Blood vessels and human liver as bio-inspiration to reduce internal transport costs in factories.

Daniel Tinello(1), Moritz Boley(2), Markus Brunner(1), Dominik Stadlthanner(1), Danijela Bevanda-Rauch(3), Manfred Drack(2), Ille C. Gebeshuber(4), Herwig Winkler(5)

(1)Institute of Logistics Engineering, Graz University of Technology, Graz, 8010, Austria
(2)Institute for Evolution and Ecology, Department of Evolutionary Biology of Invertebrates, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, 72076, Germany
(3)Department of Global Sales and Design Development, KNAPP AG, Hart bei Graz. 8075, Austria
(4)Institute of Applied Physics, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, 1040, Austria
(5)Chair of Production Management, Cottbus University of Technology, Cottbus 03046, Germany
*Corresponding author: Daniel Tinello (

Keywords: logistics, material flow, facility layout planning, liver, blood vessels

This paper presents novel bio-inspired approaches to assign operational resources (OR´s) like machines, workstations and departments within factory layouts. First results were presented at ICBE 2016 in Ningbo (Tinello et al. 2016). Now we found two more analogies for future factories.

First we investigated the structures and growth processes of blood vessels and found that these biological principles and structures help to enhance the allocation of OR´s within factory layouts. It is interesting to note that the underlying principles of a blood vessel system of a mouse are like that of a whale. West et al. write: “Thus, a whale is 〖10〗^7times heavier than a mouse but has only about 70% more branchings from aorta to capillary.” (West et al. 1997, S. 123). Nevertheless, the blood vessels of both animals grow according to the same law, which in the end enables an efficient blood supply to all organs and body parts. This is equivalent to minimizing the transport distances (Brummer et al. 2017).

Furthermore, we investigated the structure of the human liver, especially the transports through the capillary network in the liver lobules, to mimic the pattern for factory layouts. The liver lobules (production unit) can be addressed as the basic units of the liver, whose centre forms a vein and is surrounded by connective tissue pathways (way system in the factory). A vein transports nutrients (delivery of raw materials), the artery transports oxygen (energy supply) and another vein transports the converted substances (outgoing goods) (Schiebler und Korf 2007). So there are quite some analogies for logistics within the liver.


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