Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML
Our research, development and realisation helps companies to be fit for the internal and external logistic challenges
Continuous material and information flows are an important internal and external factor for the utilization of rationalisation potentials and improved flexibility and productivity on the way towards a better customer-orientation.
The Fraunhofer IML provides innovative research, development, engineering and consulting services and tailor-made solutions for companies of all industries. Numerous products – from a palletizing robot via warehousing systems up to simulation software – were developed in Dortmund and are used worldwide. The Fraunhofer IML cooperates with international scientific institutions as well as with companies of all industries throughout the world.
The institute is structured into three main sections:
Material Flow Systems
The fulfilment of requirements such as improved delivery services and reduced stocks call for high-capacity conveyor, storage, transport and transshipment systems. Quality management and visualisation methods offer the necessary transparency and control systems set the basis for automation. The institute’s services range from the planning of material flow systems, feasibility studies, up to the building of prototypes.
New developments are tested in the „Demonstration Centre Material Flow and Logistics“ until they can be used as a pilot system. Individual solutions and products are developed in the institute’s own workshops and laboratories. Together with companies even special purpose machines are built. The range of services is completed by concepts for economically and ecologically optimized packagings, Point-of-Sale and E-commerce. In modern laboratories, packaging and products are tested with regard to their quality and resistance.
One task of this section is the design of business processes in and between companies. Proven methods, such as process chain management and simulation tools are used to structure and localise inefficient processes and to determine cost and performance potentials. For this purpose, the institute uses its own developments and proved marketable software. New work fields and applications – for example Supply Chain Management – are opened up for companies and used to develop rational, practical solutions. One department acts as project manager and assists companies with the design and implementation of large logistic systems. The range of services of this section is completed by maintenance and production logistics.
Logistics, Traffic and Environment
The Fraunhofer IML develops concepts for a closed loop materials economy, process-integrated avoidance and recycling, dismantling and redistribution, the complete information management of material flows and life cycle assessments to help companies with their environmental management.
The traffic specialists use traffic logistic concepts for network planning, distribution and disposition, which are supported by telematic systems. The branch at the Frankfurt Airport develops special airport and air cargo concepts. The Project Centre Traffic, Mobility and Environment in Prien at the Chiemsee is engaged in the area of tourism logistics and cross-border goods traffic.