Smart Devices


Mobile smart devices mean that the information required for planning and controlling your business processes can be provided at the right time and, above all, in the right place.

In accordance with recent definitions, smart devices are mobile, interconnected electronic devices which feature a range of sensors (such as geosensors, gyroscopes, temperature indicators, but also cameras). They include devices such as smartphones, tablet PCs and smartglasses (Google Glass).

Generally, all information technology-enhanced everyday objects which feature added value based on sensor-supported information processing and communication systems are considered to be smart devices. They may, in particular, include material flow control sensors, as used in production and logistics. Smart sensors collect and condense information, transmitting the results to logistics assistance systems.

Their key advantages include the simple collection, interpretation and transfer of status and environmental information from any location to an upstream planning and control system as well as providing direct access to topical data and decisions from those systems. The logistics sector features a wide range of application scenarios:

Controlling logistical processes (e.g. in transport and warehouse logistics)

When it comes to BYOD (bring your own device) for drivers, delivery staff and logistics service providers, state-of-the-art technologies such as telemetry, telematics, geo-fencing and tracking can all be enabled with smart devices. In this context, smart devices not only support users with the help of navigation systems, details and images (augmented reality) but they can also report valuable data to other systems. Such data may include traffic and weather information etc. which can be used to work out and then transmit any changes to previously scheduled times of arrival. 

Smart devices for production monitoring

Smart devices can help staff to monitor local production decentrally so they can immediately see any disruptions to material and production flows. As part of health monitoring, technical defects can be corrected with the aid of integrated help desks. On the other hand, connections to scenario-based controls using logistical assistance systems make it possible to immediately identify an appropriate alternative scenario to control material flows effectively.  

Smart devices in scenario-based planning

When combined with logistical assistance systems, smart devices are capable of receiving information from a variety of channels (company systems, sensors, public information). These can then be used for scenario-based planning, and can also be coordinated with other planners who are part of a global network. Smart devices can even be used to calculate and evaluate scenarios directly in meetings as they use up-to-the-minute data.

One of Fraunhofer IML’s core competencies is the integration of suitable smart devices in your business processes. This includes handling sensor systems, developing apps and integrations in higher level planning and control processes and the corresponding technological infrastructures, which can also be made available directly by a logistical assistance system.