04/25/2005 • Sensor Technology

VMS 410: the new volume measurement system for CEP and logistics centres

SICK has developed the VMS 410 Volume Measurement System for determining the volumes of consignments at courier, express and package services (CEP), as well as at logistics centres. It consists of a handy sensor head with integrated evaluation for object measurement. The VMS 410 is designed for the detection of individual cuboid objects.

The sensor head of the VMS 410 is installed centrally above any flat conveyor system. It emits a fan-shaped laser beam with an angular resolution of 0.125°. The time-of-flight of the laser beam is evaluated to within a few millimetres in the sensor head, and the length, height and width of the package is determined. Objects are measured even if they have a reflectivity level of just 10% (typical of dark parcels, for example). Thus the VMS 410 can be flexibly integrated into almost any plant environment.

User-friendly with convenient installation and operation

The manageable size of the sensor head and the well thought-out connection technology allow rapid installation and commissioning of the VMS 410. During operation, the volume measurement system offers high levels of accuracy and availability. The transmission of measurement data to the controller of an entire system can take place via the serial RS-232 interface or the Ethernet connection. The latter permits convenient and simple parameterisation and diagnosis with the assistance of the Volume Measurement System parameterisation software.

Calibration certificate to come

The development and design of the VMS 410 is consistently oriented on the requirements of the OIML's R 129 recommendation (OIML = International Organisation of Legal Metrology) regarding the scale value and calibration error limit, as well as the test parameters. The ultimate intention is to gain the inspection certificate of the Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (PTB) in Braunschweig after certification by the OIML-accredited NMi inspection authorities in the Netherlands, expected in mid-2005. A complete calibratable system for courier, express and package logistics can be developed with the approved VMS 510 Volume Measurement System in combination with a legal-for-trade weighing system and bar-code scanners, for approval by national inspection authorities.

Alongside the VMS 520 two-sensor solution for irregular objects, the VMS 510 is a sensible supplement to the SICK product portfolio for calibratable volume determination.

For improved transport planning and performance invoicing

Apart from the weight of packages or pallets it is the size, above all, that determines how many units can be loaded onto a truck in the CEP and freight forwarding trade. Whereby the equation: low weight = small package size or small pallet load is frequently wrong. Moreover, transport performance is invoiced according to consignment volumes in many distribution logistics segments. With the VMS 410 it is now possible to optimise cargo space utilisation while also invoicing transport and distribution performances on the basis of the unit numbers and volumes actually transported.
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