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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Evaluation of a Smart System for the Optimization of Logistics Performance of a Pruning Biomass Value Chain

Bosona, Techane; Gebresenbet, Girma; Olsson, Sven-Olof; Garcia, Daniel; Germer, Sonja


The paper presents a report on the performance evaluation of a newly developed smart logistics system (SLS). Field tests were conducted in Spain, Germany, and Sweden. The evaluation focused on the performance of a smart box tool (used to capture information during biomass transport) and a web-based information platform (used to monitor the flow of agricultural pruning from farms to end users and associated information flow). The tests were performed following a product usability testing approach, considering both qualitative and quantitative parameters. The detailed performance evaluation included the following: systematic analysis of 41 recordable parameters (stored in a spreadsheet database), analysis of feedback and problems encountered during the tests, and overall quality analysis applying the product quality model adapted from ISO/IEC FDIS 9126-1 standard. The data recording and storage and the capability to support product traceability and supply chain management were found to be very satisfactory, while assembly of smart box components (mainly the associated cables), data transferring intervals, and manageability could be improved. From the data retrieved during test activities, in more than 95% of the parameters within 41 columns, the expected values were displayed correctly. Some errors were observed, which might have been caused mainly by barriers that could hinder proper data recording and transfer from the smart box to the central database. These problems can be counteracted and the performance of the SLS can be improved so that it can be upgraded to be a marketable tool that can promote sustainable biomass-to-energy value chains.


smart logistics system; information platform; pruning biomass; performance evaluation; product quality model; product usability testing

Published in

Applied Sciences
2018, Volume: 8, number: 10, article number: 1987
Publisher: MDPI