November 2013

Latest in disturbance free logistics

Lang Son is a province in North East of Vietnam

IMG_3621Logproof was a TEKES funded research project that focused on management of logistics disturbances. The final seminar of the project was held this month in Helsinki and the event featured a wide range of interesting new research results, solutions, and other future development areas in logistics management. Also SimAnalytics had the opportunity to present possibilities in using simulation modeling to enhance and develop logistics management.

The range of different topics in the seminar was wide including e.g. processes for grocery transport safety and development of longer range RFID technologies. Two safety related topics reoccurred rather intriguing: 1) The current state of transport safety and 2) Real time tracking and monitoring of deliveries.

The first topic seemed first as an overreaction. However, it was surprising to see that even in relatively safe countries (like Finland) there is some degree of threats against logistics transports. The situation especially in eastern and southern Europe is much worse. Evidence shows that 1,7% of shipments from Finland to Russia are subjected to some sort of crime (CHS logistics Oy). In some extreme cases trucks have been trespassed even on freeways. Take a look at for example this video. Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.

The second trend was partly a reaction to the above mentioned problem. Firms are trying increasingly to find ways to protect their transports. One way to ensure this is to create more efficient tracking and monitoring solutions. One firm presented their own improvised solution to follow trucks with hunting camera and mobile phone combination. This simple solution had proven to be relatively effective in tracking down illegal entries to vehicle in Russia.

“…it will lead to a rapid accumulation of data and eventually create new interesting possibilities for modelling based solutions.”

Israel based Starcom Systems provided an alternative and more commercial solution – Triton for container tracking and monitoring. The idea of the product was that the tracking device is connected to container door and it activates as the container closes. Unit then keeps track on the container location through GPS, collects basic telemetrics such as temperature and G-forces, and notifies of above parameter activities with SMS (e.g. container door open or too strong G-force). A Finnish firm presented a use case where this device was used to track a shipment of machinery tools from Finland to Mid US. This case revealed that the container was subjected to surprisingly strong G-forces, especially in US Harbors where the container was moved from boat to land transport. The shipment movement could also be tracked with-in couple meters for the whole trip – impressive.

In all, the seminar showed interesting new developments in management of disturbances in logistics. This seems to be a vivid business field which is developing strongly thanks to recent advancements in different wireless communication techniques.

When these telemetrics become more widely used it will lead to a rapid accumulation of data and eventually create new interesting possibilities for modelling based solutions.

First SimAnalytics Academy simulation workshop in Finland

Full-length of businessmen walking at creative work space

late ohjaaSimulation modelling understandably draws attention across industries and academic disciplines. This was evident also last week when SimAnalytics Academy organized the first open modelling workshop in Finland. Altogether eight participants ranging from researchers to industrial warehousing experts to university lecturers attended the 2-day “Simulation Modelling & Logistics Management” workshop in Kerava.

attendeesThe program acquainted motivated learners to the basics of complex thinking and building simulation models with AnyLogic software. Instructors tried to keep the lectures as short as possible and get the participants hands-on building their simulation models. This structure was clearly appreciated.

“Illustrative exercises with discussions gave many new ideas to utilize simulation modelling with many occasions and challenges. Thank you!”

The possibilities of agent-based modelling stimulated the most ideas among the attendees. Controlling real-life randomness through Monte Carlo principles gathered great amount of attention too. Also ideas  for utilizing modelling methods in teaching came up during conversations.

“An intensive, well-guided workshop. Well-informed instructors. Thank you!”

The feedback gave us many ideas to develop Academy events in the future. In advanced level events we will definitely focus even more on running experiments with created models.

markus puhuuSimAnalytics Academy organized the workshop in cooperation with AnyLogic Company and Laurea University of Applied Sciences. We want to say special thanks to the partners and of course all the attendees.

Upcoming Academy events are already under planning for spring 2014!

PS. Interest towards these modern analytic methods seems to be growing, as after the workshop plans for tailored modelling training was initiated by a customer. If you are interested in familiarizing yourself and your team with modelling methods and/or AnyLogic software, you may contact us to tailor a program suited for your ambitions.