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Optimisation for sustainable supply chains

Project Summary

The main goal of this research is the optimisation of supply chains considering environmental impact and energy costs. Special attention is given to the field of reverse logistics, where raw materials partly come from recycled sources. The research focuses on four areas:

1) Coordinated medium-term transportation and production planning, aiming to minimize transportation costs and environmental impact. Our goal is to develop new methods that take the constraints of transportation and production into account, as well as those of reverse and forward logistics. The plans must be both optimal and robust.

2) Supplier-side optimisation of electricity prices for industrial consumers. We want to devise new pricing policies that guide industrial consumers towards and optimal energy usage from the suppliers’ point of view.

3) We want to develop new methods for modelling and solving scheduling problems in the short-term horizon, where the production order of commodities has to be coordinated with transportation priorities. Energy costs will be considered both as constraints and in the objective function. We will devise not only predictive, but reactive scheduling strategies as well.

4) It may be beneficial for smaller production units in the supply chain to share part of their production/transportation resources with each other. As the practical realization of this concept raises a number of questions, we would like to develop a new IT support system that helps factories to share their free capacities with others, and also makes these available for reservation.

New planning models and algorithms are to be developed as the result of this research, and a Collaborative Supply Chain will also be designed for platforms that mainly exist in scientific fields and have not been applied in the industry yet.

»InnoRenew CoE main activities in the project«

– Analysis and specification of the related industrial problems, identifying constraints and parameters, and defining the decision support framework;

– Monitoring the developed methods. For this goal a demonstration and simulation environment will be developed by InnoRenew researchers;

–  To evaluate the models and the methods with the help of demonstration and simulation environment.