IAA Voices: Interview Krone

The Krone Commercial Vehicle Group is a leading European manufacturer of trailers and semi-trailers for the transport industry. Krone's product range covers the most important segments in road haulage: the Profi Liner, Mega Liner, Paper Liner and Coil Liner platform semi-trailers, the Cool Liner refrigerated semi-trailer, the Dry Liner dry freight semi-trailer as well as the Box Liner container chassis and the Carrier System interchangeable system. The combination with digital hardware and software solutions from Krone Intelligent Transport Solutions (KITS) is becoming increasingly important. To ensure that Krone trailers are always and everywhere on the road, the Krone 360° Trailer Service has a comprehensive service package ready, from financing and spare parts service to a 24-hour emergency breakdown call.

Dr. Frank Albers, Managing Director Sales & Marketing at Fahrzeugwerk Bernard Krone.

What does Krone stand for and what should every trade fair visitor definitely know about the company?

Dr. Albers: Krone offers trailers for every transport requirement. The excellent product quality at a fair price, the high innovative strength, the proven service mentality and the lived customer proximity are the most important characteristics of the family-owned company Krone. More than one million vehicles produced underline that our customers appreciate the combination of easy and safe handling, tested construction components, first-class workmanship and the long-term protection provided by the KTL-plus powder coating. Krone is continuously developing its range with regard to the megatrends of sustainability, digitalisation, automation and electrification.

What is the company's most important project for 2022/23?

Dr. Albers: At the IAA Transportation 2022, Krone will present the "Mission beyond zero", which encompasses these megatrends. In general, trailers actively consume no fossil fuels and emit no CO2 during a transport operation. Krone is now taking the "mission beyond zero" a step further and helping active fuel consumers improve their carbon footprint by using Krone eTrailer technology to take the strain off the tractor unit, reducing the semitrailer's CO2 emissions by 20 to 40 percent. The energy carried in the eTrailer is also suitable for long distances over 500 km. The eTrailer can be used in plug-and-play mode with any conventional tractor unit. In addition, the eLiner technology in combination with BEV tractors helps to increase the range of a fully electrified semitrailer tractor for long distances over 500 km.

Digitalisation and automation also play an important role when it comes to reducing consumption and CO2 emissions. With regard to the megatrend "digitalisation", we are introducing the "Krone Intelligent Transport Solutions" (KITS) with new technologies and services. For example, our new standard interface is open for all systems, both incoming and outgoing - for third-party service providers such as real-time visibility platforms (RTV). Data transmission to all connected systems becomes even more convenient with the practical "Self Service" function.

One example of progressive automation is the intelligent load space detection Krone Smart Capacity Management, thanks to which load capacities can be detected and better utilised. The basic level SmartScan overlooks the loading space via camera. This allows the dispatcher to track the trailer in real time and see how many parking spaces are currently occupied. The next expansion stage, "SmartLoad", evaluates the SmartScan images with the help of artificial intelligence and automatically detects available loading space to avoid empty runs and improve the CO2 balance at the same time. Krone Smart Capacity Management can also be integrated into transport management systems and supports the fully automated replenishment of available capacity. In addition, SmartLoad automatically detects inadequate load securing as well as slipped and possibly damaged loads.

In the automation of trailers, Krone is breaking new ground with the Box Liner eLTU 50 Traction Automatic: the driver can adjust the container chassis to the respective container at the touch of a button from the truck cab. This automation is not only safe and economical, but also sustainable: for port handling, we expect an increase in efficiency of around ten percent. At the same time, diesel consumption and CO2 emissions will be significantly reduced.

The newly designed IAA TRANSPORTATION is a platform and meeting place for transport and logistics companies from all over the world. What makes the fair so attractive for you?

Dr. Albers: The IAA Transportation remains the most important platform for us to meet our customers and interested parties from all over the world. We are very excited about the response to the many innovations of our "Mission beyond zero". By the way, we are very happy that we can now cultivate direct exchange with our customers again after the corona-related break in 2020.

What can visitors to your stand particularly look forward to?

We will be showing a total of eleven exhibits at the IAA Transportation 2022: the innovative technology carriers already mentioned, but also fully equipped trailers for tough everyday transport, such as the Profi Liner all-round platform semitrailer and the Dry Liner STG dry freight box semitrailer - packed with sophisticated technology. In addition to the numerous innovations, visitors can also expect a varied and diverse programme with the "Krone Think Tank". The Think Tank forms part of the Krone stand in Hall 27, where we offer start-ups the opportunity to present themselves and exchange ideas.

On each day of the trade fair, entertaining dialogue formats will be implemented at hourly intervals: two- to three-minute start-up pitches followed by a question and answer session, workshops or the "Tech Talk" with talk rounds on topics such as the eTrailer or digital load space monitoring Smart Capacity Management with the help of cameras. Other formats include the "Deep Dive" with deeper insights into Krone products and the "Politik Talk" with prominent participants such as VDA President Hildegard Müller, BGL Board Spokesman Prof. Dirk Engelhardt, DSLV President Axel Plaß or Bernard Krone, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Krone Holding.

The coming years will be significantly shaped by change. Where will the transport and logistics industry be in 2030 - and what milestones do you want to have achieved by then?

Krone's overall concept "Mission beyond zero" at the IAA Transportation is the starting signal for a new generation of trailer transport solutions that ensure a significant reduction in the CO2 emissions of articulated trucks by combining digitalisation, automation, sustainability and electrification. The sustainable Krone concept is not a vision, but a "mission"; because the Krone eTrailer is not a dream of the future, but has already been practically tested.

The "mission beyond zero" is our bracket around the four megatrends "digitalisation, automation, sustainability and electrification". In addition to the innovations shown at the IAA Transportation, which can directly improve the sustainability and profitability of fleets, Krone has many more projects in the pipeline that will be launched by 2030 to fulfil our mission in terms of the transport and logistics industry.