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Autonomously driving robotic help system for the automated placement of coil creels

As a result of business customary 4.0, digitalisation, automation and networking of techniques and services have gotten the predominant matters in manufacturing and thus additionally in logistics. Business 4.0 pursues the growing optimisation of processes and workflows in favour of productiveness and adaptability and thus the saving of time and prices. Robotic techniques have grow to be the driving pressure for automating processes. By means of the Web of Issues (IoT), robots have gotten more and more delicate, autonomous, cellular and simpler to function. Increasingly more they’re turning into an on a regular basis helper in factories and warehouses. Clever imaging methods are enjoying an more and more vital function on this.

To satisfy the rising calls for in scaling and altering manufacturing environments in direction of absolutely automated and intelligently networked manufacturing, the corporate ONTEC Automation GmbH from Naila in Bavaria has developed an autonomously driving robotic help system. The “Good Robotic Assistant” makes use of the synergies of mobility and automation: it consists of a strong and environment friendly intralogistics platform, a versatile robotic arm and a sturdy 3D stereo digital camera system from the Ensenso N sequence by IDS Imaging Growth Programs GmbH.

The answer is flexible and takes over monotonous, weighty set-up and placement duties, for instance. The autonomous transport system is appropriate for floor-level lifting of Euro pallets as much as container or industrial format in addition to mesh pallets in varied sizes with a most load of as much as 1,200 kilograms. For a buyer within the textile business, the AGV (Automated Guided Automobile) is used for the automated loading of coil creels. For this function, it picks up pallets with yarn spools, transports them to the designated creel and masses it for additional processing. Utilizing a specifically developed gripper system, as much as 1000 yarn packages per 8-hour shift are picked up and pushed onto a mandrel of the creel. The sizing scheme and the place of the coils are captured by an Ensenso 3D digital camera (N45 sequence) put in on the gripper arm.


Pallets loaded with industrial yarn spools are picked up from the ground of a predefined storage place and transported to the creel location. There, the gripper positions itself vertically above the pallet. A picture set off is shipped to the Ensenso 3D digital camera from the N45 sequence, triggered by the in-house software program ONTEC SPSComm. It networks with the automobile’s PLC and might thus learn out and cross on knowledge. Within the software, SPSComm controls the communication between the software program elements of the automobile, gripper and digital camera. This fashion, the digital camera is aware of when the automobile and the grabber are in place to take an image. This takes a picture and passes on some extent cloud to a software program answer from ONTEC based mostly on the usual HALCON software program, which reviews the coordinates of the coils on the pallet to the robotic. The robotic can then precisely choose up the coils and course of them additional. As quickly because the gripper has cleared a layer of the yarn spools, the Ensenso digital camera takes an image of the packaging materials mendacity between the yarn spools and supplies level clouds of this as properly. These level clouds are processed equally to offer the robotic with the data with which a needle gripper removes the intermediate layers. “This method signifies that the variety of layers and ending patterns of the pallets shouldn’t have to be outlined upfront and even incomplete pallets might be processed with none issues,” explains Tim Böckel, software program developer at ONTEC. “The gripper doesn’t should be transformed for the usage of the needle gripper. For this software, it has a standard gripping part for the coils and a needle gripping part for the intermediate layers.”

For this job, the cellular use for 3D acquisition of shifting and static objects on the robotic arm, the Ensenso 3D digital camera is appropriate attributable to its compact design. The Ensenso N 45’s 3D stereo electronics are fully decoupled from the housing, permitting the usage of a light-weight plastic composite because the housing materials. The low weight facilitates the use on robotic arms such because the Good Robotic Asstistant. The digital camera may also address demanding environmental circumstances. “Challenges with this software might be discovered primarily within the completely different lighting circumstances which might be evident in several rooms of the corridor and at completely different instances of the day,” Tim Böckel describes the scenario. Even in troublesome lighting circumstances, the built-in projector initiatives a high-contrast texture onto the item to be imaged by the use of a sample masks with a random dot sample, thus supplementing the constructions on featureless homogenous surfaces. Because of this the built-in digital camera meets the necessities precisely. “By pre-configuring inside NxView, the duty was solved properly.” This pattern programme with supply code demonstrates the primary capabilities of the NxLib library, which can be utilized to open a number of stereo and color cameras whose picture and depth knowledge are visualised. Parameters equivalent to publicity time, binning, AOI and depth measuring vary can – as on this case – be adjusted stay for the matching methodology used.

The matching course of empowers the Ensenso 3D digital camera to recognise a really excessive variety of pixels, together with their place change, by the use of the auxiliary constructions projected onto the floor and to create full, homogeneous depth info of the scene from this. This in flip ensures the mandatory precision with which the Good Robotic Assistant proceeds. Different choice standards for the digital camera have been, amongst others, the usual imaginative and prescient interface Gigabit Ethernet and the worldwide shutter 1.3 MP sensor. “The digital camera solely takes one picture pair of all the pallet in favour of a quicker throughput time, however it has to offer the coordinates from a comparatively giant distance with an accuracy within the millimetre vary to allow the robotic arm to grip exactly,” explains Matthias Hofmann, IT specialist for software improvement at ONTEC. “We due to this fact want the excessive decision of the digital camera to have the ability to safely report the sides of the coils with the 3D digital camera.” The localisation of the sides is vital so as to have the ability to cross on as correct as potential the place from the centre of the spool to the gripper.

Moreover, the digital camera is specifically designed to be used in harsh environmental circumstances. It has a screwable GPIO connector for set off and flash and is IP65/67 protected in opposition to filth, mud, splash water or cleansing brokers.

Software program

The Ensenso SDK allows hand-eye calibration of the digital camera to the robotic arm, permitting simple translation or displacement of coordinates utilizing the robotic pose. As well as, by utilizing the inner digital camera settings, a “FileCam” of the present scenario is recorded at every cross, i.e. at every picture set off. This makes it potential to simply modify any edge circumstances in a while, on this software for instance sudden lighting circumstances, obstacles within the picture or additionally an sudden positioning of the coils within the picture. The Ensenso SDK additionally permits the inner digital camera LOG recordsdata to be saved and archived for potential analysis.

ONTEC additionally makes use of these “FileCams” to robotically verify check circumstances and thus guarantee the right functioning of all preparations when making changes to the imaginative and prescient software program. As well as, varied automobiles might be coordinated and logistical bottlenecks minimised on the premise of the management system specifically developed by ONTEC. Completely different assistants might be navigated and act concurrently in a really confined house. By utilizing the commercial interface device ONTEC SPSComm, even customary industrial robots might be safely built-in into the general software and knowledge might be exchanged between the completely different techniques.


Additional improvement of the system is deliberate, amongst different issues, by way of navigation of the autonomous automobile. “With regard to automobile navigation for our AGV, the usage of IDS cameras could be very fascinating. We’re at present evaluating the usage of the new Ensenso S sequence to allow the automobile to react much more flexibly to obstacles, for instance, classify them and probably even drive round them,” says Tim Böckel, software program developer at ONTEC, outlining the subsequent improvement step.

ONTEC’s personal interface configuration already allows the system to be built-in into all kinds of Business 4.0 functions, whereas the modular construction of the autonomously shifting robotic answer leaves room for adaptation to all kinds of duties. On this approach, it not solely serves to extend effectivity and adaptability in manufacturing and logistics, however in lots of locations additionally actually contributes to relieving the workload of staff.

Extra at: https://en.ids-imaging.com/casestudies-detail/picked-up-and-put-off-ensenso.html



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