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Logistics, Product & Material Cycles

Logistics, Product & Material Cycles

Logistics incudes Product and Material Cycles:

  • the planning of procurement and distribution structures in automotive manufacturing and the delivery of vehicles,
  • the design of cross-company processes and supply chains, as well as
  • the production of exchange products and the recycling of technically complex automotive products.

The automotive industry is one of the most demanding branches of industry and presents special challenges for logistics as well as product and material cycles. Automotive manufacturers are increasingly concentrating on their core competencies and shifting parts of the value chain to the supply industry. This leads to close cooperation in networks of value added services. The challenge is mastering hybrid and cross-company processes, complexity of the product and the increasing number of variants while simultaneously reducing inventories. In the interaction of product structure and production strategy, networks can be realized that enable economically efficient control of product complexity and variant diversity while simultaneously satisfying customer needs. In the planning and optimization of transport networks, the spectrum extends from the selection of the right locations to the planning of supply and delivery traffic as well as the optimization of network-wide processes. Fraunhofer use the latest software-based procedures, methods and algorithms for transport optimization. Cost structures and service levels are taken into account as target figures for each individual customer. The optimization potential in distribution and procurement is analyzed by means of scenario calculations and a practically realizable variant is determined.

1. Exchange Product Manufacturing & Recycling

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The automotive industry recognized the economic advantages of the recycling economy at a very early stage. Particularly in times of scarce resources and rising energy prices, reuse and recycling are becoming more and more an economic necessity. The raw materials used must be kept in the economic cycle for as long as possible, largely free of waste and emissions. The processing of the products in an exchange product production process makes it possible to reuse them with quality features identical to those of new parts. Recycling at the end of the life cycle returns materials and substances to the cycle as secondary raw materials.

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  • Circular Economy Concepts
  • Development of dismantling processes and recycling strategies
  • Scaling down of end-of-life vehicles
  • Concepts for the return of the dismantled parts
  • Refurbishment (upgrade/upcycling if necessary)
  • Valuation/balancing of different techniques
  • Logistical networking of actors
  • Information management

2. Planning & Optimization of Transports

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The reliable supply and disposal of the automotive industry requires reliable logistics. In the course of the global orientation of production and sales markets, many transport systems for procurement and vehicle distribution are combined in order to achieve synergies for cost reduction in production and logistics by bundling quantities. The challenges in this network competition are mastering cross-company processes, product complexity and the increasing number of variants. With increasing complexity, the supply reliability of the participating companies must be guaranteed across the entire network while at the same time minimizing inventories and transport costs.


  • Demand and capacity management
  • Optimization of transport networks (distribution, procurement)
  • Reduction of logistics costs
  • Optimum number and location of logistics locations and transport stages
  • Improvement of the delivery service
  • Synergies through bundling of transport volumes
  • Efficient handling techniques
  • Use of multimodal transports
  • Reduction of empty runs
  • Cross-Border optimization
  • Analysis of tariff systems
  • Key figure concepts
  • Market screening and validation of Transport Management Software (TMS) software functions certified by Fraunhofer
  • Tender and implementation support, qualification

Project examples