Autonomous mobile robots in sterile instrument logistics: an evaluation of the material handling system for a strategic fit framework

Giuseppe Fragapane*, Hans Henrik Hvolby, Fabio Sgarbossa, Jan Ola Strandhagen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The logistics activities of sterile instruments are both labour- and cost-intensive. Automating sterile instrument transportation offers an excellent opportunity to reduce staff members’ responsibilities and time committed to that task. With recent technological advances in material handling, autonomous mobile robots offer an innovative solution for transporting sterile instruments, especially in dynamic environments such as hospitals. However, hospital planners need guidance in deciding when to apply which material handling systems to achieve optimal performance. This study uses a multiple case study to map sterile instrument logistics and evaluate the transportation performance of material handling systems in terms of flexibility, productivity, quality/service, and costs. Applying contingency theory and analysing the relationships between material handling systems and hospital characteristics, we contribute with a strategic fit framework showing the ideal states to achieve high performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Volume34
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages15
ISSN0953-7287
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • autonomous mobile robots
  • material handling
  • multiple case study
  • sterile instrument logistics
  • strategic fit

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