To automate logistics in the pharmaceutical industry, optimize the supply chain and thus save packaging material: This is the goal of the DigiPharmaLogNet project.
Under the leadership of FHWien der WKW and with the participation of Fraunhofer Austria, innovative companies such as the logistics start-up BOOXit OG and Compunity GmbH are networked for this purpose. The plan is to further develop and digitize self-organizing reusable boxes. These are intended to make pharmaceutical logistics more sustainable, efficient and safe.
Rethinking pharmaceutical logistics with digital technology
The targeted use of self-organizing reusable boxes plays an important role in the digitalization of pharmaceutical logistics. In addition to ensuring certain transport conditions, they enable increased automation and sustainable optimization of the supply chain. The targeted improvements include:
- Savings in packaging material through a reusable system
- Optimized transport routes through dynamic control at load carrier level
- Automated tracking of temperature, humidity and position data
- Reduced workload for employees through physical and digital assistance systems
The planned transport goods carrier system will demonstrate how the use of innovative technologies (sensor technology, RFID/NFC, data algorithms, assistance systems) offers significant improvements along the logistics chain.
Sustainable reusable containers instead of disposable cardboard boxes
As part of the discussion on climate change, the use of reusable containers is increasingly being called for. The design of these transport goods carriers favors the automation of the pharmaceutical logistics chain and enables functionalities that classic cardboard boxes or plastic containers cannot provide (including condition monitoring, tracking & tracing, load security, automation of the loading process, anti-theft protection through encryption, traceability). Thus, a digitally supported reusable system could replace the single-use carton as well as other existing container systems.
Impacts along the entire supply chain are being examined
The technical, ecological and economic impacts along the entire supply chain – from pharmaceutical producers to wholesalers to dispensing points (e.g. pharmacies, hospitals) – are being examined theoretically and empirically as part of the project. These findings form the basis for the development of viable business models. Thus, this project lays the foundation for the digitalization and automation of pharmaceutical logistics and, by extension, general small goods logistics.
In line with the networking idea underlying the project funded by the COIN Networks program of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), attention was paid to the intensive involvement of innovative partners:
- Institute for Digital Transformation and Strategy of FHWien der WKW (IDS) as consortium leader and development partner for business models, strategy and sustainability
- Logistics start-up BOOXit OG for the development of the self-organizing reusable boxes
- Lassmann International GmbH and the pharmaceutical wholesaler Richter Pharma as pilot operators in pharmaceutical logistics
- Fraunhofer Austria Research GmbH / KI4LIFE for the topic of artificial intelligence and the IoT startup CompUnity GmbH to map the technological aspects regarding sensor technology, data interfaces and Internet of Things (IoT)