Technological innovations can render the transport business much more efficient. Which innovations harbour the greatest potential and are thus also a good investment in the long-term?
How can modern technology make a commercial vehicle more sustainable? Borker: There are now a number of ways to increase a vehicle’s overall energy efficiency, for example, through recuperation, lightweight construction and aerodynamics. In my opinion, the digitisation of the entire vehicle is the most important source of leverage for making transport efficient. If I know the condition and position of my vehicle, I can make optimum use of it and cover fewer kilometres on the road.
ABOUT MARTIN BORKER
Martin Borker, born in 1984, found his way to Krone via agricultural engineering after studying electrical engineering. He started in 2010 here as a software developer for round balers and was later responsible for electronic products. Since February 2020, he has been working as Head of Electronics Development in the Krone Commercial Vehicle Group.
Innovation always means investment. How do you deliver on this from an economic perspective? Sasse: At the outset, conditions are often less than ideal: The best new technologies first cost a little more, because research and development are costly, and low quantities are more expensive. But once a new technology has become established, the costs also go down. Among other things, subsidies can play a supporting role on the way to achieving this. Of course, we also show our customers where new technologies are already economical today, and help them to operate in a cost-optimised manner. The additional benefits offered by sensors, for example, can quickly be put to profitable use.
What role does hardware play? Sasse: Lighter materials, for example, reduce energy input in the system as a whole and allow for increased payload. That’s why lightweight construction makes particular sense in areas where the advantage of kilos saved (in terms of hardware) can subsequently translate into greater payload. This is not the case everywhere, for example, in the automotive sector, where mainly light goods are moved. But for coil or paper transport operations, I can shift more kilos of payload for every kilo of tare weight saved. And the more I can transport, the more favourable the CO₂ footprint per transport kilometre.
ABOUT UWE SASSE
Uwe Sasse joined Krone in 1988 right after completing his degree in engineering and worked in various managerial positions for 20 years. As a member of executive management at Fahrzeugwerk Krone, he has been responsible for the design and development division since 2008.
What should you look for when buying innovative technologies? Borker: Purchasing a trailer from an established manufacturer usually pays off. At Krone, we have a robust service network operating in the background and are always happy to answer questions and resolve issues. We have access to all systems in the trailer because it is our trailer and we do not have to link into third-party systems. But we remain fully open to interfaces with third-party systems so that customers can see all the data they need in one portal. Collaborative efforts with partners such as Shippeo or Cargobull Telematics are becoming increasingly important here because we also want to meet the diverse requirements of our customers with regard to increasing digitisation. By bringing together different system data, we can create added value for them. We simply have to be prepared to share this information with each other in order to generate the greatest possible benefit for our customers.