boschsensor_02A project consortium involving Germany’s BLG Logistics has won a technology competition to develop smart containers that can be used to transport automotive parts while digitally recording the quality data of the parts being moved.

BLG Logistics is working with tier supplier Bosch along with the Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics (BIBA), barcode technology provider, GS1 Germany and queo, which designs user interfaces. The consortium recently won a competition set up and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for its SaSCh project, standing for Digital Services For Shaping Agile Supply Chains. The project officially started this month and is planned to run over the next 36 months.

BLG said the focus of the project is to develop “a cyber-physical system that digitally records the quality data of car parts in the supply chain”. The aim, according to the company, is to better ensure the quality and condition of the parts moved along the supply chain through consistent use of sensors, both stationary and mobile, which are used to record the data relevant to quality.

“Entirely in line with the Internet of Things (IoT), we develop smart containers that make the transport of goods even more transparent,” said Jakub Piotrowski, director of business development, contract at BLG Logistics.

IoT refers to the development of everyday objects with network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data via the internet.

According to BLG this is the first time that a project has set out to create and validate the technical and methodological requirements for a cross-company exchange of sensor and quality data. It is also notable in that it seeks to use this data in digital services combined with existing track and trace technology.

The SaSCh project initially encompasses five subprojects to which each company will bring its own expertise. BLG will look at what digital services and business models have to be like to ensure that end-to-end monitoring of quantities and quality is possible within logistics. BLG Industrial Logistics will also test the approach in the framework of a simplified use case from the automobile industry jointly with Bosch.

“This project fits in excellently with our digitisation strategy,” said Frank Dreeke, CEO of BLG Logistics Group. “We have been following the issues of digitisation and Industry 4.0 at the highest level for some time now. After all, digitisation is faster than anything we’ve experienced up to now and it’s changing logistics requirements and processes massively.”