3D Measurement System For Food Processing
Nikko displayed a 3D measurement system that it developed jointly with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, at FOOMA Japan 2011.
This system uses four pairs of stereo cameras to measure objects moving on a conveyor belt in 3D. Based on the 3D data, it can automatically generate processing data to cut and sort the objects, and process them accordingly, for greater yields and productivity.
"Prices for seafood have gone up considerably recently, and demand that emphasizes processing accuracy in order to make processed products without losses has increased. Accuracy can't be maintained when only the upper surface of seafood is measured. Depending on the shape of the unseen back side, processing accuracy can deteriorate significantly in some cases, and there is demand to be able to measure both sides to measure all the way around the full shape."
This system takes pictures from above as well as below through a gap in the conveyor belt, and obtains shape data of both sides of the object. Target processing values for the weight of cuts and other values can be set at the users discretion, and they plan to build a processing system based on those.
"Our company has long been making equipment for processing food after it has been measured, but we did not have the technology to measure the bottom side through a small gap. We heard that AIST had stereo measurement technology that could take stable measurements even through a smal gap, so we asked them for a technology tie-up to develop this."
In the future Nikko plan to make the system faster and cheaper, with the aim of commercialization within the next two years.
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