Kuehne Foundation Chair LEGO Laboratory for Supply Chain Technology and System Research

Supply chain management studies manufacturing systems, transportation systems, and logistics systems based on data for optimal decision making to improve operational efficiency. Usually the systems studied in supply chain management is in large scale and made of complex sub-systems interacted and connected with each other. It is a challenge to have a laboratory environment for the study of supply chain operation systems with those used in business context given space and financial constraints, e.g. automatic warehouse in full size.

In June 2017, Kuehne Foundation Chair has Kuehne Foundation Chair LEGO Laboratory for Supply Chain Technology and System Research established in CDHK. The lab uses LEGO Mindstorms EV3 to design and build supply chain systems, which gives an alternative to teach and study large complex supply chain system in a flexible, affordable way in a laboratory environment catching the essence of supply chain systems used in real operations.

The lab is used to design and study various supply chain operation systems with applications of robotic, IT technology for innovative research, hands-on teaching and training. The lab is to fulfill the objectives of

  1. Demonstrating the concept of the Internet of Thing (IoT), smart supply chain systems.
  2. Realizing operation optimization solutions in a simulation environment.
  3. Integrating new technologies into designing and improving supply chain operation systems.
  4. Exploring data mining (big data) applications and digitalization of logistics operations.
  5. Becoming an open technology platform for students, researchers and logistics practitioners

queueing2Currently, the lab has 3 systems installed, 1) the automatic warehouse system 2) queuing and manufacturing system 3) automatic guide vehicle (AGV) system. The automatic warehouse is to study theories and algorithms deciding the optimal routing for loading and unloading. The queuing and manufacturing system is to explore the uncertain and dynamic behavior issues arising from the interaction of multiple systems. The AGV system is to integrate the warehouse and queuing/manufacturing system by using both magnetic and color guiding technology. For more technique details, please refer to the attached PowerPoint file.

A series projects are under exploration, for example, all the systems are linked and controlled wirelessly by using various sensors and control bricks (computers), which makes a network of smart devices, we are looking at the application of Internet of Things application by leveraging the network of smart devices.

Course Introduction