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DB Schenker in the Netherlands starts with Virtual Reality Forklift Training

Learning through gaming: serious gaming and virtual reality at DB Schenker

During the LogiMAT trade fair in Stuttgart last February, DB Schenker presented a prototype of the first VR training system for forklift drivers. This VR application was developed by DB Schenker and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in the EnterpriseLab for logistics and digitization.

The aim of the system is to shorten the duration of the training to be a forklift driver and at the same time to practice in the actual storage environment of the location. Typical storage and retrieval processes are simulated with the system. The prototype consists of a reconstructed forklift control system and is connected to the VR glasses. The combination with steering and at the same time looking around 360 degrees through the glasses, ensures that the situation in a warehouse is exactly simulated.

The VR-forklift training through gamification was created in close collaboration between Julia Martensen, Globally heading HR Strategy & Innovation at Schenker HO, Rob Kitzmann-Vreede, Project Manager Continuous Improvement, Schenker Logistics BeNeLux and Christoph Schlüter from the Fraunhofer IML. The latter explains: “It is primarily a supplement to traditional safety training. The system makes it possible to simulate dangerous situations that cannot be applied in real training. For example, a person who walks into the driveway from a side aisle." The prototype of the training system was presented during the trade fair in Stuttgart. In the summer of 2019, the system will run as a pilot at the DB Schenker location in Tillburg, Netherlands.

“I am proud that the VR training system, which I worked on last year, is coming to the Netherlands. Tilburg is the first DB Schenker location worldwide with this innovation. I can't wait to start this pilot," says Rob Kitzmann-Vreede. "The type that we are going to use this summer is much more extensive than the prototype. The virtual warehouse is a copy of the Tilburg Logistics Center. The assignments that you must carry out with the simulator are standard logistics processes, this makes it easy for other countries to implement the training. In addition, several game forms are built in. All kinds of rules and safety aspects are discussed regarding forklift safety. Think of offenses if you do not wear a seat belt, damage, etc. Time also plays a role.” After completion of the pilot phase in Tilburg, a roll-out with further developed functionalities is planned within the DB Schenker locations worldwide.

LogiMAT is a renowned international trade fair for distribution, material handling and information flows. It is the largest intra-logistics exhibition in Europe and is held once a year in Stuttgart.

DB Schenker
DB Schenker is a leading service provider in global logistics and has over 76,000 employees in more than 130 countries. The group has 2,000 branches worldwide. DB Schenker is one of the top 3 logistics providers in the Benelux. With around 4,000 employees, 34 strategically located logistics centers and offices, Schenker Logistics Benelux offers fully integrated services in the field of land transport, air freight, sea freight, fairs & events, contract logistics and supply chain management.

Photos: © DB Schenker