The ability to ensure hygienic primary packaging of sensitive open food is incredibly important within the food industry. This is why SICK is working with the robot manufacturer Stäubli to make this process possible within a robot cell. The TriSpectorP1000 3D vision sensor from SICK and the four axis FAST picker TP80 HE from Stäubli solve picking processes while the conveyor belt is in motion. 3D parts localization is implemented by the Belt Pick SensorApp and SICK AppSpace. In case studies shrimps or cookies were successfully sorted in packaging trays.
3D localization with the Belt Pick SensorApp for pick-and-place tasks
Both the food and pharmaceutical industries have extensive requirements when it comes to sorting and orientating small objects in a hygienic packaging process. By working in partnership with Stäubli on a pilot project to sort shrimp using the FAST picker TP80 HE while the conveyor belt is in motion together with the programmable TriSpectorP1000, SICK is opening up a diverse range of applications. From salad to cookies to sausages, the TriSpectorP1000 is capable of handling a whole host of different tasks. The 3D technology is particularly ideal for objects of irregular size and variable height, as well as for double layer detection. Together with an encoder, the sensor is capable of detecting each individual object both accurately and reliably. Once the position of an item has been recorded on a three-dimensional basis, the exact coordinates are passed on to the FAST picker TP80 HE. Its vacuum gripper then removes the shrimp from the belt one by one and places them in the trays according to a specified packing pattern. The four axis robot arm can typically handle over 200 picks per minute. This particular application does not require maximum speed, yet the robot is still capable of sorting over 60 shrimp a minute.
The TriSpectorP1000 records the position of the products by means of a laser triangulation process, which also calculates their height and volume. This is particularly significant when packaging organic products, as their sizes tend to vary. Furthermore, the ability to calculate volume makes it possible to reject shrimp that are too small in this particular application. The FAST picker TP80 HE also uses this measurement data to achieve a visually appealing presentation within the tray and ensure a standardized packaging weight.
The future looks bright: tailor-made 3D vision solutions with SICK AppSpace
Head of Product Management Identification & Vision
As the Manager of the Marketing & Sales Business Unit Andreas Behrens and his team are responsible for, among other things, the market-oriented and forward-looking expansion of the product range in the Identification and Vision Technology Department. As Head of Market Product Management he already had been in charge for the complete portfolio of SICK.