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3D cameras monitor the contents of containers

27 February, 2024

On its stand at the 2023 SPS exhibition, the safety specialist Schmersal was demonstrating several of its technologies including a recently launched 3D camera which uses time-of-flight (ToF) technology to measure infrared (850nm) light pulses reflected from objects being monitored. The AM-T100 camera creates a millimetre-accurate 3D image of the scene at high speed that is available as a point cloud. It can be used to determine the position and the dimensions of objects or detect fill levels of containers, for example.

In the demo, two of the cameras were installed above a conveyor belt to monitor the contents of containers as they passed below. The cameras, based on Sony DepthSense sensors, were linked to Schmersal’s Protect-PSC1 safety controller and a PLC. The data could be forwarded to an edge gateway via OPC UA or to a cloud infrastructure – for instance, as a starting point for determining production-related performance indicators.

The cameras, with image rates of up to 60 frames/s, can be used for tasks such as box filling, stacking, volume detection and labelling in logistics and packaging. They can look into containers or load carriers to detect fill levels, determine dimensions and volumes, check surface quality, and monitor production, assembly, storage and order-picking. With an image resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, the cameras provide a 67 x 51 degree field at a range of 6m.

Schmersal’s 3D camera can monitor the contents of containers on production lines

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