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Contour2D Sensor System for Efficiently Monitoring Conveyor Belt Utilization

2022-05-02

R2000 2-D LiDAR Sensor

To ensure that packages on a conveyor belt are distributed evenly to downstream stations, it is important to reliably measure conveyor belt utilization. For this purpose, Pepperl+Fuchs has developed the Contour2D sensor system based on a customer application. The solution, which is now available for the entire conveyor technology and intralogistics industry, detects the contours of the packages on the conveyor and uses this information to calculate the conveyor belt utilization. The Contour2D offers the most efficient solution on the market for this application: a single 2-D LiDAR sensor in combination with an intelligent algorithm that sufficiently corrects the shadow effect. The minimal installation effort and fast commissioning make the Contour2D a particularly economical solution for conveyor technology.


Shadow Effect Correction with a Single LiDAR Sensor

When monitoring conveyor belt utilization, the key challenge is to correct shadow effects on the conveyor belt. While conventional solutions use multiple sensors for this, the Contour2D sensor system requires only a single LiDAR sensor. This is made possible by the outstanding performance of the R2000: The 2-D LiDAR sensor from Pepperl+Fuchs not only has the highest angular resolution of 0.042°, but also a scan rate of up to 50 Hz. As a result, the sensor detects the contours of the packages on the conveyor belt with maximum precision. The intelligent software integrated in the Multi Scan Evaluation Unit (MSEU) of the sensor system subsequently corrects the measurement results. In this way, the Contour2D enables reliable shadow effect correction with a single LiDAR sensor.

Since only two components—the sensor and the MSEU—need to be installed, the Contour2D impresses with particularly low hardware costs and minimal installation effort. Compared to conventional systems, the complex configuration required to align multiple sensors is eliminated. Since only one sensor is mounted centrally above the conveyor belt, no major adjustments to the conveyor belt are required. This means that existing systems can also be retrofitted without any problems.



Integrated Software for Easy Configuration and Monitoring

The Contour2D sensor system can be commissioned in three simple steps: First, the LiDAR sensor and the MSEU are installed on the conveyor belt. The appropriate connection cables are already included in the scope of delivery. The system is then configured via an intuitive Windows application, which allows the detection range to be adjusted according to the conveyor belt. After a zero scan, during which the contour of the conveyor belt is taught, the system is ready for operation.

During operation, the Contour2D detects the occupied part of the conveyor belt as well as the average and maximum height of the conveyed material. In addition, a height profile is calculated. Objects outside the configured detection range are reliably ignored. The output data can be integrated into existing customer systems via TCP/IP, while the Windows application displays the results and visualizes the scan data.

Since the sensor system is based on a flexible software platform developed by Pepperl+Fuchs, customer-specific adaptations can be implemented in a short time. In this way, the Contour2D meets the individual requirements of different applications.


Highlights of the Contour2D Sensor System

  • Particularly cost-efficient detection of conveyor belt utilization with only a single 2-D LiDAR sensor
  • Reliable shadow effect correction due to highest angular resolution of 0.042° and scan rate of up to 50 Hz
  • Minimal installation effort without major adjustments to the machine—even for retrofits
  • Fast commissioning in three simple steps with intuitive Windows application
  • Customer-specific adaptations possible due to flexible software platform

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