Imerys Fused Minerals Laufenburg impressed with SICK’s Visionary-B CV 3D driver assistance system with its efficient collision warning

Imerys Fused Minerals Laufenburg, a global-leading supplier of minerals-based custom solutions, equipped a Linde forklift truck from the company Schöler Fördertechnik with SICK’s active camera system.

With 3D snapshot technology the live image monitor helps the driver avoid collisions by issuing acoustic and visual warnings, even in harsh production environments. The rear area of a forklift truck is difficult to see, which places a significant burden on drivers, particularly in hard to navigate areas and under difficult weather conditions. Drivers aren’t always able to rely on their perception in these situations because a lot of concentration is required when moving these loads.

For example, when transporting heavy sacks of ceramic granules through warehouse areas, navigating safely within this space can be challenging. Drivers need to pay particular attention to their environment when they are reversing to avoid collisions with static or moving objects. These reasons alone were enough for the employees at Imerys to implement the active driver assistance system from SICK. The camera mounted on the forklift truck as a standalone solution delivers reliable collision warnings even in poor conditions.

Adrian Winkelmann, Intralogistic Services Project Manager at Schöler, is convinced that equipping forklift trucks with the 3D driver assistance system will lead to fewer accidents and improved working conditions.

“The driver can sense that the Visionary-B CV is supporting him in his everyday work and also making his work safer,” Winkelmann said.

The Visionary-B CV supplements Schöler’s own products, which supply holistic logistical solutions that are optimally tailored to the customer’s needs. Also, following the guiding principles of productivity, safety and ergonomics, Schöler offers high-performance forklifts and comprehensive service.

Active camera system for collision avoidance

The rugged and powerful Visionary-B 3D vision sensor from SICK is unaffected by temperature fluctuations, rain, and unevenness in the floor. The driver assistance system operates on the stereoscopic principle, the intelligent image processing of the camera system identifies objects in difficult to see areas and classifies them.

The 3D collision warning on the driver’s monitor is highly configurable and easy to operate so it allows the driver to concentrate on his actual task as he goes about his daily work. The employees at Imerys are satisfied because the camera takes the load off the driver and increases the collision protection and productivity in areas of use.

Flexibility for optimal vision and variable configuration

The active Visionary-B CV system detects objects at the rear of the forklift and classifies them into object classes to avoid unnecessary false alarms. A red frame flashes on the monitor to efficiently issue an acoustic and visual warning to the driver, ultimately helping them avoid unnecessary collisions. The driver can also specify certain obstacles such as walls or smaller objects that should be ignored. Thanks to the 3D snapshot technology, not only the class but the precise position of objects relative to the vehicle can be analyzed. Furthermore, intelligent algorithms filter out irrelevant ambient information, for example fog or reflections off the ground. Overall, the camera offers the driver an optimal view regardless of the work environment.

Dr. Fabian Zimmer, Application Engineer at SICK and responsible for 3D snapshot cameras explains the configuration options.

“It is possible to vary the width and length of the detection zone depending on the size and speed of the vehicle,” Zimmer said. “And within the individual detection zones, it is also possible to distinguish: What objects do I actually want to warn about?”

Accessories for every application

In conjunction with Schöler, SICK delivers a plug and play solution for a wide variety of applications from manufacturing environments all the way to garbage disposals. Whether it be in tight passages, over uneven ground, or in strong sunlight, the camera ensures optimal vision. If not already ordered immediately when purchasing the forklift truck, the camera system is easy to retrofit and the forklift truck is ready for operation again.

Thanks to the versatile mountable accessories, the intelligent camera system can be used for collision avoidance in larger special-purpose vehicles and complicated infrastructures. When it is necessary to have a 360-degree view of the areas around the vehicle, the assistance system reliably supports the driver with its two sensor heads and an evaluation unit that switches between the sensor heads.

Customers worldwide are putting their trust in the driver assistance system from SICK

This application of the camera system has not only impressed Imerys. Schöler’s customer Samvardhana Motherson Peguform (SMP), one of the largest automotive suppliers in Germany, also plans to employ the driver assistance system from SICK at all its manufacturing sites after a successful field test.

Want to learn more about this solution? Contact a SICK Representative today!