Container detection for stacking


SPICA is an optical sensor with infrared detectors.
The sensor measures position of the stacked container edge to put locked container on right position. 


Four optical sensors and one Central Calculator are installed on spreader. The central Calculator is connected with main PLC to control spreader micro motion cylinder. 


These detectors (optical sensors) are looking down and measuring the position of the edge of the container in regards with their optical centre. 

INSTALLATION : solution with 4 sensors

SPICA is a successful solution for Container Terminals to win space in Unmanned Automatic Container Yard.
SPICA sensors replaces mechanical long flippers to stack 7 containers in a perfect alignment.

Sensors and central calculator are perfectly protected in a special steel housing to avoid any damages. Steel protection with rubber silent blocks against vibrations and shocks were tested in CNES Laboratory in Toulouse – France dedicated for space industry. 


Four sensors Ref SOS48-ST on metallic support (ref. BEME158) and in protective housing (ref. BEME159) and One calculator Ref SPC60-ST



INSTALLATION : solution with 6 sensors

To measure the X and Y movement of the crane.
Two sets are placed along the sea side of the spreader, two others along the land side, one on the left side and one on the right side.

The result of the measurement is a 6-deviation value.

The 4 values of detectors placed along the sea side and the land side express the X & orientation error in stacking the upper container with the lower one. These values are visible only on one side, the other side remains blind.
The deviation values of detectors placed on the left and right side give information on the Y error of the stacking and are used in the same way that the X values.
Spica sensor must be locked on the spreader in such a way that its optical axis should be vertically over the container edge.
This is the case for a yard crane RTG or RMGC.
One should take care to position the container always in the same orientation because of the door (offset between the door and ISO corners).


Six sensors Ref SOS48-ST on metallic support (ref. BEME158) and in protective housing (ref. BEME159) and One calculator Ref SPC60-ST

Download Application Note

Réalisation SYSTONIC 2008