New high speed volume measurement from Sick

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 1 September 2004




(2004), "New high speed volume measurement from Sick", Sensor Review, Vol. 24 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New high speed volume measurement from Sick

New high speed volume measurement from Sick

Keywords: Laser scanning

Erwin Sick has introduced the VMS 420 and VMS 410 volume measurement system that has big potential to reduce operation costs and improve revenues in the parcel logistics sector. Measuring the volume of parcels allows more accurate billing to the client and more effective utilisation of storage and transport space.

Both VMS 420 and VMS 410 enable the volume of objects to be measured whilst moving at high speeds on a conveyor. With other systems using reflex light switches or light grids, the conveyor needs to be split to create a gap through which the light beam may pass. This causes problems due to uneven matching of conveyor heights and differing conveyor speeds, and the gap itself may result in small boxes “bouncing” as they pass through. These minor problems create catastrophic problems when measuring volume and therefore, the system must be accurately installed and well maintained.

Because the VMS 400 series is a laser device, there is no need for a “light gap” so that the conveyor does not have to be split. The laser ignores the surface of the conveyor and just measures the parcel. The great advantage to the client is the ability to install with minimum disruption to the line and minimisation of downtime. Owing to its high scanning rate, the VMS 400 allows measurement at conveyor speeds up to 3 m/s.

The VMS 400 is very simple with two scanning heads, two brackets and a connection cable. Each head weighs less than 5 kg, so maintenance is safe and easy. Also included with the system is SOPAS software, which allows easy configuration, and the control software is integrated within the scanning head, eliminating the need for any external modules or evaluation units. Outputs include Ethernet, RS 232 and RS 422.

Other potential applications of the VMS 400 include optimising storage capacity in warehouses, transport systems and on palletisers.

The VMS 200 system has already been passed as legal for trade with OIML R129, and Sick anticipate that the faster and more accurate VMS 400 series will have the same approval in the first quarter of 2004.

For further information, contact: Andrea Hornby, Erwin Sick, Waldkirch House, 39 Hedley Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 5BN. Tel: +44/0 1727 831121; E-mail:; Web site:

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