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DB Schenker trains logistics personnel with 3D technology and virtual reality

A team comprised of experts from the Fraunhofer Institute and DB Schenker has developed an innovative employee training program in the team's joint Enterprise Lab for Logistics and Digitalization. The program focuses on packaging and order-picking processes and is the first to launch as part of this initiative. The training program is built around six exercises that teach the participants about the processes from start to finish by encouraging playful learning. The employee training course is currently available in German and English, and additional languages can easily be added.
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A virtual reality (VR) version of the exercises is also in the works. Deutsche Bahn leads Germany in the use of VR for training purposes, since opportunities to train with real equipment during ongoing operations are frequently limited. In virtual environments, employees can be trained to complete tasks such as opening nose covers and operating wheelchair lifts on ICE 4 trains. Now DB Schenker is drawing on this technology, too: its employees can don 3D glasses to step into a virtual world where they can interact with the training environment and even learn movement sequences.

This makes it considerably easier for employees to navigate the transition from the virtual environment to the real one. The technology offers employees an opportunity to perform extensive testing on logistics processes that are still in the implementation phase before they advance to the next phase. In addition, training in a virtual environment increases the efficiency, quality and speed of training.

The training program was recently launched and is currently being used to train employees at DB Schenker's site in Leipzig. There are plans to expand the program to other contract logistics sites.

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"We have been successfully collaborating with the Fraunhofer Institute for several years, and we have already jointly developed numerous transport and logistics solutions of the future. This innovative employee training program marks yet another milestone in the digitalization of logistics processes and in DB Schenker’s focus on Logistics 4.0," said Erik Wirsing, Vice President Global Innovation at Schenker AG.

"For us, the outstanding feedback from trainers and trainees on site has been highly gratifying. It was only by fusing research and development with the skills of employees on site and the department for process and efficiency management that we were able to succeed at developing this innovative and motivating learning solution,” said Dr.-Ing. Michael Schmidt of the Intralogistics and IT Planning Department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics.