- Why ZIVID
Liebherr Automation Systems
LHRobotics.Vision technology package
Turnkey bin-picking robot cells
Static or robot-mounted 3D color vision
Broad range of working distance
Visualization and planning software
Bin-picking is one of the most widespread uses of robotics and 3D machine vision. It is integral to many industries such as manufacturing and logistics. But bin-picking is a challenging use case given the vast range of objects that can be part of a bin-picking operation. If a bin-picking cell stops it hits productivity targets and costs money. High-quality, high-reliability bin-picking cells are a boon to production managers who can feel confident in the robot cell’s ability to perform without unnecessary interventions.
Liebherr have over a decade’s experience delivering high bin-picking solutions to the industry. With LHRobotics.Vision, they have brought together all this knowledge into a flexible software solution offering high-quality 3D robot vision that supports using Zivid’s 3D sensing family.
LHRobotics.Vision incorporates a selection of very best-in-class technologies from the likes of Fraunhofer Institute, Zivid, and Liebherr’s own software user interfaces to deliver a highly flexible, reliable, and easy-to-use bin-picking solution. The solution is already creating great interest across a range of industries.
We have used state-of-the-art components such as the Zivid One+ color 3D camera to deliver a high-performance solution to the industry." - Viktor Bayrhof, Product Manager, Liebherr Automation Systems
Liebherr have been delivering Bin Picking solutions for many years to the industry. The story of bin picking at Liebherr began about ten years ago: part of a big project for two production lines was the automation of the line entrance by means of bin picking. At that time, technology was still in its infancy. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA), Liebherr developed a complete solution: Fraunhofer had the bin picking technology know-how, and Liebherr had the automation application know-how. In this constellation, Liebherr was able to successfully realize the order. In the following years, numerous bin picking projects were implemented, especially in the field of powertrain and body-in-white production for the automotive industry. Thus, the technology transfer from the institute to the industry could be pushed further, and was honored with the Maschinenmarkt "Best-of-Industry" Award in 2017.
In 2020, Liebherr decided to make the experience gained from all these different projects available to a wider range of customers and launched the technology package LHRobotics.Vision.
Bin-picking offers, without doubt, one of the greatest application potentials for the use of 3D vision-guided robotics in manufacturing and automation. It is also amongst the most challenging robotic applications. Whilst the big industrial robots at auto plants may capture most of the photo-ops, it is the unassuming bin-picking cell that underpins and supports the efficiency of manufacturing and automation operations today.
At a first glance, bin-picking can seem quite a straightforward task, but it has numerous challenges. With bin-picking, the robot needs a high-quality vision system to recognize objects, remove them without collision, place them in the correct orientation and transfer them to a machine. The software to do all this is in effect the ‘brain’ of the pick and place robot. Additionally, there are different individual requirements for each particular use case.
A bin-picking cell is comprised of several system elements: a 3D vision sensor, the robot, and its control system, choice of the gripper, detection software and algorithms, and path/motion planning. The efficient integration of these different components into an efficient, performant, and easy-to-use system is not a trivial challenge.
Most end-users, whether it's heavy manufacturing, logistics, or another area, want a high-quality, high-reliability system that ‘just works’. Bin-picking systems have mostly been delivered as separate components where a system integrator works to marry all the different elements together into a high-functioning whole. This is time-consuming and introduces extra cost and has certain performance risk elements.
Bin Picking solutions are available from Liebherr in two options, a fully functioning robot cell complete with a robot, or as a software suite “LHRobotics.Vision” that can be integrated with other system parts.
The technology package itself consists of a machine vision camera, with all three Zivid One+ variants being supported. It also consists of a suite of software and documentation. There is also the option of an innovative simulation tool developed by Liebherr with a virtual robot vision camera and a virtual point cloud. This simulation tool enables a better choice of gripper geometry and the ability to optimize processes offline.
LHRobotics.Vision is a highly sophisticated yet flexible solution with a multitude of advanced robotic features including:
- Very high accuracy 3D vision
- Open vision sensor interface
- Process visualization
- Robot path planning
- Singularity detection
- Obstacle avoidance
- Bin location creation
- Native calibration
- Gripper options
As can be seen from the features listed above LHRobotics.Vision is a very comprehensive solution that covers all the bases for a modern state-of-the-art picking cell. But Liebherr understands that it isn’t enough to provide a best-in-class solution, ease of operation will also play a fundamental role in its success.
They designed a highly graphical operator interface that is packed with functionality yet simple and intuitive to use. Indeed, the system proposes that a target can be reached in three steps:
- Teaching of the workpieces, gripper, and grip points
- Fast parameter adjustment
- Simple configuration of the bins
The 3D vision component of this system plays a fundamental role in its excellence. The robot vision system needed projector-based structured light 3D cameras, as with Zivid 3D cameras to achieve its goals. It has the ability to operate at a broad distance range from the scene and it can support the full Zivid product range.
LHRobotics.Vision support possibilities with Zivid 3D cameras: Zivid One+ Large, Zivid One+ Medium, Zivid One+ Small, and Zivid Two. With the help of high-quality robot-guided sensors like Zivid Two, LHRobotics.Vision are able to solve complex depalletizing and small-size bin-picking applications.
This package consists of 3D camera, software, and documentation plus the option of an innovative simulation tool for evaluation of your gripper concept and to see if it will work effectively. With a virtual point cloud and virtual camera, you can simulate ahead of deployment and modify gripper geometry and optimize processes to achieve better emptying of the bins. This enables a complete virtual mapping of the entire process including bin picking.
LHRobotics software can be integrated into systems from other manufacturers offering complete flexibility as needed, a very attractive option for system integrators.
LHRobotics.Vision demonstrates the state-of-the-art for bin-picking and pick-and-place systems. It is already generating great interest in the automotive and manufacturing sectors with its innovative use of high-quality 3D vision and ease-of-use principles.
Liebherr is a world-leading pioneer in numerous industries including construction and automation technology. Liebherr has operations across the globe and employs approx. 50,000 people worldwide.