Biomimetics applied to logistics: Assignment of operational resources within ideal facility layouts by applying Fibonacci, spider webs, nautilus shell and honeycombs

Daniel Tinello, Herwig Winkler, Dirk Jodin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The paper shows first a bibliometric analysis, before presenting a biomimetic application within logistics in the second part will be presented.
Biomimetics and logistics have been discussed broadly in the scientific literature with regard to their particular discipline. First we will explore the amount of the scientific research on the interdisciplinary topic of biomimetics applied to logistics. We performed a query of scientific online databases throughout this subject area and conducted a bibliometric analysis to explore the most influential works and their impact on logistics. Interest in the interdisciplinary topic has been increasing disproportionately and continuously through until the present in comparison to that focused on the specific disciplines. Some fields of logistics benefit from principles of nature while other fields of logistics could not use this potential. Finally, our analysis presents a country ranking, which is led by China with 57% of the total publications.
The second part contains a bio-inspired approach to assign operational resources (OR´s) such as machines, workstations and departments within facility layouts. We investigated the structures and growth processes of the nautilus shell and the honeycomb and found that these biological principles and structures help to enhance the allocation of OR´s within facility layouts. Furthermore, we investigated input-output-processes in nature, especially the webs of orb-weaver spiders, to mimic the web pattern for facility layouts. As first step towards a proof of feasibility we collected material flow data of real facilities as reference. We implemented the original factory layouts within our model. As second step, we applied traditional logistical methods for ideal layout planning in accordance with theory. In a third step, we applied the nautilus shell, spider web and honeycomb layout approach to arrange ideal layouts of the facilities. After examining different variants, we found that our bio-inspired approaches were able to keep up with traditional methods to construct ideal layouts, and one Fibonacci based biomimetical approach could even beat the best traditional method by 13.6%.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2016
Event5th International Conference of Bionic Engineering - University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus, Ningbo, China
Duration: 22 Jun 201624 Jun 2016


Conference5th International Conference of Bionic Engineering
Abbreviated titleICBE 2016
Internet address

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production

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