Efficiency in in-plant milk-run systems - The influence of routing strategies on system utilization and process stability

T. Staab, E. Klenk, S. Galka, W. A. Günthner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

In-plant milk-run systems represent transportation systems, where materials are delivered from a central storage area to several points of use on fixed routes and in short and defined intervals. Milk-run systems generally enable frequent deliveries in low lot sizes with short lead times and low inventories at the points of use. Thus, stable and reliable system operation is crucial to avoid delays and material shortages. In industrial practice, milk-run trains usually share resources, for example, loading areas and technology and use the same tracks, leading to dependencies between routes and possible traffic jams and blockages, which significantly affect cycle times and may lead to instabilities in the system. We present a simulation model to analyse in-plant milk-run systems with a focus on typical traffic situations. We describe its application to a large industrial case study in detail and derive recommendations for designing routes with low risk of delays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Simulation
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • in-plant milk-run
  • logistics
  • production
  • simulation
  • traffic
  • vehicle routing

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