Gains in the life-cycle of adaptable, self-organized material handling system
Compared to conventional material flow controls, self-organized material handling systems and the Internet of Things in facility logistics promise several advantages during the life-cycle. Most important is the increased adaptability in case of expansions or modifications due to a consistent modular design; this also promotes an increased robustness due to clearly defined interfaces and a decreased complexity of each module. The use of RFID technology increases the availability of real-time data about the system and the transported units. However, the introduction of self-organized material handling systems also causes costs, e.g. for necessary RFID tags and readers. Against this background, it is unsatisfactory that the increased adaptability as the main advantage of these systems is hard to grasp. This paper proposes a methodology to analyze the advantages of adaptability in facility logistics during the life-cycle of a material handling system and illustrates its usage. The proposed methodology is based on a dynamic optimization of payoffs during the life-cycle; thereby, all payoffs which are influenced by the adaptability of the material-handling system are included; therefore, the methodology allows to consider the adaptability of all material handling systems.