Optimize material flow planning through comprehensive material flow analysis with ipolog software. Highly branched transport flows as well as intransparent information and material flows are frequent challenges for companies.

Material Flow Diagram and Sankey Diagram

Importance, Benefits and Application

What is a material flow diagram?

Material flow diagrams are used to display the material flows of a process. These are visualized by so-called Sankey diagrams. They allow us to understand the flow of a process by looking at a diagram and to determine where any stumbling blocks might lie. They are useful for planning new processes as well as improving existing systems.

For example, a material flow diagram can be used to find out if there may be problems in an existing system that have not yet been discovered. Material flow diagrams are an important aid in planning and implementing projects. They show which materials are necessary to achieve the goals and what priority each component has.

What is a Sankey diagram?

A Sankey diagram is a special type of flow chart. It describes a way to graphically represent material flows (generally quantity flows) proportional to their flow rate. The greater the flow rate, the thicker the material flow arrows. Sankey diagrams are also called heat balance diagrams, graphic heat balance or energy flow diagrams. There are many different representations of Sankey diagrams, they can be used in many different ways. There is no such thing as a "typical" Sankey diagram.

What advantages do Sankey diagrams have?

  • Sankey diagrams can be used to graphically illustrate complex relationships.
  • They enable holistic and sustainable planning.
  • Resources can be identified and expenses reduced.
  • A Sankey diagram is a visual indication of relationships between at least two data sources. For example, these relationships can represent cause and effect, or cost and benefits.

The following example shows a Sankey diagram for optimized planning of logistics processes and transport routes.

Durch Materialflussanalyse und Materialflussplanung zur optimalen Routenzugplanung. Auch eine 2D-Darstellung des Materialflusses helfen bei der Optimierung des Materialflusses.

Ipolog can be used, for example, in transportation planning. Tugger trains and means of transport can be planned automatically and necessary resources determined, thus saving costs for transport processes.

What are the disadvantages of Sankey diagrams?

  • Creating them can be very time-intensive and complicated.
  • Sankey diagrams can also be very confusing and difficult for the viewer to understand.
  • At least two data sources are required to create a Sankey diagram. This is a major drawback if you are trying to represent a single data source.
  • Sankey diagrams are not suitable for visualizing minute details.

Digital solution for material flow planning and analysis with ipolog

We offer a digital solution for material flow planning and material flow analysis with our ipolog software.
The software enables the 3D simulation of process steps and 2D representation of the material flow by e.g. Sankey diagrams. Material flow planning is a prerequisite for comprehensive and sustainable logistics planning and factory planning.

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Your Contact

ipolog contact - Matthias Kellermann

Matthias Kellermann
Phone: +49.7152.70010.77
Email: matthias.kellermann@ipolog.ai

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