Energy cost and time efficient In-Plant materials supply systems

Start date 25/06/2009
End date The project is closed: 30/09/2013
Theories and models are developed to facilitate design of in-plant materials supply systems with high performance in terms of efficiency, flexibility, ergonomics and support to assembly operations.


The objective of the project is to develop knowledge to understand and evaluate in-plant materials supply system impact on the areas: cost, time, and energy efficiency; volume and variant flexibility; health and safety and ergonomics; support to the assembly operations. Within the design of an in-plant materials supply system, a central issue is the choice of materials feeding principle. For the project, continuous supply, kitting, and sequenced deliveries combined with kitting, are seen as the materials feeding principles of most interest.

The project will develop knowledge with both industrial and academic significance in areas as: theoretical models for understanding of in-plant material supply systems, when and how different materials feeding principles should be used, development of sustainable and competitive in-plant materials supply strategies, definition of standard materials supply methods and methods to present materials at workstations, operationalisation of materials feeding principles, ergonomics in materials handling, KPI:s for evaluating supply methods.

The following main fields of applications have been identified: influence on design of overall materials supply strategies in companies, implementations and installations in industry of systems in for example picking information system, box and pallet handling.

Organizations involved

AB Volvo, Volvo Cars, FKG, Scania, Saab Automobile

Project leader
Lars Medbo

Published: Wed 29 Jan 2014.