This application note explores the use of 3D scanners as a solution for smart automation for depalletization in logistics.
Covid-19 has largely affected the digital and e-commerce trade, as more people turn to buying goods online. This has also increased depalletization in the logistics industry, in order to sort out boxes before and after shipping to their destinations. However, manual depalletization can be quite labour intensive, especially if there are heavy packages, and injuries may occur due to unpredictable situations. Moreover, manual depalletization can be quite time-consuming, as they require a lot of time and effort for people to pick them one by one. Humans may also cause error or experience fatigue, which decreases the efficiency of depalletization.
In order to achieve higher productivity and reduce potential workplace injuries, users in the logistics sector turn to smart automation for depalletization. However, the automation would need to be able to detect boxes of different heights, and sizes to be picked by robots. Additionally, users would need a solution that requires less learning effort and with ready models and datasets.
Hence, what would be a viable and efficient solution for depalletization in the logistics industry?
For this application note, we are offering a robotic depalletizing solution using Photoneo Phoxi 3D XL Scanner.
Figure 1: Setup image Photoneo Phoxi 3D XL Scanner with boxes
The Photoneo Phoxi 3D XL Scanner is best for depalletization it has a large scanning volume of 1680 mm to 3780 mm. This means that the scanner is able to cover the full pallet size with only one scan, in this case 1150 mm x 1150 mm, minimizing the need for multiple images of the pallet. Moreover, the scanner is able to scan large objects at high resolutions of up to 3.2 million 3D points, providing high precision in depalletizing.
As shown in Figure 3, our robotic depalletizing solution is able to carry out AI detection of the boxes in any pattern and size. This AI algorithm can also achieve a very high pick rate, making it highly accurate in recognising boxes. Path planning and collision avoidance are some of the other benefits of this solution.
Figure 4: Photoneo Phoxi 3D Scanner able to locate the crates precisely even when filled with toilet rolls
Our robotic depalletizing solution is also able to detect crates accurately. As seen in figure 4, the Photoneo Phoxi 3D Scanner can detect the outline of the crates without being affected by any products within the crates. Other than detecting boxes and crates, our solution is also able to effortlessly calibrate the 3D scanner and robot, and support industrial communication protocol with a robot.
With this solution, depalletization in logistics companies can be done all year round without stopping, increasing efficiency and allocating human resources into other areas. On top of that, the scanner can provide the results with high accuracy and repeatability. Other than recognising boxes and crates, the scanner is also able to recognise various other products, like irregular packages or bags for depalletization.