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Code Readers and Volume Measurement Systems used on Tray Sorter for Faster ROI

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article image Volume Measurement and Identification on Tray Sorter
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Use of code readers and calibrated volume measurement systems by SICK on non-planar tray sorters has resulted in faster ROI and high cost efficiency at the TNT Post Pakketservice in Utrecht.  

TNT is one of the leading providers of courier, parcel and postal services in the world.  

Aiming to optimise sorting and direct invoicing processes in their operations based on the actual volume transported, TNT Post Pakketservice was looking for a solution for its distribution centre in Utrecht, which would uniquely identify parcels of various measurements and determine the precise dimensions of objects on non-planar trays on the main sorter.  

To capture as many objects as possible automatically, the solution needed to be able to measure and identify larger parcels occupying two trays on the sorter at the same time. Another requirement involved measuring non-cubic objects and determining the smallest rectangular dimension that could be wrapped around them.  

A calibrated system would then measure and calculate the volume that would be the basis for invoicing of transport services actually provided. The high throughput at TNT Post Pakketservice meant that a system with high availability, minimal maintenance effort and easy to integrate into the sorting system was required.  

Code readers and calibrated volume measurement systems for curved tray sorters  

TNT Post Pakketservice chose a code reading system for the identification tasks and a calibrated volume measurement system from Sick for their distribution centre in Utrecht.  

The code reading system identifies codes on the parcels and provides images to the ParcelVision system of Prime Vision for further OCR and video coding processing.  

The volume measurement system, VMS520 sorter measures the width and height of objects in any position on the tray and accurately determines the dimensions of each individual parcel within a tolerance of ±5mm.  

Relevant data generated by the combined volume measurement and identification systems are transferred to a central controller, where they are merged and stored before being forwarded to the main sorting system's host controller.  

Key benefits:

  • Lower investment costs due to use of the VMS520 sorter on the main sorter
  • Automatic invoicing improves profits and ensures faster ROI
  • Complete, single-source solution precludes risks from interfaces
  • Simple integration and low maintenance costs minimise operating costs
  • Use of code reading and volume measurements on the tray sorter enables maximum process transparency
  • VMS520 sorter allows volume to be measured on non-planar trays, reducing the number of systems required and the associated investment
  • Greater efficiency in operation
  • Enables TNT to invoice for services based on volume information, reducing costs for processing invoices and improving profits
  • High availability and reliability


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