Honors Theses


Sean Falkowski


Engineering Management, Systems and Technology

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


In recent years, large scale agricultural and food processing industries have experienced a great worldwide digital transformation. The advent of Industry 4.0, which has become popular in Europe, has helped many industries optimize their operations. Relatively new is the idea that food processing industries and other stakeholders in the food distribution supply chain cannot only optimize their processes but also, track and provide timely customer service. This has technical and managerial challenges that might limit the potential benefits of industry 4.0 in the efficient distribution of fresh food produce. For example, food retailers have to meet the increasing customer desire for fresh and high-quality food produce on demand. This has led to overstocking and understocking of some food items, as well as waste in transportation and labor, which adds to the total cost of food. Dayton, Ohio and other cities designated as food deserts have limited access to affordable and healthy high-quality fresh food. Preliminary data from this study suggest that lower-income communities in Dayton do not have immediate access to affordable, healthy and high-quality food. However, the other communities in the Dayton area usually see an oversupply of fresh, affordable and high-quality food in retail shops. Therefore, this study aims to utilize Industry 4.0 concepts to propose a more equitable and efficient way to minimize food insecurity in food deserts and create a more sustainable environment.

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Undergraduate research


Mechanical Engineering