Material flow diagrams (aka material flow charts) are used to visualize the use of materials. e.g. along a supply chain. Illustrated through Sankey diagrams they can be combined with energy and cost flows.
What is a Material flow diagram?
Definition & areas of application
A material flow diagramis used to illustrate material and mass flows in a visually appealing way. Thus they can show e.g. the distribution of goods or the consumption of resources within a production system. Furthermore they are applicable for holistic material flow analyses. They can cover a great number of areas, such as:
- Material flow analysis and management
- Supply chain management
- Plant planning
- Process engineering
Visualized by so called Sankey diagrams – with flow widths proportional to the flow quantity – material flow diagrams draw the attention to the biggest mass flows of the system.
Advantages of material flow diagrams
Material flow charts provide a lot of benefits for the visualization of material usages. Rising material costs and a sustainable consumption of resources are the most important challenges of the time. Material flow diagrams support you identifying losses, closing loops and increasing resource efficiency in a sustainable way.
Mass flows in material flow management
Sankey diagrams are well suited for an effective material flow management and analysis. Within the flow diagram all relevant material and energy flows as well are visualized.
The focus is on improving energy and material efficiency and on the creation of closed loops. By doing this, companies can save resources as well as costs which leads to a more sustainable production.
Distribution of goods and logistics
Material flow charts can also be quite helpful for the visualization of the distribution of goods, within a factory hall, an entire location or for regional and supra-regional transportation.
The benefit is evident: ways and flows containing a high level of traffic volume can be identified and later on modified. Bottlenecks can be reduced and the distribution of goods can be handled more efficiently.
Our software solutions for material flows
Using our software e!Sankey you can visualize material flows through appealing Sankey diagrams.
Furthermore you can link flow values to Excel tables. This is quite helpful, e.g. for periodical changes (per month, per year...).
If you wish to analyze your entire material flows rather than just visualizing them, our material flow management software Umberto Efficiency+ is the perfect solution.
Using Umberto you can analyze the entire use of materials and energy. Through a holistic material flow cost accounting (MFCA) you can increase your resource efficiency permanently.