Through the Value Added Trucking project, VIL aims to find out which (administrative or other) value-added tasks can be carried out by the driver of a truck in self-driving mode. This is not about the technological angle, but the logistical approach: what improvement in efficiency and productivity can be achieved by having the driver on board the self-driving truck carry out useful tasks?
In recent months, a great deal has been said and written about parcel delivery using drones. However, large-scale use of drones for this purpose remains a pipe dream. Drones which collect stock from a warehouse or monitor materials and equipment in a yard offer more opportunities in the short term. Good reasons for VIL to launch a project focussing on the use of drones – or flying robots – in a logistics environment.
In the last few years, many companies which have been manufacturing in Asia for a long time have been moving their manufacturing back or opening additional manufacturing facilities in Eastern Europe. VIL has launched the ‘Nearshoring’ project in conjunction with seven companies to identify the logistical opportunities presented by this trend and then to capitalize on this to the maximum.
The logistics chains for online and offline sales are often completely separate. In order to meet changing customer requirements and make the process more efficient, these two logistics chains need to be integrated as far as possible. The aim of this new project is therefore the integration of the – currently separate – ‘online’ and ‘offline’ logistics.
Cobots are robots that can easily be taught tasks so that they can be deployed simply and quickly, at a low investment cost. Through the ‘Cobots in Logistics’ project, VIL aims to enable the logistics sector to acquire knowledge and practical experience of the possibilities of these flexible service robots.
The boom in wearable technologies, especially smart glasses, offers opportunities for carrying out certain logistical tasks more efficiently and accurately, in a highly user-friendly manner. This project aims to make the potential and opportunities of these technologies clear and to test them.