Press Release

Rhenus and the Fraunhofer IML publish components of the ITCPRO level sensor as open source and open hardware

The Rhenus Group is making the source code of its ITCPRO level sensor freely available with immediate effect in order to give other companies the opportunity of reducing their CO2 footprint too. The Fraunhofer IML Institute is also publishing reference implementation information for the appropriate hardware. The sensor turns recycling containers into a “smart data drum” and it recognises the filling level using a time-of-flight sensor; this automatically triggers a pick-up manoeuvre and therefore makes any empty journeys unnecessary.

Rhenus Data Office developed the ITCPRO level sensor in conjunction with the Enterprise Lab of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) in 2019. The aim was to ensure that the disposal of files and documents takes place in line with needs. The sensor, which has been available in the marketplace since 2020, recognises the current filling level, sends a message when a defined threshold has been reached and automatically triggers the pick-up process. This ensures that the container does not overflow – and it is not picked up when only half-full either. This is an innovation, which means that the security risk posed by overfilled data containers is a thing of the past, particularly for confidential data in the light of the requirements specified in the GDPR.

Rhenus is now publishing the source code so that others can read and process the sensor information in the repository of the Open Logistics Foundation and the Fraunhofer IML is doing the same with the reference implementation information for compatible hardware. The work taking place on the Sensing Puck universal hardware platform has been performed as part of the Silicon Economy Project – and it is being supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

“The ITCPRO sensor enables us to rule out any empty journeys, plan pick-up operations more efficiently and reduce them overall by 30 percent – which represents a valuable contribution to reducing our CO2 footprint; as an innovative developer, we want to make this resource available to other companies too,” says Dr Stephan Peters, a Member of the Rhenus Group’s Management Board. “This technology will change disposal logistics in the long term. By publishing the components as open source and open hardware, we’re increasing its potential effect and, in the end, everybody will benefit from this,” says Prof. Michael ten Hompel, the Managing Director of the Fraunhofer IML Institute, adding his voice.

This publication now enables any interested company to build on the developments that have already been achieved, use them and continue developing them in line with its own terms of reference.


Link to the repository for the software:

Link to the repository for the reference hardware:


About Rhenus, Fraunhofer and the Open Logistics Foundation

About Rhenus

The Rhenus Group is one of the leading logistics specialists with business operations around the globe and annual turnover amounting to EUR 8.6 billion. 39,000 employees work at 1,120 business sites and develop innovative solutions along the complete supply chain. Whether providing transport, warehousing, customs clearance or value-added services, the family business pools its operations in various business units where the needs of customers are the major focus at all times.

About the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics

The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics or IML is viewed as the top address for all-round logistics research and it is working in all the fields of intralogistics and external logistics processes. In line with the Fraunhofer idea, it is not only drawing up solutions to problems for direct use by companies, but it is also conducting preliminary research for the next two to five years, and even beyond that in individual cases.

About the Open Logistics Foundation

The core idea behind the non-profit and independent Open Logistics Foundation is to strengthen the logistics sector through innovative and common open-source solutions. The foundation was set up in October 2021 with the primary goal of promoting the joint development of open-source solutions to existing problems in logistics and in supply chain management.

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