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DSTL, DASA

THE LOGISTICS OPTIMISATION SYSTEM

CLIENT

PROJECT PARTNER

REQUIREMENT
REQUIREMENT

Loading and transporting of supplies and equipment is not always done efficiently, which leads to increased cost and wasted resources. Dstl wanted to see if technology could help improve this for the military.

CHALLENGE
CHALLENGE

To bring new methods and concepts to an ingrained problem and provide a clear improvement over standard approaches, while able to fit into current military systems and practices.

SOLUTION
SOLUTION

The Logistics Optimisation System – LOGOS – brings together mathematical optimisation and user-focus visual guidance system to provide a deployable technology for more efficient and effective picking, packing and transporting of material and equipment.

Wanted: a way to pick, pack and transport items better
Wanted: a way to pick, pack and transport items better

Inefficient transport of goods can be incredibly wasteful in terms of people and time, fuel use, environment impact and financial cost. This is especially important for the military that have to get vital military material and equipment to the right places at the right time. In highly challenging and stressful conditions, such as military operation zones, it is often of critical importance to move fast. Having a solution that helps to navigate through packing can improve the logistical challenges in the difficult circumstances. We were funded by Dstl – through a Defence and Security Accelerator competition – to develop a system that provides more rapid, effective materiel handling in Deployed Military Logistics Hubs.

 

Trying to squeeze so many needs into one packing solution
Trying to squeeze so many needs into one packing solution

The challenge was to enable military personnel to pack more items, more efficiently and efficiently, reducing the number of pallets and transports needed. This saves resources such as personnel, transports themselves, fuel, etc., and better packing could improve safety. Also it had to be easily deployable.

Mathematical optimisation meets first-hand visual guidance in LOGOS
Mathematical optimisation meets first-hand visual guidance in LOGOS

We worked on the challenge in partnership with Firtsco – a systems integrator with the key interest in the transport sector. Together we developed the Logistics Optimisation System (LOGOS) to optimise the packing and shipping of items at military logistics hubs. This combines a mathematical optimisation core with a visual assistance system, that guides operators in their work. Our work has shown LOGOS can pack a third more items on a pallet than a human, and significantly reduce the number of transports required.

Getting all the parts to work together in an easy to use tool that is just perfect
Getting all the parts to work together in an easy to use tool that is just perfect

We developed LOGOS as a modular system. At its heart is the Optimisation Engine – a multi-stage approach that includes: a stores routing algorithm, a pallet packing algorithm, and a transport loading algorithm. This can take into account item size, weight, fragility, required orientation, as well as destination for multi-drop o loads. A key feature is the Visual Assistant, a dynamic floor-projection system that gives contextual instructions to packers, guiding them through their work. And this is all combined into the LOGOS application, which provides a user-friendly way of running the system. We trialled the system at Dstl's Logistics Technology showcase in October 2021 in front of major military and government stakeholders – we showed the effectiveness of the system, how easy it is to deploy and that it requires very little training.

A solution for the military and also the wider logistical sector
A solution for the military and also the wider logistical sector

LOGOS has demonstrated clear benefits against the military challenges. It was targeted at a forward logistics hub, but could be tailored to a wide range of logistics centres – including air, sea or rail – and civilian logistics as well as military. We are also looking at an augmented-reality based Visual Assistant, which could provide very powerful and rich visual guidance from end-to-end.

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We’re a team of innovators who are excited about unique ideas and help companies to create amazing solutions.

Defence & Security Logistics

LOGOS

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