Tag Archives: technology

The hidden face of logistics

As we had the opportunity to see along all our posts, logistics is everywhere and forms part in many processes in a wide variety of sectors. As a consequence, the organs transplants are not an exception. Only in our country, more than 100.000 transplants had taken place since 1965 which is the year when this practice started. Time, as usually in logistics, plays an important role in a process where coordination between all the parts involved is crucial. The aim of this post is to give a basic idea of how it works the organs transplant and clarify the existent link between this and logistics.

In first place, the organs transplant is known as a complex medical treatment where organs, tissues or cells are transplanted from one person to other i.e. a damaged organ is substituted by one that functions correctly. The process starts when the donor has been diagnosed of encephalic death and a quick call has to be made to notify this fact so it is possible to start with the organization of the organs’ offer to the different transplant teams and prepare the operatives. There is a transplant coordinator who is responsible for providing the clinical, analytical and anthropometry data with the objective of facilitate the assessment of the possible use of the organs. All the data related with the steps of the transplant and the time that takes place is pointed in a dossier.

Video about organs transplants (1:52 – 3:45)

There are mainly four aspects where logistics is involved which are, in first place, the material means that are needed for the extraction of several organs, location of the personnel and coordination of the transport. Regarding the transport, the mechanism chosen for performing this task varies according the distance which is divided in:

  • Local donor: it is in the same city than the team on charge of the extraction and transplant but in different hospital. Therefore, the coordinator of the hospital organizes the displacement.
  • Short distance: sanitary cars or helicopters are used when the distance is lower than 200 km.
  • Long distance: private flight companies are hired and in some cases the air army realizes the transport. At least two hours are needed for preparing the flight so the coordination is essential between the hospitals involved and the ONT (National organization of transplants).

Secondly, it is important the preparation of the multiorgan extraction. The organ when is take from the body needs to be cooled, clean and preserved (the conditions will change in function of the organ or tissue). It is important to have a stock of the fluids used for the preservation, a sterile container and an isotainer for its transport. In addition, the third point consists on having good intrahospital coordination in the moment of the extraction. Moreover, the last step is based on the reposition of the stock.

material quirúrgico

Image 1: Surgical material needed for the organ transplant.

To sum up, the coordination of organs transplants involves a wide spectrum of aspects such as legal, clinical, organizational and human which takes place between hospitals and governmental institutions. There are evidences that point Spain as one of the countries with the most effective model of transplants. This success can be justified by the new surgical techniques and medical treatments together with an increase of organs donated. All this cannot be possible without logistics, which is responsible for the coordination of the transplant, the transport on time of the organ, the right stock repositioning, the use of a informatics system which is able of search information and channeling reports and requests for donor and transplant, among others.

 

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TECHNOLOGY FACILITATES LOGISTICS

When a business is created, the project must address three key aspects called triple bottom line which are the environmental, social and economic sustainability. In connection with this line of work I defined an agro-food related business called HOF3M.

My project is related with the creation of a garden in the roof of the buildings. This garden would be managed by two workers. The first one is in charge of the irrigation installation and its management. The second one is responsible of planting and caring for plants, this person must plant the seeds of season, set irrigation conditions and reap harvest.

HOF3m

Figure 1. HOF3M proposal. Source: Own elaboration.

This project aims to be:

  • Environmentally sustainable. According with the web page of Plume Air Report (https://air.plumelabs.com/) nowadays it is increasing pollution in cities. By increasing the number of plants in urban areas CO2 can be reduced.
  • Residents can eat health food.
  • Economic. New technology facilitates the management of the crop.

The logistic of this project should be facilitated by the application of new technologies. For example, there are companies such as Phytech and Modpow which provide agricultural sensors. These sensors can study the crop state and send the information obtained to a web application. There are also other companies such as Dynamax (http://www.dynamax.com/products) that allows you to have automated irrigation systems by the use of sensors.

Phytech

Figure 2. Phytech technology. Source: Reproduced from <http://www.phytech.com/>

Modpow

Figure 3. Modpow technology. Source: Reproduced from <http://www.modpow.es/es/tecnologia/>

Aurea Jordán

 

 

Old warehouses VS new warehouses

You can read about the same day recovery in amazon in other post, but we want show the importance of innovation to increase the efficiency and effectiveness, for this we are going to compare the logistics center in San Fernando de Henares (Madrid) with the logistics center in Tracy, California.  You can see the process in Madrid and the process in Tracy.

This new technology makes us win: more space capacity, less time to prepare the order (times are down 90minutes to 15minutes), less tired workers that previously they  had to work long distances (the stock amazon has the dimension of 59 fields football).
Similarities: they continue using an ordered chaos and not classify objects by class.

Technology used in both stores: first quality control (photograph, measure and weigh), product identification barcode and very important for my machine labeled (if labeling performs poorly, the package is not sent and the company loses money and image. Many small businesses lose money to make the wrong type labeling for not having this technology).

Future technology: Sending by Drones, FAA, the federal agency responsible for regulating the airspace of the US, Amazon has given permission to use autonomous flying vehicles, although with many restrictions and an experimental license. Amazon hopes to deliver packages in less than 30 minutes, even in rural or difficult to access.

 

Alejandro Rodriguez Barea

How will we be parking our cars in future?

The cities are getting fuller and more crowded than ever before. Driving a car in in a big city always taxes the driver´s patience. It is even getting worse when you try to find a parking lot. Without a reserved parking lot or paying high parking charges it is really hard to find spaces within a city. But how should this problem be solved in future? Some logistic engineers seem to have an appropriate solution.

Thanks to demographic trends, more and more people push into big cities, many cities already don´t have enough capacities to handle the high amount of traffic. Every square meter has to be used in a useful and well planned manner. To meet higher traffic emerge, especially private cars, solutions have to be found. Space is rare so how to built a parking deck with the highest efficiency? Okay, first of all, you have to go up high! The more levels, the higher the land utilization. But still, parking decks need lots of space, and many collisions happen because of narrow gateways.

Engineers have found a solution how increase land utilization. These days machines work more precise and more efficient than human beings. So it is reasonable to remove the driver and passengers from of the car, before parking it. An Automated parking system (APS) is the solution. In the field of logistics, automated warehousing is common practice, so why not applying this efficient technology to our daily life?

 

Using the APS is like robotic valet parking. The driver has to drive the car into the entry area of the APS, where he and all passengers leave the car. Nearby will be an automated terminal for payment and receipt of the ticket. When all persons have left the entry area, a special mechanic system will lift the car and “park” it at a predetermined parking space in the system. To retrieve a car, the driver has just to insert his ticket at the automated terminal. The system will lift the car from its parking space and deliver it at an exit area.

The main advantage of automated parking systems is saving space by significantly reducing it:

  • Parking space width and depth (and distances between parking spaces) are dramatically reduced since no allowance need be made for driving the car into the parking space or for the opening of car doors (for drivers and passengers)
  • No driving lanes or ramps are needed to drive the car to/from the entrance/exit to a parking space
  • Ceiling height is minimized since there is no pedestrian traffic (drivers and passengers) in the parking area, and
  • No walkways, stairways or elevators are needed to accommodate pedestrians in the parking area.

Due to the mentioned reductions the APS needs substantially less structural material than the multi-story parking garage. A space saving steel framework is the base of the APS which contributes to an overall volume reduction.

Additionally to the efficient use of space, there are more benefits: As there is no public access to the parking areas, the cars are more secure. Damages on the car like scratches and dents from the parking activity are eliminated. It is also safer for driver and passengers, which do not have to walk through the parking-areas. Engine emissions are reduced, because driving through the parking garage to find a spot is not required anymore.

This is how we will probably park our cars in future, no more driving around in multi-story parking garages to find a spot!