Sustainability in production and logistics

TU Ilmenau: Largest European Conference for Simulation in Production and Logistics successfully concluded

The largest European conference for simulation in production and logistics has c
The largest European conference for simulation in production and logistics has come to a successful end at the TU Ilmenau
Europe’s largest symposium for simulation in production and logistics came to a close today (Sept. 15, 2023) at TU Ilmenau with innovative concepts for industry. Especially the latest scientific findings on sustainability and on the so-called digital twin will, according to the conclusion of the conference, advance production and logistics. The specialist conference of the Simulation Working Group (ASIM), a specialist committee of the Gesellschaft für Informatik , which presents the latest simulation methods and their application in production and logistics every two years, had a focus on sustainability this year - in keeping with the TU Ilmenau’s Scientific Year.

Held for the first time at the TU Ilmenau, 150 participants from universities and industry exchanged ideas on topics such as Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Factory at the ASIM symposium "Simulation in Production and Logistics". Simulations can be used to describe processes of a system in production and logistics in order to carry out experiments on such models. In this way, scientists design and analyze industrial scenarios even before they are implemented in reality.

Up to now, simulations have mainly helped to improve classic key business figures such as sales, profit, capacity utilization, inventories, etc. Aspects that could help make production sustainable, for example by saving energy or reducing CO2 emissions, have so far received little, if any, attention. The Simulation Working Group wants to change this and placed its 2023 symposium at the Ilmenau University of Technology under the motto "Sustainability in Production and Logistics". The latest simulations for energy saving and climate protection now enable industrial groups and commercial enterprises to combine economic success with ecological compatibility and social acceptance.

Since the innovative simulation models take into account detailed key energy figures, companies will in future be able, for example, to simulate how much energy they need in the production process and reduce their energy requirements through clever planning. Logistics companies can simulate theCO2 emissions of their trucks and avoid emissions through intelligent route guidance. Companies that use such simulations in the future to save energy and protect the climate in their operating processes will have significant advantages over their competitors in their external presentation; consumers will have the chance to obtain sustainably produced and transported products; and politicians will be helped in their efforts to shape sustainable energy and industrial policies.

The ASIM conference focused, among other things, on the latest scientific findings on the digital twin. Until now, conventional simulations in production and logistics have been carried out "offline": simulation models were created, experiments were carried out with them, recommendations for action were derived from the results and presented to the company’s management, which then decided whether or not to implement them. With the help of the digital twin, the real operating system is now represented as a model and almost in real time. This allows forecasts to be made much faster than before, on the basis of which companies can make more precise decisions and better monitor their systems. Consumers, in turn, do not have to wait as long for products and have more reliable delivery dates.

The latest simulation methods are now being used in a wide variety of areas of production and logistics: for planning new factories, for example, to determine before they are built whether production targets can be met or what the workload of employees will be; for analyzing and improving existing logistics systems, to determine in advance how many trucks a carrier will need in the first place or how delivery delays can be avoided; or for planning and improving traffic systems, to determine how traffic lights should be switched or traffic flows intelligently managed.

Steffen Straßburger
Head of Group for Information Technology in Production and Logistics
+49 3677 69-4051