A unique framework for automation development improves internal logistics

Feb 10, 2014 | Research/Cooperation

Internal logistics, that is the handling of flows of material, constitutes an important part of the running of many types of businesses. Improved internal logistics can mean an increased competitive edge. In her doctoral thesis, Anna Granlund, MDH, presents a new unique framework for automation, which both improves logistics and enhances competitive power:

– Using automation provides great opportunities for improvements in internal logistics, but compared to many other aspects of running a business, internal logistics activities are still not as highly automatised. The overall purpose of my research has therefore been to develop knowledge which can support the successful use of automation in internal logistics systems and improved competitive advantage, says Anna.

In her doctoral thesis Facilitating Automation Development in Internal Logistics Systems, Anna has looked specifically at the process of creating and developing automation solutions and created a framework which facilitates and supports this process. The framework includes a process model, a model for internal logistics strategy, and a model for automation strategy.

– The framework can provide guidelines and be used as support for automation development in the area of internal logistics in order to increase the chances of being able to use automation successfully. This, in turn, will contribute to internal logistics systems which perform better and are more well-adapted, as well as higher returns on investments and consequently an increased competitive edge.

A student project led up to a doctoral studentship
Anna Granlund has studied Product and Process Development at MDH, a study programme which is equivalent to Innovation, Production and Logistics today, and she completed a degree as a Graduate Engineer in 2007 after having conducted her degree project at ABB Robotics. The year after her graduation, she started working at MDH and Robotdalen in the area of logistics automation, and soon she also enrolled as a doctoral student.

– Already as a student, I had the chance to do a pilot study for Robotdalen in preparation for their plans to establish a new core specialisation in the area of logistics automation. I became very interested in the subject and really wanted to continue working with these issues. On the basis of the positive results of the pilot study, the new core specialisation was established and after my graduation I was offered the opportunity to continue working at MDH. At this point I was introduced into the world of research and was able to plan my own research through a doctoral studentship.

Looks forward to the first summer in a new house
Anna liked it very much to work at MDH in the environment of innovation and product realisation, and would be interested in some sort of continued cooperation.

– At MDH, research is conducted in close cooperation with industry, which was an important reason why I wanted to do research here, and I would like to stay in touch and cooperate with MDH in some way. I like it very much at MDH both in the context of research activities and in the context of first-cycle education, and I believe in creating stronger connections between these two domains. In the short term, I am looking forward to going on a vacation after the public defence of my doctoral thesis, and then spending the first summer in a new house.


Welcome to find out more about Anna Granlund’s research results when she presents her doctoral thesis on 13 February at 10.00-12.00 in Raspen at MDH in Eskilstuna.