A major challenge for wholesale and retail organizations is the return flow of empty crates. The distribution center of one of the leading retailers in the Netherlands receives hundreds of roll containers daily filled with a mix of vegetables, beer, milk and soft drink crates. Because every producer only accepts pallets with his “own” crates, these various unsorted types must all be sorted manually. With more than 25 years of experience in industrial automation, Vision Partners is a leading supplier and integrator of industrial machine vision systems, machine lighting and vision software engineering for production automation and visualization.
Vision Partners has recently commissioned a machine vision solution which automatically recognizes the type of crate and thus greatly simplifies return logistics. The system was developed together with Costo a leading Dutch logistics specialist which develops creative custom solutions for storage, transport and order picking. In the first step, the machine vision identifies the crate on the input transportation belt. The identified crate is then directed to a specific output transportation belt. The machine vision sub-system has the following major components:
2 high-resolution GigE camera’s with 12.5mm lenses
Large backlight LED illumination
Telco SS01 Spacescan lightcurtain trigger sensor
RVS control panel with integrated 17” touchscreen
Windows10Pro fanless industrial PC with Halcon 13
The machine vision software
The customer teaches the type of crate once with the aid of two industrial GigE cameras while high-resolution images are taken from the top and side of the crate. MVTec HALCON detects objects robustly and accurately in real-time with its superior subpixel accurate matching technology. A graphical user interface (GUI) written in Microsoft Visual Studio C# enables the user to control the system from a single touch-panel and handles the interfacing with the various transportation belts.
Thanks to the power of MVTec HALCON in the field of matching, Vision Partners has succeeded in developing a powerful solution. The robust object detection allows real-time automation and significantly increases the efficiency of the return flows.
Text and image kindly provided by Vision Partners.