Production and Logistics


Production planning and control systems in production and logistics can handle known parameters very well even if there are variably adjustable defaults. But how respond to unforeseen circumstances such as manufacturing faults, delivery failures, natural disasters and the like. And how respond to ever shorter product and service life cycles forced by global competition? The FZI develops new approaches both for classic questions and for new topics such as supply chain risk management, disruption management or resilient product life cycle management.

New technologies such as automatic identification and data capture (Auto-ID/RFID), mobile terminals, the shifting of data processing and storage in networks (cloud computing), and Software as a Service (SaaS) have a great impact on application-related research and development in the logistics sector. In the fields of production and conveyor technology, the intelligent networking of systems, trades and sensors as well as their integration into superordinate value networks are new research challenges. Examples include cyber-physical systems, cognitive and interlinked embedded systems in mobile and stationary devices and machines as well as collaborative systems or service robotics. These, in turn, require methodological changes, e.g. for an interlinked distributed development of complex systems in a systems engineering approach or the deployment of responsive and robust engineering services based on possible continuous behaviour monitoring. In the fields of logistics and production, FZI researchers work on these topics. Their solutions are mostly used in industry but also in areas such as healthcare.

Research Focuses

Logistics and Supply Chain Optimisation

The emphasis in the research focus Logistics and Supply Chain Optimisation lies on the efficiency optimisation of logistics systems (e.g. transportation networks, storage and production sites). If these systems work together, the supply chain represents a value-added system across companies. Further key areas in the research work of the FZI are methods for the planning of reliable transportation networks, methods for the optimal summary of geographic units in the context of territorial planning, methods for scheduling of production or personnel as well as methods to be developed for supply chain risk management or disruption management.

Virtual Prototyping and Life Cycle Management

The work in the research focus Virtual Prototyping and Life Cycle Management focuses on technologies and methods for the design, the safeguarding of the return and the analysis of the state and interrelations of complex intelligent systems. These methods and technologies are supposed to allow a holistic modelling and analysis of the numerous dependencies and requirements within intelligent systems.

Industrial Automation

The research focus Industrial Automation focuses on new automation architectures with intelligent sensors, actuators and modern networking. Further research topics are:

  • Automation of manual workplaces through mobile robots and innovative control systems so that work that was executed manually so far, is partly automated
  • Virtual environments in order to evaluate the impacts of changes to products and manufacturing equipment on the production
  • Scenarios for the measurement and optimisation of energy in production plants as well as for load control dependent on the grid and tariffs
  • Monitoring of production processes and knowledge-based proactive diagnosis approaches in order to prevent malfunctions
  • Know-how protection and protection against manipulation of parts of plants and controls

Service Robotics and Mobile Manipulation

In the research focus Service Robotics and Mobile Manipulation, FZI researchers develop new basic technologies and functions for flexible robot systems. Subsequently, these systems are used in various user scenarios to provide innovative services. This includes transport and logistic tasks, robotic assistance systems for smart homes and ambient assisted living (AAL), robot systems for networked and flexible production as well as for industrial and search and rescue tasks.


Dr.-Ing. Felix Brandt

Department Manager



Felix Brandt studied Computer Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with a focus on algorithms and software engineering. From 2010 to 2018 he worked as a research scientist and projekt manager at FZI's research division Information Process Engineering. Since 2018 he leads the department Logistics Systems Engineering (LSE) at FZI.

Felix is an expert in planning and optimization for production and logistics. At FZI he leads several projects with different industry partners (a.o. Lufthansa Cargo, PTV Group, Dillinger, Daimler TSS) where he develops innovative solutions and puts them into practice.

In 2017 he finished his doctoral studies at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) on "The Air Cargo Load Planning Problem". Therefore, he developed solutions for several planning problems related to air cargo, e.g., 3D load planning, weight and balance, cargo terminal operations, and network planning.

His research interests are the planning and optimization of complex real-world systems by developing efficient algorithms and applying diverse methods of artificial intelligence, e.g., constraint programming, combinatorial optimization, and computer vision.


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