Measurement in a flash

MetriX Freight, the new solution for measuring the volume of packages, considerably reduces expenses in exhibition logistics. Exhibition and event logistics is a costly business, not least when it comes to billing. For example, DHL Trade Fairs & Events, the official logistics partner of Messe Frankfurt, has to measure each package by volume and weight. Because, among other things, customer costs depend on it. Up to now, every shift employed up to three employees simultaneously, and rather conventionally at that, with tape measures, scales and pencils—a real challenge with 750 to 1,600 packages each time. And also a costly one

Berlin bear during measurement at a trade fair
Even complex ojects are measured exactly without the need to touch them [Photo: DHL]

Measurement via camera-sensor

DHL Trade Fairs & Events is now using MetriX Freight, an innovative and inexpensive concept for volume measurement. To do this, camera sensors are mounted on a cross-beam beneath the hall ceiling. With its help using specially-developed software, objects up to 2.5 meters in width are captured with absolute precision and in less than one second. The packages can even stay on the forklift in the process. Together with an extra-generated bar code, the measurements appear on a monitor. The forklift driver scans the latter with a hand scanner and thus transfers the results into the system. The whole process takes ten seconds on average, making it six times faster than the previous method. It’s an undeniable advantage in time-critical exhibition construction and what’s more, measurement errors are all but eliminated.

Faster and more precise

The necessary technology originally came from an international gaming console manufacturer, which used it to capture the kinetic movement of players. On this basis, the software startup Metrilus developed the corresponding software in cooperation with DHL. Oliver Schell, Head of the Logistics division at Messe Frankfurt, is delighted: “As Messe Frankfurt, we’re the first exhibition center in Germany where this innovative solution is being used. The innovative strength of DHL, which we had the chance to experience among others in a joint workshop at the DHL Innovation Center in Troisdorf, is a perfect match for our digitization strategy.” In addition, Vincenzo Scrudato of DHL Trade Fairs & Events, also emphasizes the time savings while using MetriX: “Volume and weight are key factors for calculating charges for our customers. With digitized volume measurement, we work much more precisely and quickly. When it comes to dismantling at the end of a trade show, this means that all packages are ready to ship in under 24 hours.

Other areas of application

In the medium term, however, exhibition construction isn’t the only application of the technology. After all, quick and contactless volume measurement simplifies many processes in logistics, from planning, to efficient truck loading, to billing. The Deutsche Post company is therefore paying close attention to this technology. Devices for volume measurement in the branches are currently in development and mobile solutions are also planned.
 
MetriX in brief:

Author: Torsten Arnold

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