As the analytical laboratories of German healthcare and performance materials giant Merck do not cover all the required parameters at their site in Gernsheim, special laboratory tests have to be performed at the company’s Darmstadt site, some 25 kilometres away.
Usually, a van handles the transport to and from both sites twice every working day – a suboptimal solution, costing time and money.
Together with the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and Merck, we designed, tested and evaluated the use of Wingcopters for the on-demand transport of pigment samples from Gernsheim to Darmstadt.
As Darmstadt is located in a metropolitan region, the flight routes had to be planned very carefully, crossing electricity and train routes, motorways and state roads as well as production infrastructure on the way
The shipment by drone proved to be not only faster and more sustainable, avoiding traffic congestion, but also less expensive and more flexible.
Representing a world-first over such a distance and beyond visual line of sight in a metropolitan region, this drone-based inter-site transport marked a milestone in the history of unmanned aviation and intermodal logistics.