TU/e leads two studies on the improvement of logistics processes with big data

Researchers from the Data Science Center Eindhoven, which is part of TU Eindhoven, are going to lead two consortia that will conduct scientific research which enables innovative big data applications in the logistics sector. The research projects of both consortia, in which researchers from both academia and industry cooperate, is funded by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and a wide range of companies.

The two research consortia, led by full professors Geert-Jan van Houtum and Tom van Woensel of the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, focus on the large-scale datasets and different types of data that arise from the connections between various logistics objects such as containers, transport vehicles, and storage. The aim of both research projects is to increase efficiency by using real-time data for logistics planning.

Real-time data-driven maintenance logistics
Because of the Internet of Things, for maintenance logistics, companies have access to many real-time data about assets - think of medical equipment, as well as trains or aircraft - on the one hand and the spare parts and mechanics on the other. This real-time data gives companies the opportunity to organize the maintenance of assets more efficiently. However, this requires companies to transition from static, time-driven maintenance processes towards dynamic, data-driven maintenance processes. The consortium led by Van Houtum develops techniques to support this transition.

Data-driven real-time decision making in supply chains
Also on logistics processes, more data is becoming available because of the Internet of Things. For example, on stock decisions (transshipment, chain positioning) which lead to transport decisions (vehicle routes, capacity, fleet). Therefore, data-driven decision making in logistics is now more and more achievable. However, successful implementations depend critically on the question "how?" The consortium led by Van Woensel will focus on this question, with the purpose of developing and demonstrating real-time data-driven logistics methods and techniques, with a specific focus on stock transshipment and transportation.

In both projects, researchers from the departments of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences and Mathematics & Computer Science at TU Eindhoven collaborate with researchers from TU Delft, VU, and Tilburg University, as well as researchers from the industry. Philips, NS, Fokker Services, SAP, and Jumbo NV, among others, joined one of the two consortia.