Dutch start-up company Ahrma has developed a new pallet, featuring wood-composite materials, along with the Internet of Things (IoT). The Ahrma pallet combines the best characteristics of both wooden and plastic pallets. By using a technique of spraying the PU-Coating Elastocoat C from BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, on a specially developed wood-composite inner structure, Ahrma says it has created a pallet with superior strength: more durable and lighter than other types of pallets. The pallet is produced in components and assembled with a special adhesive at the first point of usage. This adhesive is developed by Henkel, Dusseldorf, Germany.
“The pallet industry hasn’t shown any major innovation in the last fifty years,” said Erik de Bokx, managing director Ahrma. “Ahrma aims to be a frontrunner in this industry by adapting The Internet of Things in logistics. We offer more than just an innovation; we have transformed this traditional product to the arena of the new economy of sharing, preserving and sustainability.”
The embedded transponder in each pallet has several radio-protocols: a long-range protocol for factory and warehouse wide coverage and a short-range protocol for smartphone scanning. Transponders communicate with intelligent low cost receivers that are mounted at strategic places on the customer premises. Such an intelligent system offers great benefits in the reuse transport packaging market and has the potential to set the standard in the market, as all assets can easily be tracked and traced in real time with very little operator input with minimal costs and minimal investments in infrastructure. In addition, the transponder allows for measurement of acceleration, temperature and weight, which allows users to obtain valuable operational data through the Ahrma Supply Chain Big Data System.
The Ahrma pallet is lighter in weight compared to other types of pallets with the same functionality. The unique compressed wood inner structure is made of MDF, which is CARB2 compliant. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and PEFC have certified the inner structure components of the pallet. The Ahrma track and trace system provides for an asset management system that ensures optimal asset utilization, allowing fewer pallets needed in the supply chain system.