The intelligent freight room monitoring system at Krone is ready for series production. Hendrik Schniederbruns, project manager within telematics and digitisation at Krone, sheds some light on how the system can help to solve one of the biggest problems facing the transport industry.
When you think about tomorrow's transport world, what, in your opinion, will be the biggest challenge? For me personally it's the number 25. That’s because more than 25% of trailers operating in the DACH region make either entire or partial journeys with free freight room capacity. This is clearly far too much, and such empty runs are a real waste. Digital technology can help to solve this problem. As of autumn this year, we will be offering our customers “Smart Scan” – an intelligent freight room monitoring system.
You had a decisive impact on its development. What are the key benefits for the users of Smart Scan? It gives users a clear overview of what the freight space contains and whether there is any free capacity in it. This allows empty space to be utilised more effectively. Not only are costs reduced and the environmental impact limited, but secure loading and anti-theft protection measures are increased. We’re also taking a step-by-step look at other potential application areas, including the identification of stowaways. We use a digital camera to provide us with an image of the loading area via our Krone Telematics-Portal. An evaluation logic has been implemented which, based on the data relating to the loading area and any previously loaded merchandise, allows us to automatically determine any as yet unused capacity, which can then be broken down in terms of general cargo or pallet storage needs. At present, we are operating a pilot series in trailers with selected customers, with the aim of adapting the product to ensure an optimal fit with individual customer needs.
Hendrik Schniederbruns, born in 1990, has been in the Department for Research / Pre-Development and Electronics since 2016, under the management of Kurt Kunz. He joined the business directly after completing his Masters in Mechatronic Systems Engineering. Before coming on board, he had also completed his bachelor thesis in Mechatronics in the agricultural machinery division at Krone.
Is the system better suited to freight forwarding businesses with a large vehicle fleet, or can it also benefit smaller operators? It's suitable for everyone. Even our smaller-scale customers, who may operate up to ten vehicles, can benefit from this system and use even more of their loading space. Of course, it all depends primarily on the value of the goods being transported. Our sales team is happy to advise and, using a whole host of different application scenarios, can precisely state the benefits of using such technology.
What else will Smart Scan enable in future? We will work together with freight exchanges, which bring together carriers, freight forwarders and businesses. The relevant interfaces will let us connect transport and order management systems that will facilitate an automated process that links all participating stakeholders, allowing free loading space to be booked directly. Technically, such a feat is already possible but it has to become a mainstream phenomenon in the transport world – and that takes time.