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Application example - O3D for static volume measurement

Flexibility and accuracy in the static volume measurement made possible thanks to five ifm O3D cameras (O3D303) of the 3D SMART CUBE from AGILE VISION S.r.l.. Why is this of great importance for forwarding agents?

The Italian company AGILE VISION S.r.l. is a technology partner in the area of developing innovative and implemented mobile solutions for various industries: from production to retail, from logistics to transport, from the areas of media and telecommunication to the those of training and finances.

AGILE TRANSPORT is one of the corporate sectors that deal with logistics and transport as well as the industrial sector. Flexibility has always been the principle of their corporate philosophy: fast information (positioning, dimensions, weight, shipment number) is indeed very important for optimising processes, reducing costs and improving the service.

In this regard, developing vision systems is becoming more and more important. For the last ten years, the dimensions of an object have played an important role for the forwarding agents, as the cost for transporting goods is now based on weight and volume. Forwarding agents and customers need to know the volume of the transported pallets to use the available space on the truck or aeroplane effectively. The exact volume detection is therefore crucial for the storage and transport. One problem is that the exact dimensioning of pallets is very difficult when done manually, while automatic dimensioning is rather expensive. This is especially the case if the package to be measured is not rectangular. Stacked goods with irregular sizes and surfaces produce voids and/or overlaps. Additional difficulties arise when the surface of an object is black, shiny, or features other particularities.

The cooperation between ifm electronic Italy and AGILE VISION emerged out of the need for "flexibility and accuracy" in the static measurement of volume.

Fabrizio Maffezzoni, Logistic & Material Handling Corporate Account Manager of ifm electronic Italy has supported the customer with the implementation of 3D SMART CUBE since January 2018. It is a unique system in Europe that allows to make constant and exact dimensions of rectangular objects. Thanks to the 3D sensor technology from ifm, a precise static control of the volume is possible.

Five O3D cameras (O3D303) have been mounted crosswise on the painted steel frame: one vertically in the middle of the crossed axis (above the pallet to be measured) and the other four at an angle on the end of the telescope arms of the frame, which are adjustable depending on the size of the platform scale on which the package to be measured is placed. The pallet is placed on an electrical platform scale which is either embedded in the ground or external and certified according to the CE-MID.

Installation of five O3D303 from ifm crosswise on a metal structure (red) and the camera (white).

Dimensions:

Minimum:

250 x 250 x 250 mm (length x width x height)

Maximum:

1,600 x 1,600 x 2,600 mm (length x width x height)

Weight:

depends on loading platform

With the technology of the 3D cameras, the system measures the pallet and creates a 3D data record out of the parameters of the five installed cameras: The four cameras on the frame arms capture the sides of the pallet and the camera in the middle the surface on top. The data of the five cameras is transferred to the computer; there it is processed and thanks to a individual algorithm converted into precise dimensions for the customer.

This process takes less than 3 seconds, has a higher performance than conventional laser sensors and delivers exact dimensions with higher efficiency: 250 to 350 packages can be measured per hour.

The precision requested by the customer (+/- 25mm) is therefore guaranteed and the costs of the processes are reduced drastically.

This solution of industrial image processing has proven to be suitable, also thanks to the robust design of the vision sensors from ifm and their perfect integration into open source software programmes like Open CV, PCL and ROS.

The application 3D SMART CUBE, which was designed for logistics, can be an efficient tool in other industrial applications as well, like monitoring distribution systems.

The system has a digital camera, which takes a photo of each package in order to check the flawless condition of the packaging, as well as a mobile end device with Bluetooth that reads the bar code and initiates the process. One or more printers are provided for printing labels once the dimensioning is finished.