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3D vision sensors for palletizing and depalletizing

Optimizing your palletizing and depalletizing tasks requires careful planning – and maybe even some “Tetris” skills. Cartons of all shapes and sizes need to be stacked on top of each other, which is a challenge to achieve the best layout.

Pallets are used in most supply chain operations to efficiently move multiple goods from one location to another. However, not everyone agrees on the best way to palletize; some use manual palletizing methods and others robotic or automatic methods.

Whatever your palletizing strategy, the goal of any supply chain operation is to ship as much product as possible. This can only be done by making the best use of the space available on each individual pallet, even if it only represents one more package per pallet.

SICK offers a solution to optimize your palletizing and depalletizing methods so that you can increase throughput without increasing transport costs. The Visionary-T is a 3D camera that provides a snapshot of a palette so you can see if there are incomplete layers, misaligned objects, or if a palette is in the right place. With the Visionary-T, you will be optimizing your palletizing efforts in no time.

Le capteur de vision 3D Visionary-T optimise les tâches de palettisation

3D data to optimize palletization

Capteur de vision 3D Visionary-T
3D vision sensors

With the camera mounted above your pallet, you will have an aerial view to check if there are any empty spaces or if the pallet is full and ready to be loaded onto a truck. The Visionary-T allows you to check whether a pallet has room or not and then direct the robot to the exact spot where to place the carton.

In the past, solutions required the installation of a camera on a conveyor or on a robot, which increased the risk of damage to the sensor. But the Visionary-T can be installed directly above the pallet and remains stationary. It also takes up less space and is more easily configurable when mounted above the pallet. The image can be performed statically or dynamically, so there is no need to install additional sensors like encoders or safety sensors to monitor motion.

Once you know if there are any openings on your pallet, you can then perform more precise pick and place operations knowing exactly where there are spaces to place more goods. You can then tell a robot where exactly to place the package, based on the 3D snapshot. This saves you time and money because you no longer need to have a robot that scans up and down until it finds an opening.

Load optimization and validation

As noted earlier, supply chain operations seek to load as much as possible onto pallets to get more parts out per day without additional transportation costs. The Visionary-T helps supply chain operations palletize smarter by making the most of available pallet space. Pallets are built and unpacked faster, which increases throughput and reduces costs.

In addition to speeding up the loading and unpacking of pallets, you can also use the Visionary-T to detect pallet availability. The 3D camera is able to detect if there is no pallet available, if the pallet is there but empty, if there are several pallets stacked on top of each other and even the orientation of the pallet. This means that you will spend less time on the floor checking these little details.

SICK’s Visionary-T 3D camera provides a solution to optimize the palletization / depalletization of your logistics operations – and no Tetris experience is required.

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