New Automation Solution in Parcels Taps 3D Camera

Photoneo s.r.o. has recently developed a custom-made solution for automated localization and sorting of parcels coming on a moving conveyor belt. The company, a Slovakian-headquartered provider of robotic vision and intelligence, made the project to one of its customers, Dedoles s.r.o.

Dedoles is one of the biggest e-commerce retailers in Central Europe selling socks and inner garments. Here, the company decided to automate the process of sorting parcels prepared for shipment based on the delivery company. Ultimately, the decision to automate aims to decrease the level of errors and increase the speed of sorting.

Photoneo has tapped its MotionCam-3D to automate the process of sorting parcels for Dedoles, an e-commerce company.

Offers High Accuracy

Photoneo’s project for Dedoles comprised a unique, specially designed automated solution.  Accordingly, the company will focus on the sorting of parcels prepared for shipment and their placement into different containers based on the delivery company.

The tricky part, however, is that the robot system from KUKA picks up the parcels from a moving conveyor. Hence, to achieve maximum throughput, the conveyor should not stop. This means the parcels need 3D scanning and localized in motion.

Photoneo has tapped its MotionCam-3D in this project, which it said the only area-scan 3D camera that can capture fast-moving objects in high resolution and accuracy.

Consequently, when the parcels coming on a moving conveyor belt reach the 3D camera MotionCam-3D, the vision system makes a scan and together with specially developed software localizes each individual parcel. The specially customized Locator defines the right gripping point for a KUKA robot, which picks each parcel from the conveyor belt using a custom-made vacuum gripper. Based on the data received from a QR code scanner, the system sorts the parcels based on the delivery company and places them into the right container. 

Ensures Maximum Safety

In general, part of the solution is also the Photoneo Sorter HMI, which is custom-developed software with a visualization interface for the whole process control, data backup, and making changes in the sorting procedure.

The KUKA robot comes with a conveyor tracking technology for the camera-robot-conveyor belt calibration. Therefore, the system does not require stopping the conveyor belt and works reliably without human intervention. To ensure maximum safety, it features various safety extensions, units, and systems. Being part of the logic of the whole system, Photoneo programmed these safety and other control features.

Photoneo also ensured the complete electro-installation and system assembly, personnel training, and the creation of documentation.