Generic control of material handling systems


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Title Generic control of material handling systems
Period 11 / 2009 - 09 / 2013
Status Completed
Dissertation Yes
Research number OND1340693
Data Supplier Website IEBIS


We address the field of internal logistics, embodied in automated Material Handling Systems (MHSs), which are complex installations employed in sectors such as Baggage Handling, Physical Distribution, and Parcel & Postal. We work on designing an integral planning and real-time control architecture, and a set of generic algorithms for MHSs. Planning and control of these systems need to be robust, and to yield close-to-optimal system performance. Currently, planning and control of automated MHS is highly customized and project specific. This has important drawbacks for at least two reasons. From a customer point of view, the environment and user requirements of systems may vary over time, yielding the need for adaptation of the planning and control procedures. From a systems deliverer point of view, an overall planning and control architecture that optimally exploits synergies between the different market sectors, and at the same time is flexible with respect to changing business parameters and objectives is highly valuable. An integral planning and control architecture should clearly describe the hierarchical framework of decisions to be taken at various levels, as well as the required information for decisions at each level, e.g., from overall workload planning to local traffic control. In this research, we identify synergies among the different sectors, and exploit these synergies to decompose MHSs into functional modules that represent generic building blocks. Thereafter, we develop generic algorithms that achieve (near) optimal performance of the modules

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Supervisor Prof.dr. W.H.M. Zijm
Project leader Dr. J.M.J. Schutten
Project leader Dr. P.C. Schuur
Doctoral/PhD student Dr. S.W.A. Haneyah

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