Automotive systems supplier, Bosch, and its six partners have successfully completed the ProveIT research project, which sought to create flexible and reliable logistics networks as part of a ‘connected manufacturing’ supply chain.
Bosch led the three-year research project ProveIT (production plan-based recovery of vehicle routing plans within integrated transport networks), which aimed to create a system for the smooth operation of connected logistics chains.
Funded by the German Federal Government, the project has now been successfully completed, with tangible results, including: the ProveIT integrated planning and management platform and smartphone app for truck drivers; better capacity usage; reduced costs; lower CO2 emissions; and support services for material and transportation planners. Bosch’s project partners were: software developers PTV and LOCOM; automotive supplier ZF; logistics company Geis; and the Research Center for Information Technology (FZI) and the Institute for Materials Handling and Logistics (IFL), which are both part of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
The ProveIT platform ensures the best possible utilization of all transport channels. It generates freight orders that intelligently combine all the detailed data on items and packaging. For material and transportation planners, the benefit is a recommended routing plan that provides all the information required to respond appropriately to disruptions. Using a standardized data set, planners can fine-tune the predetermined strategic and tactical plan in real time, so they always know whether an extra trip is the only solution for a disruption, or whether other, more cost-effective solutions exist.
A deviation management feature built into the platform weighs up a variety of options and their consequences. If a truck is stuck in traffic, the platform calculates whether it makes sense to complete the route despite the delay, or whether a second truck should be sent where goods are most urgently needed. Researchers have developed a range of disruption services for this issue, such as notifications sent to transportation planners. Following completion of the project, Bosch entered into an alliance with FZI to develop additional applications such as digital freight documents, and to incorporate these into its transport processes.
“Thanks to the IT platform and new app for truck drivers, planners can monitor the plant’s entire supply chain and know how to respond if there is disruption,” said Dr Markus Bauer, program manager for logistics IT at Bosch. “Using our digital tools, companies can improve utilization of their trucks’ capacity, decrease transport costs, lower emissions, and make their transportation planners’ work easier.”