cross dimensional manufacturing


3D position detection of individually stacked pallets in the furniture industry

Fiscal research funding, Research Grants Act

Federal Ministry for Education and Research

Certification body Research allowance

May 2021 to April 2023



Initial Situation:

In the furniture industry, the task of separating wooden beams from a pallet and inserting them into appropriate machines currently takes up a lot of personnel capacity. These wooden beams are processed using machinery such as dowelling or veneering machines. A lot of furniture is custom made. In manufacturing, this customisation is referred to as “batch size one” and it poses a particular challenge to process automation.


The aim of the research project is to detect a stack of wooden beams on a pallet and to separate the beams from one another using a robot so that they can be processed further. This involves analysing barcodes for each part and comparing them with the measurement data. From a technical point of view, this is now achievable thanks to the continuous development of 3D measurement technology. As part of the project, the position of the component is to be determined using a 3D stereo camera in combination with a barcode reader.


An application for 3D/2D data processing, visualisation and simulation is to be developed and a robot test cell with a 3D stereo camera is to be set up. The camera is to be carried by the robot’s gripper. Important steps include the calibration of the camera to the robot coordinate system and the development of an application for the evaluation of grayscale images. As soon as the position and the distance are determined correctly or with sufficient accuracy, special situations such as the tilting of the components can also be considered. Based on this, various tests are to be performed and the influence of external sources of interference (camera exposure, dust and dirt) is to be examined.

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Markus Langer

Digital Transformation / Research and Technology Promotion

Andreas Bauer

Business Unit Manager Robotics