Intelligent transport solutions

Krone has unveiled a suite of telematics technologies for easy and transparent data management.

At this year’s IAA Transportation in Hanover, Germany, Krone Telematics set new benchmarks, underscoring its strategy of making telematics data available wherever the customer needs it. For some time now, Krone has been employing a standard push interface that is open and backwards compatible for all partners. More than 250 outgoing interfaces are currently running, and the volume of requests is significantly increasing.

With the new ‘self-service’ function, simple and transparent data transmission to all connected systems is even more convenient. This is how Krone Telematics customers can both exchange data with each other as well as with third-party service providers or customer-specific applications with just a few clicks. The customer has full transparency to decide which vehicles they want to release data for, over a defined period of time. The customer has full control with just a few clicks, by simply selecting and deselecting vehicles and the desired data packages, ranging from GPS through to EBS and temperature data. The transparency report, which is automatically generated, prevents accidental data leaks and misuse of the customer’s telematics data.

The digital strategy ‘Krone Intelligent Transport Solutions’ (KITS) features digital solutions from Krone and will be combined under this in the future, from data management and telematics products to the increasingly digitised, Krone 360° Trailer Service.

Ralf Faust, Managing Director Service at the Krone Commercial Vehicle Group, explained the reasons for this: “Today, the digitalisation of goods transport involves far more than just telematics products, such as determining the location of the trailer. The integration of telematics data into data management as a whole, and digital solutions, are developing at real pace. For example, our new Load Capacity Management system does not only allow us to monitor images from the trailers load compartment in real time, but also enables us to evaluate them automatically with the help of ‘SmartLoad’ artificial intelligence and thereby communicate any free loading space to the transport management systems. For this reason, in the future, Krone will combine all digital software and hardware solutions into KITS.”

Real-time updates with Shippeo
Thanks to the partnership with Shippeo, the European market leader in real-time transport transparency solutions, Krone was the first trailer manufacturer to provide accurate real-time forecasts of expected arrival times. The collaboration started in September 2020.

Users of Krone Telematics have access to the most reliable ETA forecasts for the logistics sector on the market. These are based on a proprietary, industry-leading algorithm developed by Shippeo that draws on over 200 data parameters. Krone integrates this data into the familiar Krone Telematics portal so that all users can monitor both delivery status and shipment integrity in real time from a single portal. In addition, the status of the individual transports can be easily shared with the respective recipients at the click of a button, in order to enable the best possible communication throughout the entire transport chain.

“Today, many logistics companies still rely on a paper-based system where drivers have to prove that the cold chain has met strict regulations throughout the shipping process,” said Lucien Besse, COO of Shippeo. “With real-time temperature monitoring, user-defined clients are notified as soon as temperature changes become apparent.” This will help to avoid potentially exceeding the maximum temperatures and allow electronic documentation to be sent.”

Shippeo helps major shippers and logistics service providers to deliver exceptional customer service and operational excellence. The multi-modal infrastructure connects FTL, LTL, parcel and container transport as well as more than 875 TMS, telematics and ELD systems via a unique API. The Shippeo platform provides instant access to real-time delivery tracking, automates customer processes, and delivers unmatched ETA accuracy through a proprietary and industry-leading, in-house developed algorithm. Global brands such as Carrefour, Schneider Electric, Faurecia, Saint-Gobain and Eckes Granini rely on Shippeo to track more than 28 million shipments per year in 75 countries.

Krone Smart Collect Solar – autonomous and maintenance-free
The Krone Smart Collect Solar (KSC Solar) telematics and diagnostics unit is the practical response to the demand for a mobile, autonomous and completely maintenance-free option for the precise positioning of vehicles and mobile units. The compact KSC Solar offers tracking via GPS for all vehicles and units that are not equipped with a permanent power supply to operate a telematics box. The solar module integrated into the housing is used to generate power, which supplies the internally installed battery. This charging process is supported by a supercapacitor, which also operates reliably at both very low and very high temperatures (-20°C to +60°C).

The KSC Solar transmits the generated data to the respective customised Krone Telematics portal. Since not only the vehicles, but also transport companies and dispatchers are constantly on the move, Krone also provides this data for mobile use via the Telematics App.

The data normally has to be integrated into additional systems, be it a transport management system (TMS), a forwarding software or an expense module integrated into the accounting software. To make sure that nothing prevents the information from being bundled in one place and made available to end customers, the Krone Telematics Portal users can administer the data run autonomously via drag & drop using the Krone Push API. The Krone Telematics team is always available to provide customised solutions to meet the requirements of more complex individual solutions.

KSC Solar – a new standard for swap systems
Krone Smart Collect Solar can be used in a wide range of applications, wherever a self-sufficient and reliable GPS system is required. In particular, swap systems are typically in transit for days on motorways and the rail network before they reach their destination. The system also uses different vehicles for transporting swap bodies. The KCS Solar can then precisely track these vehicles. The swap body no longer needs to be manually assigned to the vehicle currently operated, since the system is permanently mounted on the superstructure and the location is always kept up to date and can be reliably tracked – no matter what additional systems are used. This speeds up dispatching swap bodies and avoids unnecessary downtime. As a result, swap bodies are no longer overlooked.

The KSC Solar is very easy to install and can be fitted on site in the vehicle fleets. The compact box (230 mm x 130 mm x 21 mm) is secured with just four screws or four rivets. Its size and design make it ideal for mounting within the existing beading on the roof of Krone swap boxes. This ensures reliable protection, even from hanging branches. The low overall height makes it easy to mount on the front wall of swap bodies and trailers. The KSC solar will be offered factory-installed for new swap bodies and as a ready-to-install retrofit kit.

Krone 360° Trailer Service puts digitalisation in the spotlight
Ralf Faust, Managing Director Service at the Krone Commercial Vehicle Group, has elaborated on this strategy: “Across the entire Krone 360° Trailer Service, the focus is on digitalisation and networking with our customers, not just this year but in the years to come. Every day, we strive to open up new, better options to our customers, to expand the service and to offer as many themes, data and products in as digital a means as possible, as well as making the products available to order digitally.”

A key component of the Krone 360° Trailer Service is the new digital strategy, KITS. All digital solutions from Krone are to be combined under this in the future, from data management and telematics products to the increasingly digitised service components. The Krone 360° Trailer Service start as soon as the Krone vehicle is delivered whether that is with or without telematics: The vehicle data is available digitally in the ‘My Krone’ service portal. In addition, important data and delivery and processing is stored here digitally, so as to reduce the processing effort.

Spare parts service – the Krone Spare Parts Online Shop
The Krone spare parts service is also characterised by digitalisation and telematics. A typical example of this is tracking a spare part on its way to the customer – this is a new feature at Krone. In the Krone Spare Parts online shop, around 70,000 spare parts are available for order. Graphics are shown for all available parts in the online shop, so that they can be identified easily and with as much certainty as possible. Many thousands of spare parts now have additional photos or renderings.

One further aspect that has been simplified is that customers can upload their vehicles to the ‘My Krone’ area to make ordering even easier. Just click on the desired vehicle and then choose from the suitable spare parts – a popular service which, in its current state, is ahead of the game in the trailer industry. That is why almost 70 per cent of orders are now processed via the online shop. However, Krone experts are still available by telephone or email when it comes to parts that need to be explained, perhaps if they are electronic items, or in the event of technical queries.

But spare parts can now even be ordered from the Krone Spare Parts Shop without a vehicle identification number. The best way to do this is via the item number, item description or by selecting a photo. Once the item has been selected, it is possible to check whether it really is the right part at a later stage. The “Check use in the vehicle” function can be activated via vehicle identification number.

International reach of spare parts service
Krone is currently expanding the potential and strategic character of the Spare Parts division internationally. To this end, Krone has established subsidiaries and partner companies in all European countries which focus exclusively on the marketing of spare parts.
The new brand, ‘Krone Trusted’, which was launched at the beginning of 2021, Krone is now also offering cost-effective wear parts as high-quality alternatives to the original, which enable cost savings of up to 50 percent. These spare parts can also be ordered digitally via the shop. In light of the very positive response, Krone will further expand this brand in the future.

Round-the-clock workshop network
To ensure that drivers can quickly and easily find the right service workshop anywhere in Europe at any time, Krone works with a well-developed service partner network. Through a collaboration with Alltrucks Truck & Trailer Service alone, more than 700 service partners in 14 European countries are available to offer a complete and brand-independent service to HGVs and trailers.

In order to expand the service packages in the area of fleet management, Krone and the service provider ECR Solutions also offer logistics service providers and shippers tailor-made complete solutions for the management of trailer fleets as part of a strategic partnership. This makes it possible to process claims digitally via the Krone order system and not only in the case of warranty: The customer simply logs on to the portal and sends the appropriate images, if possible. In order to purchase required spare parts directly, the order system is digitally connected to the Krone Spare Parts online shop. the required parts are stored in the shop via the shopping list and can be easily ordered by transferring them to the basket. This service is also available as the Krone Claim Care App.

The Krone Service Locator is also available as an app and online, which can be used to quickly find the right workshop while on the road by entering a postcode. The Krone Tyre Locator app includes service partners specifically for tyre handling.

Another service component from Krone is the flexible modular system “Fair Care”, which takes care of maintenance and wear repairs on trailers for a period of 24 to 72 months. Fair Care is available in three practical packages that build on each other: ‘Light’, ‘Basic’ or ‘Complete’. This enables the ‘Tyre’ add-on packages for the tyres, ‘Cool’ for cooling systems and ‘Lifter’ for tail lifts, to be combined as required. Furthermore, there is the additional option ‘Breakdown’ for Europe-wide breakdown handling. In addition to ‘Fair Care’, Krone has other practical services in its range, including a warranty extension for new vehicles and services related to the Celsineo refrigeration unit, which can also be adapted as required.

Krone Smart Capacity Management – a glimpse inside the trailer
Artificial intelligence can now detect available loading space. Smart Capacity Management intelligent load space detection system, which is now ready for series production, quickly provides dispatchers with reliable information about where there is available loading capacity on a vehicle. In the basic SmartScan configuration, only the images from inside the trailer are transmitted, while the more advanced SmartLoad configuration automates a number of processes using artificial intelligence.

Krone Smart Capacity Management employs SmartScan technology to monitor the load compartment in the trailer using a camera and transmits the images to the Krone Telematics Portal via the Krone Smart Collect (KSC) telematics unit. This allows the dispatcher to track the trailer in real time, view the loading area and examine the interior before and after loading or unloading. The dispatcher can use SmartScan to visualise damage, incorrectly secured loads and people. All loading and unloading processes are documented, including location and a timestamp.

In the Krone Telematics Portal, both the algorithm and the camera image for each trailer, are shown for optimum control. The high-resolution images allow the dispatcher to immediately identify any damage to the goods and vehicle – even in the dark and when the trailer is closed. It can also start recording new images as needed.
In the higher-level SmartLoad configuration, artificial intelligence evaluates the images and detects possible damage, incorrectly secured loads and people and calculates the available loading space in metres. The system automatically detects the space requirements and load consignments and transfers this information in real time both to the dispatcher as well as the transport management system (TMS).

Artificial intelligence for freight exchanges
To allow transport companies to utilise this information in a targeted manner, Krone provides the data via API for the common transport management systems (TMS) on request. Free pallet spaces as well as other free loading space are then automatically identified and can also be transferred to freight exchanges using the TMS together with the current location. Possible transport orders are also recommended. The Krone Smart Capacity Management allows you to maximise capacity utilisation, which not only gives you a major advantage over your competitors, but also eliminates unnecessary (partially) empty runs, which in turn helps to protect the environment over the long term.
Another advantage is the considerable reduction in the workload: thanks to the Krone Smart Capacity Management’s innovative technology, the dispatcher’s task focus is shifted from order coordination to order monitoring.

Krone Telematics Portal – API and App
In order to bundle data from a wide variety of telematics systems on a single interface, Krone utilises a flexible data structure and an optimised, clear display. No matter what vehicle type, vehicle manufacturer or telematics box is installed, the Krone Telematics Portal prepares the data according to the customer’s requirements. It supplies neutral, standardised data that is precisely tailored to the customer’s needs. The data of all vehicles appears in an identical format, so that standardised alarms, workflows and reports are easily possible across a variety of data sources.

Krone Telematics Portal – complete control, all the time
The Krone Telematics Portal is distinguished by its intuitive usability, thanks to icons, colours and information that is immediately visible. It also guides each user through the comprehensive functions in a clear and comprehensible manner. The versatile setting options range from assigning rights to users through to live alarms at the vehicle level or for vehicle groups through to customisable reports and customer-specific extensions.

Users can easily determine the current status of their vehicles and units at first glance. This data includes the position, the current temperature in the freight compartment, the door status, the coupling status of the tractor unit, tyre pressures or even indications from the brake system and the refrigeration unit. This keeps users up to date on whether their transports are running smoothly or whether preventive action is necessary. The Krone Telematics Portal’s web-based interface makes it available immediately and from anywhere, without any installations.

The Krone Push API
This flexible software architecture is continuously expanded, according to customer demands. The Krone Push API supplies the desired data to any other provider to do this. This allows users to access the data where they need it and avoids isolated solutions. This saves time and resources, which the customers can devote to their actual goal: ensuring perfect transportation.

The Krone Telematics App is ready for use anywhere
The Krone Telematics App for iOS and Android increases Krone’s ability to monitor and control vehicles from everywhere. The app reports alarms through push notifications, makes it possible to control the refrigeration unit and even enables access control for vehicles equipped with the Krone Door Protect system.

To ensure data security and availability at all times, specialists work around the clock in Krone’s dedicated data centre, continuously maintaining standards at the highest level available.

Krone TPMS – the smart tyre pressure monitoring system
From 6 July 2024, active tyre pressure monitoring systems will be required by law, for all commercial trailers over 3.5 tonnes. For this reason, Krone has developed the Krone Smart Tyre Monitoring System (TPMS), which can already be installed in all vehicles.

The Krone Smart TPMS transmits both tyre pressure data and current temperatures from inside the individual wheels. This data is displayed to the driver in the tractor unit and sent over-the-air to the fleet manager at the same time. The efficiency of the fleet can be increased by this overview of the entire fleet. The correct tyre pressure reduces fuel consumption and thus also CO2 emissions. Likewise, expensive follow-up costs, such as increased tyre wear due to incorrect inflation pressures and, in the worst case, tyre bursts, can be avoided.

Reliable alarms in all situations
Tyre pressures are dependent on many factors: the speed of the vehicle, heaviness of the load and geographical conditions (topography). In addition, temperature has a great influence on tyre pressures. In order to be able to evaluate this information independently, the Krone tyre pressure sensors also pick up the temperature data and put it into context along with the measured pressures, the speed and the tonnage of the respective vehicle.

In order to raise the quality of the alarm recommendations to an even higher level, the live data collected is compared with the data from other vehicles using Big Data analysis for each vehicle. Krone then makes the knowledge gained available with the help of dynamic alarms.

Krone Smart TPMS – technology in detail
Each wheel in the trailer has a separate sensor, to determine the pressure and temperature. This data is transmitted via Bluetooth to the Krone Smart Collect (KSC) telematics box, which passes the data on to the tractor unit. In addition, the data can be sent via mobile radio to the Krone Telematics Portal and to the Krone Telematics App, as well as via API to programmes specified by the users.

The Krone Telematics Portal also offers fleet operators the possibility to create their own alarms and thus map all conceivable scenarios during transport. Thanks to continuous monitoring with the Krone Smart TPMS, both a gradual and a sudden loss of pressure can be detected, so that air can be topped up and the damaged area repaired as quickly as possible.

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