made more efficient, thereby contributing to an efficient transport system. Some upcoming challenges are for example that new technologies will require new competencies and that there is a shortage of technicians. However, improved connectivity leads to new possibilities within planning of maintenance, and electromobility means fewer moving parts in the vehicle, which may decrease the need of maintenance.
 

New Technology

Automation of kitting, transport and assembly is in focus in Robin Hansson’s research. Automation is not that common in the field of materials supply systems, partly because of little knowledge on how contextual variables affect the proper choice of automation. The decisions are fairly complex and there are many factors to consider, for example what level of automation is suitable, what type of technology to use and how to organize the interfaces and the management systems.
 
Patrik Jonsson’s research focus how new technology, for example big data and digital product models, can make the supply chain both more efficient and responsive. One of the presented projects is looking closer at digital product fitting in retail supply chains.
 
What are the potential benefits and challenges with autonomous vehicles in urban freight transport? Michael Browne points at potential benefits such as lower costs, increased safety and greater opportunities for time shifting. However, there are also some challenges, for example that both the transports and products are heterogeneous in many ways and physical challenges in the urban environment.

Text and photos: Malin Tengblad
 

Speakers at Northern LEAD Day 2018

• Ceren Altuntas Vural: Consumer is the new supplier! Co-producing sustainable value propositions at the first-mile of waste service systems
• Viktor Elliot: Supply Chain Finance
• Klas Hedvall: Underhållslösningar för fordon i framtida hållbara vägtransporter - utmaningar och möjligheter
 
Robin Hanson: Automation i materialhantering – möjligheter och utmaningar
• Patrik Jonsson: Ny teknologi för effektivitet i supply chain
• Michael Browne: Urban freight transport and autonomous vehicles: Opportunities and challenges
 
Per-Olof Arnäs: Moderator of the panel discussion on ‘“How can innovations become real in the industry’?” with the panel members Sofie Vennersten (Lindholmen Science Park/Closer), John Wedel (Business Region Göteborg), Andreas Thieme (Care of Carl/Steerlink) and Jon Williamsson (Göteborgs Universitet).

About Northern LEAD Day

Northern LEAD DayApril 11 2018, was arranged by Northern LEAD logistics research centre – a logistics competence centre formed by University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology in co-operation with Logistics and Transport Society LTS

Published: Thu 26 Apr 2018.