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Logistics System

DB Schenker and TÜV Rheinland Develop New Logistics System

A Solution That Boosts Transparency and Security in Global Transportation

DB Schenker has joined forces with TÜV Rheinland, one of the solar industry’s leading testing companies, to develop a new and globally unique system for detecting transit damage sustained by photovoltaic modules, inspecting them during transport, and validating their performance. The new monitoring and control system DBSCHENKERpvchain aims to ensure transparency across the entire transportation route of solar modules – from the manufacturer’s plant all the way to delivery to end customers. The development and testing phase for the product lasted more than a year.

Between five and ten percent of all modules are adversely affected by transportation, with their performance levels diminishing as a result. The newly developed control system inspects quality processes and packaging at the manufacturer’s facility and oversees procedures as the modules are dispatched. Furthermore, the modules are continuously monitored during transportation, with representative spot checks of the delivered goods carried out at test laboratories developed by TÜV and located at DB Schenker incoming goods warehouses, such as the one in Antwerp.

All DB Schenker containers carrying goods transported from Asia are fitted with special shock and vibration sensors (DB SCHENKER smartbox). These sensors use GPS technology to transmit information on the current status and location of the consignment. Thanks to ongoing data collection during transportation, it is possible to determine whether a transportation unit has been subjected to stress above and beyond the predetermined level tested for during packaging inspection.

Furthermore, the delivered modules are subject to representative spot checks once they arrive at the incoming goods warehouse. Here, TÜV Rheinland operates measuring equipment in cooperation with DB Schenker. In addition to visual inspections, it is possible to conduct special tests and analyses. The spot checks are carried out within the normal workflows, eliminating the need for unnecessary journeys and handling.

The finished and interpreted test patterns, as well as the results of the outgoing goods inspection at the manufacturer’s plant, are entered into a database, where they can be accessed by the recipient. DBSCHENKERpvchain aims to provide a transparent picture of the quality and performance of photovoltaic modules, thus establishing high quality standards for the benefit of manufacturers and investors too.

Last modified: 24.03.2015

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