Center Textile Logistics (CTL)

Hochschule Niederrhein. Your way.

Welcome!

The Center Textile Logistics (CTL) is a cooperation project of the Hochschule Niederrhein and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) in Dortmund. Each partner has one team, both led by Prof. Dr. Markus Muschkiet. Four scientific staff members are currently employed in Mönchengladbach and four in Dortmund.
Under the slogan "Logistics for Textiles - Textiles for Logistics", the CTL aims to bundle the efforts of industry to apply innovative solutions in practical applications and the interests of scientific partners in practice-related, current research topics in the field of textile logistics in the Lower Rhine region. Both teams in Mönchengladbach and Dortmund complement each other in this respect and contribute their specific strengths and know-how.
The drivers of the CTL are the optimisation of logistic processes in the textile industry and textile solutions for production and logistics. Focus is on five fields of research:

  • Sustainable textile logistics
  • Last mile textile logistics
  • Intralogistics and IT in the textile chain
  • Textile logistics for smart clothing
  • High performance textiles in production and logistics

Link: Center Textile Logistics at the Fraunhofer IML (German)

“Logistics is a key factor for success in the textile industry due to fast seasonal change, a high import quota, returns in online retailing as well as many other related issues. For textile companies, logistics is a major key competence. Science can support the industry significantly in ongoing developments.”

Prof. Dr. Markus Muschkiet
Head of the Center Textile Logistics at the Fraunhofer IML and the Hochschule Niederrhein

Head of the institute

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Muschkiet
Textile Logistics

Cancelled: Textile Logistics Forum

Due to the current pandemic situation, the third Textile Logistics Forum on 18 June 2020 has been cancelled.

We will inform you about alternative dates and possibly a different event form as soon as possible.

Student assignments, research assignments and final theses

Last mile sustainability

  • Efforts made in last mile textile logistics in Europe (also Asia, USA ...)
  • Innovative means of transport in inner-city areas
Natalie van Bentum, M.Sc.
Center Textile Logistics CTL

Circular economy

  • Market analysis: Share of employed raw materials in the textile and clothing industry and their origins
  • Recycling concepts for used textiles
Ida Marie Brieger, B.Sc.
Center Textile Logistics CTL

Packaging in online retailing

  • Alternative systems for packaging (substitutes for polybags)
  • Optimisation of shipping packaging
Marija Meyerhoff
Center Textile Logistics CTL

Passive climate control in containers

  • Comparison of passive (textile) systems for humidity control
  • Comparison of active and passive climate control during textile transport
  • Specifications for non-securing textile aids in a container

The last mile

Sustainability in the last mile

Due to the increased volume of shipments resulting from the growth in e-commerce, the volume of goods and transport in inner-city conurbations is rising sharply. For this reason, courier, express and parcel services which focus on the delivery of consumer goods are confronted with the dilemma of city logistics; they create approximately 30 percent of the traffic in urban centres and contribute considerably to the higher external costs of traffic such as emissions, congestion, noise and traffic accidents (cf. Logistik Knowhow 2017). At the same time it is necessary to reduce their last mile costs and optimise their services to meet customers’ demands regarding time slot delivery or same day delivery. When transporting textiles and clothing, additional challenges such as how to handle hanging garments may arise. There is a need for innovative delivery concepts which help the courier, express and parcel services to be successful and to create a sustainable added value for city logistics at the same time.

Circular economy

Textiles as part of the circular economy

The current added value chain of the textile and clothing industry with its linear orientation produces large quantities of used textiles and has a negative impact on the environment, due, for example, to the consumption of water, chemicals, and pesticides. With the introduction of a textile circular economy, resources can be saved and the consumption of chemicals, pesticides and other resources can be reduced. The aim is to start anew at the beginning of the textile chain with recycling of used textiles in order to close the cycle. The circular economy model is directed against wasting resources and environmental pollution and supports measures to prevent climate change.

Recycling of used textiles faces multiple challenges and is influenced by various factors. A plan of action for improving the used textile market needs to be researched.

Packaging

Packaging in online retailing

The volume of plastic waste from packaging has almost doubled over the last 20 years. All types of packaging must be included in considerations, i.e. sales packaging, shipping packaging, transport packaging and service packaging. Online retailing is a driver for the increasing volume of packaging waste in the textile industry.

Consumers are changing their way of thinking! According to a PwC study, 85 percent of end customers want sustainable packaging. The need for research on sustainable materials and alternative concepts is therefore also steadily increasing.

Textiles in transport

Passive climate control in containers

During the transportation of goods in containers from/to (sub-)tropical regions it is possible that condensation of humid air on the container roof and walls and also on the goods themselves occurs due to changes in temperature. This so called “container sweat” can drip onto the goods, causing damage. It also may result in mould infestation. One possible counter measure is hanging packs filled with desiccant such as silica gel in the container. The necessary calculable amount lowers the air humidity to below the dewpoint to prevent damage to the goods for the expected period of transport. The packs are designed for single use only and are disposed of after container transportation.

Control of the air humidity is important, especially when transporting textiles. Since a specific residual moisture content (measured under standard conditions) is allowed during transportation, the necessary amount of desiccant can be increased in comparison to that required for other transported goods, such as electronics, for which the increase in moisture is mainly caused by the packaging materials (cardboard). Without consideration and adjustment of climate control in a container, damage to the textile goods during transport is more likely.

The possibilities and limits of a reusable textile solution for passive regulation of the crypto climate inside a container will be investigated.

2019

Second Textile Logistics Forum

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On Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 45 representatives of textile and clothing companies and industry associations attended the second Textile Logistics Forum at the Mönchengladbach campus of the Hochschule Niederrhein. The forum provided a platform for the exchange of know-how and sharing information on current developments, innovations and challenges in the field of logistics and textiles. The topics were presented under the slogan “Logistics for Textiles – Textiles for Logistics”.

The diverse programme featured keynotes on textile logistics, research projects of the scientific staff working at the Center Textile Logistics as well as technical and incentive lectures.

Prof. Dr. Vossebein, Dean of the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology at the Hochschule Niederrhein and Head of the Public Textile Testing Institute, welcomed all attendees at the campus. The main focus of the technical lectures was on digitisation and automation trends and sustainability in textile logistics. Detlef Spee, Head of the Department of Intralogistics and IT Planning at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), talked about the digital infrastructure for artificial intelligence and the future of intralogistics systems. Some insights into the results of the Fraunhofer study about returns in fashion e-commerce were given by Lea Isfort (Fraunhofer IML). Christel Habig, Head of Zalando SE in Mönchengladbach, introduced attendees to the efficiency-enhancing bag sorter from her warehouse. The incentive lectures also included the presentation of two Master students of the university who established their start-up “Marilis” on a sustainable basis and now develop innovative chains for smartphones and accessories. Cooperation with social organisations and transparent sourcing of materials are particularly important to the founders Liliane Suda and Elise Esser.

During the final highlight, a tour through some of the research laboratories of the university in Mönchengladbach, attendees were given an insight into the current research topics at the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology. These are, for example, research in the field of smart textiles, projects researching the problems of microplastics in household laundry, technical textiles and finishing, yarn production by ring spinning and textile printing.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Muschkiet, Head of the Center Textile Logistics at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics and the Hochschule Niederrhein, summarised the event as follows: “The second Textile Logistics Forum was a great success with a balanced mix of research and practical developments. This time the research focus was on the activities of the team in Mönchengladbach. Practical insights were given by the start-up “Marilis” as well as into the logistics of Zalando in Mönchengladbach. We look forward to the third Textile Logistics Forum.”

The transfer of know-how, the combination of research and practical concepts and the opportunity to experience innovative and logistic developments close up were of great benefit to the attendees, a fact which was reflected in their positive feedback. From now on the Forum will be held annually and the next event is planned for 18 July 2020 at the Fraunhofer IML in Dortmund.

First Textile Logistics Forum

Apfel

On 14 March 2019, 40 attendees from the textile and logistics sector met at the first Textile Logistics Forum at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Dortmund. Under the slogan “Logistics for Textiles – Textiles for Logistics”, they were informed about current trends and innovative developments in the areas of logistics and textiles.

During a diverse programme featuring lectures, discussions, innovation pitches and a tour of the research laboratories of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, the attendees were able to find new inspiration for their businesses. The attendees particularly appreciated the opportunity to exchange information about specific topics from the sector. In addition to an overview of current topics from the different fields of the Center Textile Logistics during the innovation pitches, the main focus was placed on the topic of machine learning.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Muschkiet, Head of the Center Textile Logistics at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, emphasised the communication between the industry and the scientific sector: “It delights me that the first Textile Logistics Forum was received so positively. Networking and the combination of the lectures were of great benefit to the textile industry and make this event unique in the industry.”

In addition to the presentations of the employees of the Center Textile Logistics, two guest speakers gave valuable insights: Uwe Schöbel from Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG gave the attendees an overview of how textiles can be integrated into logistic processes, and Dr. Sascha Feldhorst from MotionMiners GmbH enhanced the research-oriented programme with the presentation of software which enables companies to analyse and optimise manual work processes themselves to improve efficiency and ergonomics.

 

The know-how transfer, the combination of research and practical concepts and the opportunity to experience innovative and logistic developments close up made the first Textile Logistics Forum a complete success. It will be organised on a regular basis from now on. The next Textile Logistics Forum will be held in the autumn of 2019 at the Hochschule Niederrhein in Mönchengladbach.

2018

Inauguration of the Center Textile Logistics

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Fraunhofer IML and the Hochschule Niederrhein open the Center Textile Logistics

Mönchengladbach, 22 October. The new Center Textile Logistics (CTL) was opened today at the new Textile Academy on the Mönchengladbach campus of the Hochschule Niederrhein. The CTL was created as a driver of innovation for the local textile industry. It was founded last year as a cooperation project by the Hochschule Niederrhein and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML.

The President of the University, Prof. Dr. Hans-Henning von Grünberg, opened the inauguration event saying: “It is our declared goal to be perceived as the nationwide educational partner and innovation driver of the textile industry. With the foundation of the Fraunhofer Center Textile Logistics we have taken one step closer to achieving this aim. It is already almost unimaginable today that a textile company has not heard of us.”

The new Center is part of a textile portfolio of the Hochschule Niederrhein that is unique on a nationwide scale. Alongside the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology, the largest of its kind in Europe, the following are also included; the Research Institute for Textile and Clothing (FTB), the Deutsches Textilforschungszentrum Nord-West (DTNW) research centre, operated in cooperation with the University of Duisburg-Essen, education and training within the framework of the Textile Academy in cooperation with two textile associations, two public testing facilities for testing textile materials as well as the emerging Innovatorium as part of the framework of the “Innovative Hochschule” excellence initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

“Globalisation was already a part of the textile and clothing industry before there was even a name for it”, commented Dr Wilfried Holtgrave, President of the Verband der Nordwestdeutschen Textil- und Bekleidungsindustrie. “Today, logistics is a critical factor for success of the textile and clothing industry. High performance textiles are seen as a key technology for future logistics and mobility.” Fast seasonal changes, a high import quota, returns in online retailing as well as a number of other related issues mean the ever growing importance of logistics for textile companies. The new Center was created to support companies on a scientific level.

Rolf Königs, President of the Verband der Rheinischen Textil- und Bekleidungsindustrie, explained the inseparable unity of research, production and logistics along the whole value chain. “Textile logistics in particular have undergone a massive transformation in Germany and the region specifically, and have gained in importance. The timing, partners and location for opening the Center Textile Logistics (CTL) are perfect.”

When the Center was opened, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Clausen, Director of the Fraunhofer IML, commented: “The textile industry is very fascinating for logistics specialists like us due to its special requirements and own dynamics. In Mönchengladbach with the CTL we want to take this opportunity to combine our ideas and the textile know-how available here to benefit our customers.”

During the setup phase, at least eleven employees from student assistants to scientific staff will carry out research and work on industrial projects at the CTL. The Hochschule Niederrhein receives estimated funding of around one million euros for the CTL from the Federal Ministry of Culture and Science of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia into the year 2021.

The Fraunhofer IML receives funding within the framework of the Fraunhofer cooperation program with universities of applied sciences of one million euros into the year 2022. After this the Center Textile Logistics will have to finance itself by acquiring industrial and research funding and become a permanent part of Fraunhofer, the university, city and region.

Head of the newly founded Center is Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Muschkiet, Professor of Textile Logistics at the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology at the Hochschule Niederrhein. He sees it as his mission to combine the variety of topics from the fields of logistics and textiles. To accomplish this aim, the newly founded Center Textile Logistics uses the competence of the Fraunhofer IML in Dortmund in the field of logistics, and the competence of the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology at the Hochschule Niederrhein in the field of textiles.

Head of the Center Textile Logistics CTL

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Muschkiet
Textile Logistics

Team at the Center Textile Logistics CTL

Marcel Beiß, M.Sc.
Center Textile Logistics CTL
Natalie van Bentum, M.Sc.
Center Textile Logistics CTL
Ida Marie Brieger, B.Sc.
Center Textile Logistics CTL
Marija Meyerhoff
Center Textile Logistics CTL

Address

HOCHSCHULE NIEDERRHEIN

Center Textillogistik (CTL)
Center Textile Logistics (CTL)

Postal address: Webschulstr. 31
Address for visitors: Richard-Wagner-Str. 140
41065 Mönchengladbach

Phone: +49 (0)2161 186-6130
Email: ctl(at)hs-niederrhein.de
Fax: +49 (0)2161 186-6013
Web: www.hs-niederrhein.de/ctl

How to reach us

Do you have any questions about the CTL? Contact us!

Please use the following email address. We look forward to hearing from you and would be pleased to be of assistance.