Industrial Sample Delivery

Germany: Reaching a milestone for inter-site logistics

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24 km

average distance

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17 mins

average flight time

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1 kg

average payload

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Challenge

Challenge

Challenge

Challenge

As the analytical laboratories of German healthcare and performance materials giant Merck do not cover all the required parameters at their site in Gernsheim, special laboratory tests have to be performed at the company’s Darmstadt site, some 25 kilometers away.

Usually, a van handles the transport to and from both sites twice every working day – a suboptimal solution, costing time and money.

The remote island of Pentecost is one of 83 islands in the South Pacific that make up the nation of Vanuatu. The 60 km long island is made up predominantly of mountainous terrain covered in dense jungle. In many cases, the islanders don’t have access to roads, electricity or permanent healthcare facilities.

Providing access to vaccines in the most remote communities involves nurses travelling from health centers, sometimes having to hike for several hours or days, or travel by boat around the island. Even short distances can take long and costly hours in which the heat-sensitive medical supplies are exposed to the tropical heat and arduous travel conditions.

Solution

Solution

Solution

Together with the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and Merck, we designed, tested and evaluated the use of Wingcopters for the on-demand transport of pigment samples from Gernsheim to Darmstadt.

As Darmstadt is located in a metropolitan region, the flight routes had to be planned very carefully, crossing electricity and train routes, motorways and state roads as well as production infrastructure on the way

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Outcome

Outcome

Outcome

The shipment by drone proved to be not only faster and more sustainable, avoiding traffic congestion, but also less expensive and more flexible.

Representing a world-first over such a distance and beyond visual line of sight in a metropolitan region, this drone-based inter-site transport marked a milestone in the history of unmanned aviation and intermodal logistics.

  

„The project demonstrated the sustainability of drone flights for commercial purposes in public airspace in all three dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, economic and social“

Professor Dr. Kai-Oliver Schocke Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences

Impressions

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