Puzzle® software calculates the use case of palletized goods for using double-floor trailer or standard trailer in one customer scenario. The volume efficiency scaled up from 63% to 87%.
Correct weight balancing on a standard trailer is a daily challenge when loading a semi-trailer. This mathematical problem is even more sophisticated for a double floor semi-trailer used within the Aeroflex project. The software PUZZLE – awarded for its algorithms for packing problems – has been extended to the loading questions of semi-trailers and especially of double floor semi-trailers.
Now it answers the questions of the transport planner:
- How many pallets can be loaded per semi-trailer (respecting max. volume and max. weight)?
- Where should the packer put each pallet (loading plan with legally correct weight balancing)?
- Where is the optimized floor position of each double floor?
- Does it make sense to procure a double-floor trailer for own transport scenarios?
The team used the existing PUZZLE optimization software as a basis. It has been sold many times and tested for pallet packing as well as cartonnage packing. Within the Aeroflex project, the team of Fraunhofer IML extended the software with new algorithms to meet the Aeroflex trailer needs.
The picture below shows the software demonstrator and the results for a realistic data set based on real world data. In this example, the trailer can load 34 additional pallets by using flex floors. So, this best version shows a filling rate of 92% of the volume and 82% of the maximum weight.
One important point is the weight balancing of the load. PUZZLE integrates this in its calculations to facilitate the work of the planner. He or she can click through different calculated versions to make necessary modifications, e.g. changing the dimensions of the trailer or to respect time restriction for different customers. The demonstrator functionality is currently restricted to the loading of EUR 1 euro norm pallets. A release date for new trailer loading functionality, integrated into the PUZZLE software suit, is not known yet.
The demonstrator software of PUZZLE for semi-trailer was tested within the Aeroflex project in 2020 for the real use cases of palletized goods.
By using the flex floor and the optimization by PUZZLE, the filling rate of the semi-trailer went up from 63% to 87% which represents a growth of 38%.
This example shows that the Aeroflex semi-trailer can improve volume efficiency by up to 38% when used for the optimal cargo which is low and not stackable pallet loads. Regarding the legal requirements and the packing problem – PUZZLE detects the optimal cargo allocations for many kinds of semi-trailers.