Photoneo has partnered with European e-commerce retailer Dedoles to deploy a specially designed automated solution, which sorts parcels prepared for shipment and places them into different containers based on the delivery company.
The supply chain robotics firm said the challenge was to develop a solution than can handle parcels placed on a moving conveyor belt from which they are to be picked by a Kuka robot. To achieve maximum throughput, the conveyor belt does not stop, which means that the parcels need to be 3D scanned and localised in motion.
The solution combines the company’s MotionCam-3D camera, a specially customised locator and its Sorter HMI (Human-Machine Interface) software.
When the parcels on a moving conveyor belt reach the 3D camera, the vision system makes a scan and together with the software localises each individual parcel. The customised locator then 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.
Additionally, its Sorter HMI software provides a visualisation interface for the whole process control, as well as data backup, and making changes in the sorting procedure.
According to Photoneo, the automation solution led to a decrease in the error rate, increased productivity and throughput, and lowered costs for personnel.
It added further optimisation will be necessary in the future, including the ability to pick heavy and or irregularly shaped parcels.