PLB zivid Sick bin picking


Highly flexible and reliable part localization solution for robot guidance

Quick facts


Part localization for bin-picking
Robot Guidance
Smart factory and logistics

Robot-mounted 3D vision for robotics
3D color (RGB)
Industrial reliability
Modular system architecture
Part localization

3D camera
Zivid Two M70 - industrial 3D color camera

At a glance 


3D robot guidance is a complex and challenging aspect of today’s automated production processes. It is carried out by a system comprised of robots, advanced algorithmic software, and advanced 3D sensors. It forms a fundamental component of many production and industrial operations today and spans industries such as automotive, pharmaceuticals, and logistics. It has progressed significantly in its capabilities over the past decade or so. But as challenges are met and overcome, there are always new ones ahead, with more complex parts to pick, picking based on color, and reliable robot motion in and around the bin that ensures no collisions and maximum speed. 


The result with SICK PLB is a high-performance 3D robot guidance system that can be deployed against multiple use cases from automotive to logistics to pharma. Highly modular in design, it is a fully functional product that offers the ability for 3rd-party plug-ins where specialized functionality is needed.


SICK PLB is designed to perform with maximum efficiency together with high reliability. The part localization algorithm they have developed efficiently ‘rolls through the bin’ to maximize performance and thus productivity when in use. for the very best performance with SICK PLB and robot-mounted flexibility, Zivid Two is recommended. 

For the SICK PLB solution the Zivid Two represents a great combination of performance and robot-mounted suitability at the right price point.” 

Nimal Kailasanathan, Robot Guidance Product Manager at SICK


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01 Story

SICK is a blue-chip name in trusted automation intelligence. The sensors from SICK help to keep a broad range of industries moving across the globe. Their reputation for quality, reliability, and service is second to none. Founded in 1946, SICK has been with the automation journey for most of the way. Their first bin-picking solution appeared over a decade ago and was among the first available. Today their bin-picking solution is called “part localization in bins” or PLB. It has become a staple of automation customers when implementing a bin-picking solution. It continues to evolve constantly with new features and accessibility.  

02 Challenges

Companies in numerous industries are placing increasingly stringent requirements on sensors in order to be able to produce a wide variety of product variants and quantities on virtually any assembly line. Accordingly, there is a strong trend towards automated manufacturing right down to batch-size-one production. Without a doubt, material handling plays a significant role in flexible automation. SICK's PLB robot guidance system for bin picking and depalletizing has been designed with these requirements in mind. A system that can reliably meet these requirements needs to have a high degree of flexibility and adaptability and must perform reliably. 

Untitled design (12)

Bin picking continues to evolve and develop, but it is a use-case that always has new challenges. The quality of the 3D vision system plays a fundamental role in what can be achieved. With PLB and Zivid Two mounted on the robot, we have a very capable bin-picking solution that has superb capabilities married to high reliability.”

Nimal Kailasanathan
Robot Guidance Product Manager, SICK

03 Solution

The SICK PLB solution has evolved with many years of customer involvement and feedback that has meant it keeps improving in its capabilities and reliability. It has many different advantages for adoption, and we can look at some of the best. Designed for use with the most optimal 3D sensors according to the application’s needs. For geometric matching and robot-mounted scenarios, Zivid Two is the recommended 3D camera.

Flexible design architecture 

SICK PLB has an extensive range of native features, including CAD matching and edge matching. It also offers the flexibility to expand with the use of plug-in software components for geometric matching algorithms (circles, pipes, rectangles, etc.). This modular nature has meant PLB can use CAD matching to find parts or can be trained on representative parts for the picking process. Additionally, the open API means customers can develop special plug-ins to match their exact requirements in a simple way. Additionally, it is designed to work with a broad range of end effectors for different picking demands. 


SICK PLB has fast cycle time potential as a core value proposition. During testing, the system delivered processing speeds of less than 1 second. Cycle times are easily tailored to the application’s needs. 

Robot-mounted flexibility with HDR and color 

By using Zivid Two as the 3D camera, PLB offers localization based on color parameters. Zivid’s excellence in high dynamic range scenes means that everything from black rubber pipes to shiny metallic parts can be localized and picked. An example of this in use is tire picking, where very dark rubber and shiny metallics are present on the same object. Explore Zivid point clouds library →

SICK technical support 

The technical support services from SICK are very important and contribute to the high quality of this product. Most bin-picking solutions will require some element of customization and commissioning for deployment. This fine-tuning service from the experienced engineers at SICK goes a long way to ensure the high performance and reliability of PLB when deployed 

04 Result

The SICK PLB product has a long lineage in automation applications. With a broad swathe of automation customers in multiple industries, they have been in the position to deliver a product that is truly based on what customers want. PLB has flexibility and adaptability at its core and can be employed in multiple situations, including:

As an easy-to-use product, it can be deployed in a few days, and if special bespoke components a required, the system architecture is designed to accommodate that, either with help from SICK or a third party. When used together with the Zivid Two industrial 3D camera, localization choices and accuracy are taken to the next level offering a bin-picking cell with almost unlimited possibilities. 


About SICK

SICK is among the world’s leading solutions providers for sensor-based applications in the industrial sector. Founded in 1946 by Dr., Ing. Erwin Sick, they are headquartered near Freiburg in Germany and maintain a sales and support presence across the globe. They have more than 11,000 employees and had a group revenue of approx. €2 billion in 2021.


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