• Aero


Inline sorting of variable-sized boxes for mixed products is a common challenge on automated packaging lines in many production facilities.

One of our customers presented us this challenge, and we developed a reliable, innovative solution using advanced vision and 3D-vision tools.


ROI: 9 months

Project duration: 5 months

Client: 2 engineers
Concept Systems: 2 engineers

Concept Systems’ time on site: 5 days

Pain points

  • Sorting boxes by size and label


  • Consistent sorting process
  • Efficient inline identification and sorting of boxes based on labels and dimensions with 99.9 percent accuracy
  • Processing speed up to one box per second

Technology used

  • Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PLC
  • Hermary SL-1880 3D Laser Scanner
  • Encoder
  • Basler Gigabit Ethernet Machine Vision Cameras
  • Intel Pro/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
  • Panel Mounted Touchscreen HMI
  • Alienware PC


Sorting boxes by size and label

In this customer’s case, boxes traveling down the line needed to be sorted into one of three stackers, depending on the dimensions of the box and their coordinating labels.

We used an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PLC with two Basler Gigabit Ethernet cameras, in coordination with a Hermary SL-1880 3D laser, to verify the key components on each box. The two cameras are used to identify the exact case codes for each box type as they are fed down the line. The laser system is used to verify the dimensions by building a three-dimensional model of each box as they pass under the lasers.

Cameras and laser prove highly accurate

This allows the system to not only measure the dimensions of the box, but to also detect boxes with open flaps or other irregularities. The box is sorted accordingly and the next box enters the system. If one or more parameters are violated, then a reject code is delivered, and it is separated out of the line.

The system has an identification and sorting accuracy of 99.9 percent and is capable of operating at speeds of 60 boxes per minute. It provided a consistent system of verifying boxes, and has met and exceeded all of the customer’s expectations.