Sensors & Transducers

3D machine vision camera gives robots human eyesight

March 2022 Sensors & Transducers

SICK Automation is offering local industries a 3D machine vision camera that enables automated management of products or goods in any factory or warehouse environment. Called the Visionary-S CX, it integrates with robotic handling systems such as depalletisation or picking systems, or quality control solutions, to enable the real-time identification, picking and selection of goods accurately and quickly for highly optimised warehouse or production operations.

The rugged camera has the ability to sense both colour and depth, as well as dimensions, even in environments with low ambient light. This means it recognises items and objects reliably, giving it the ability to identify and select individual products in densely packed boxes, for example. It also features a high recording speed, making it effective in high-speed applications. The camera integrates easily into existing systems using system integration (SI) software for prompt optimisation, while easily configurable input and output functionality makes it versatile and flexible.

Conventionally, robotic carton handling or quality control packaging systems have been limited by 2D technology. A robot could be programmed to pick or select an item that was positioned at specific coordinates on a pallet, a table or conveyor belt. If the item was not in that exact location (or not positioned accurately, at the optimal height or depth) the system failed. “The Visionary-S CX essentially gives the robotic system human vision that identifies target items and understands where these are,” explains Grant Joyce, managing director, SICK Automation Southern Africa.

The Visionary-S CX solution was recently applied in the Belgium-based warehouse of a pharmaceutical company, where it optimised the depalletisation and picking of cartons, enabling the system to detect cartons at a rate of 2000 per hour and depalletise them rapidly. As a result, the company was able to meet high demand for its products across Europe. “Through collaboration with our SI partners, we are able to build complete application solutions such as this for customers in southern Africa,” adds Joyce.

Designed to deliver easy installation, programming and commissioning, the Visionary-S CX is also priced competitively for the local market.

For more information contact SICK Automation Southern Africa, +27 10 060 0558,,


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