Collaborative packing assistance system saves up to 30 percent shipping volume

Falkenberg, 26.05.2023 // An excellent new development: With a sophisticated "human-machine collaboration", the HAWK2 packing assistance system from IGZ was able to convince the panel. The solution was awarded the prestigious "German Innovation Award". Like its namesake hawk, HAWK2 keeps an eye on the packaging planning and process in order to achieve the best possible packing results at the workstations. To achieve this, the system works collaboratively with the packer and enables transport and shipping volume savings of up to 30 percent by optimally calculating the finishing patterns.

Sustainable logistics, energy saving, CO2 minimization of transport volume and resource conservation are elementary factors of our time and concern both trading companies and industry. IGZ is addressing this issue with an intelligent solution for reducing shipping volumes: The pack assistance system HAWK2 takes over the pre-calculation of the transport and shipping units to be packed. In addition to volume utilization, other factors are taken into account, such as the planning of statics to avoid transport damage. This makes it possible to significantly reduce transport costs.

AI-based, highly effective packing algorithm in real time

Andreas Spangler, Head of the Innovation & Competence Center at IGZ, explains how the new development works: "It is the first packing assistance system that permanently monitors the status of the packing process by means of a 3D camera. HAWK2 observes the ACTUAL situation as well as the decisions of the packer. These are taken into account in real time in an adapted packing plan. In this way, it can be guaranteed that every gap in the transported goods is used in the best possible way and thus 'less air' is transported on pallets and trucks." If a packer's experience leads them to a better result than what the system tells them, HAWK2 permanently learns through collaboration with the help of AI and uses the data to determine upcoming packing specifications.

The patented pack-assist system can also be flexibly integrated into plants at a later date and is not subject to any restrictions in terms of conveyor technology and equipment. HAWK2 consists of a hardware component and a camera system with self-learning image processing software that is directly linked to SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM). This direct SAP integration also means that HAWK2 does not require any additional interfaces. ROI can already be expected after two to three years.

HAWK2 was recently awarded the "German Innovation Award" in the category "Excellence in Business to Business - Information Technologies/Industry Specific and Service Software". IGZ was already able to take home two of the trophies in 2021 and 2022. Managing Director Johann Zrenner emphasized "that AI is a must-have for more environmentally friendly, cost-efficient logistics, especially in software-supported collaboration between humans and machines."

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