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Banner Engineering: ZMX Series 3D Time of Flight Sensor

February 17, 2023

The ZMX Series 3D Time of Flight Sensor can measure and monitor objects within a three-dimensional area. It provides a single-sensor solution for filling applications and can detect both the peak height and average fill level. The ZMX Series features a large 60° × 45° field of view, with a range of 200 to 2,500 mm (7.9 in. to 8.2 ft.). Because the sensor can detect items of any size, shape, or orientation, it is an ideal tool for automated industrial applications in which materials, products, or packages accumulate within a defined area.

ZMX Series Key Benefits

Container-Fill Monitoring Made Easy

The ZMX Series sensor can be used to monitor the contents of containers collecting items from a chute or conveyor in an automated system. By combining digital imaging and thousands of laser measurement points, it can detect objects within a three-dimensional area. For example, when a bin is put in place to collect a quantity of small rectangular boxes, the contents accumulate and form a pile that will have an unpredictable shape. To accurately determine when the bin is full, a sensor solution must be able to detect fill height variations across the bin’s total area.

Detect Peak Height or Volume over a Large Sensing Area

The ZMX is perfect for recognizing maximum heights of objects, regardless of where the highest point might be within that sensing area. It is also useful for calculating fill volume. This is a great way to ensure that containers are being filled to a consistent volume, prevent overfill, or to track fill rates and fine-tune processing speeds.

More Reliable Than Single-Point Sensors

The ZMX can simplify applications that otherwise would require multiple single-point sensors. A single 3D sensor is easier to install and track, but it also delivers more reliable performance. Traditional single-point technologies may be unreliable when measuring an accumulation of shapes. For example, a single laser may measure low by measuring a gap between two objects, or an ultrasonic may not have a reading at all due to the signal being reflected away by an oddly angled or shaped object. By contrast, one centrally positioned ZMX sensor provides complete area coverage in three dimensions.

Easy Setup and Integration

The ZMX 3D Time of Flight Sensor has been designed for quick setup and integration in work areas. Simply position and mount the sensor where it can monitor the intended area (for example, directly above a container or pallet stack, pointing downward). Then apply power and connect an Ethernet cable to a PC running the Banner 3D Configuration Software (available as a free download).

Use the software to define sensing conditions: the bottom of the container as the anchor point, the size of the sensing region, and thresholds for peak height and volume. After this quick configuration, the sensor can be disconnected from the PC; it is fully self-contained and ready to immediately send signals to an indication light, controller, or chosen PLC, using its dual discrete outputs or the supported industrial Ethernet protocols.

ZMX Series Applications

  • Bin fill and peak height monitoring
  • Overfill detection
  • Pallet heights to assist in stacking or depalletizing
  • Parcel management
  • Shipping and receiving
  • Conveyor statistics by tracking material flow volume or height
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