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LMS 400: pick & place automation for boxes and pallets
Waldkirch, April 2005 – With its 3 m range, 0.1° angular resolution and integrated Ethernet interface the LMS Laser Measurement System is the ideal solution for precise and rapid control of automatic pick & place gripper systems. With its patented frequency signal processing (FSP) measurement process and data output in real time, the system has the necessary speed and accuracy for the multidimensional detection of boxes and pallets (as well as objects within or on them), and for generating appropriate information, e.g. for a robot controller.

Its large aperture angle of 70°, finer angular grid, and improved distance resolution allow the solution of demanding pick & place applications, e.g. in automatic palletising and depalletising systems, or for reliable gripping of mixed objects in random orientations. The LMS 400 is therefore of interest for integrators involved in areas such as image processing; measurement and data technology; and special machine construction for logistics, material handling, robotics, the automotive industry and its suppliers.

New possibilities through output of reflectivity data

The possibility of transmitting, in addition to distance and angular data, information (in the data string) on the residual energy of the emitted laser pulse reflected from the object is completely new for industrial laser measurement systems. This is of advantage wherever distance measurement alone is no longer sufficient to allow differentiation between individual objects. Homogeneously loaded pallets are a typical example. When stacked boxes, say, form a smooth surface, distance data alone is insufficient to individualise the boxes enough for the control of an automated gripper system.

Instead of employing an expensive camera solution, it is now possible to use the LMS 400 to detect the bordering edges of the stacked boxes, as the reflectivity energy here differs significantly from that of the box surface. By processing this information, a machine control system is now able to guide a pick & place system to grip at the edges or within the area formed by the edges

Varied integration possibilities

The LMS 400 not only offers versatile use, but also flexible connection to external evaluation systems. Ethernet, RS-422, RS-232, CAN bus and digital inputs and outputs cater for today’s technology. LMS 400 parameters are set via a graphic user interface in browser technology – offering users a comfortable, while familiar, look and feel.