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Longer lasting Belts, New Split Spools -- no regrind:Layout 1 8/26/2009 4: 37 AM Page 1
48 DC VELOCITY DECEMBER 2017 www.dcvelocity.com
the operator to place the item on or under
the dimensioner, which then automatically
detects the item and dimensions it in tenths
of a second.
MEASURING ON THE MOVE
Compared with static dimensioners,
in-motion parcel dimensioners are typically faster and better suited for high-throughput operations. As for how manufacturers
define “high-throughput” operations, that
can vary. But Hanrahan says that in-line
systems are good for operations that ship
out 700 cartons or more a day.
In many cases, these tunnels serve not
just as dimensioners but also as in-line
inspection points that capture the carton’s
weight, bar code, and other text-based
information. Some even take pictures of
the parcel to provide a record of its condition at that point in the handling process.
Units with these capabilities can be used for
pick validation or defect detection before
an outbound item or parcel is placed in a
truck, Hanrahan says.
In-line systems are typically more expensive than static solutions, but prices have
been dropping as camera technology
advances, Hanrahan says. He reports that
dimensioning software can currently be
added to a scanning tunnel for under
The one drawback of in-line tunnels is
that they don’t always work with every
shape, says Kim Karvonen, senior sales
and business development executive for
QubeVu. For this reason, Hanrahan recommends that companies use static
dimensioners if they’re trying to obtain
cube dimensions for slotting, storage, or
THE FINAL TEST
Once you’ve decided what general type of
system is right for your operation, it’s time
to begin evaluating different manufacturers’ products. To ensure a fair comparison,
Wiley recommends conducting a “bake
off” where the systems are compared side
by side using the same types of parcels or
loads you handle in your daily operations.
“Don’t take the manufacturers’ word for
it,” he says. “Measure and test for yourself,
so that you get the right technology and
solution for you.”
of accuracy and requiring varying
amounts of labor. With respect to
accuracy, for example, some dimensioners can provide a very precise
3-D image of an irregular-shaped
item, while others provide more
rectilinear dimensions, says Will
Crosby, director of marketing for
the dimensioning system provider
QubeVu. Wiley of Mettler Toledo
further advises potential buyers to
make sure that any machine they’re
considering is NTEP (National
Type Evaluation Program) certified by the National Conference on
Weights and Measures.
Different static dimensioners use
different types of sensing technolo-
gy to take measurements, including
laser triangulation, which measures
the reflection or displacement of a
laser beam; sonic transducer tech-
nology, which does the same with
sound waves; and optical imaging
technology, which often uses 3-D
cameras. Some systems may use
a combination of these methods
because different technologies pro-
vide more accurate measurements
for different types of items. (For
example, lasers might be better
at measuring shiny objects than
cameras are.) Users should also be
aware that a dimensioner’s accura-
cy depends not only on the quality
of the equipment—the actual laser
or camera—but also on the soft-
ware that analyzes the information
received from the camera or laser,
Different static dimensioners also
require different amounts of labor,
according to Crosby. Some require
the operator to line up the box or
item precisely with the dimensioner’s edge and press a button or pass
a metal bar over it to get the measurements. These types typically
use laser-based technology, he says.
Other dimensioners simply require