Spica – Container detector



SPICA is an optical sensor which detects container prior to handling with a container crane.

Applications of SPICA are numerous especially for container terminal automation :
- Container position detection prior to hoisting
- Container position detection prior to stacking
- Gap between containers detection
- Container size detection.

SPICA sensor is associated to a central calculator designed to be connected to 6 sensors and directly linked to the spreader’s PLC through an RS422 serial line.


    SPICA sensor                  SPICA calculator                 


1D DETECTOR : One optical head integrates an infrared light which lights in a fan way around its vertical axis.
The emission standard angle is +/-8°.
In the other direction the beam is very narrow.
A receiver analyzes the received light and checks the reflection shape.
The internal processor analyzes the light and gives the angular position of the container’s edge regarding the sensor optical axis: detection of square objects.

In an other functioning way the processor searches main line : detection of a cylindrical object.

Multiple detectors : A central computer can receive up to 6 sensors and combine these measurements to do a multiple degrees measuring system.

Environment : SPICA detectors are designed to work in a very harsh environment : shocks, vibration, humidity, temperature.

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 to Space Industry.


SPICA sensor on its support and in protective housing


The standard performances are the following:
    - Working range from 0,5 m to 4 m
    - Angle : +/-8° i.e. +/- 250 mm at a 1600 mm-working distance
    - Resolution 1D : 0,125°
    - Frequency of measurement : 5Hz
    - Interface : RS422
    - Functioning temperature : - 20°C to + 60°C
    - Storage temperature : - 30°C to + 70°C
    - Protection : IP67
    - Shocks : 25g 10msec
    - Vibration : 10 to 50Hz 5G in three directions


Dimensions of the optical sensor :
- Length: 180 mm
- Width: 140 mm
- Height: 115 mm
Dimensions of the calculator :
L 220 mm, W 185 mm, H 100 mm

Electrical Characteristics :
230VAC 50 Hz - consumption: 50W / 250mA
Interfaces :
Principal options :
Number of detectors variable from 1 to 6
Graphical software to install and supervise from a PC


SOS38-ST    Detector with a working range of 3 m
Included software :
GA : gap between containers detection

SOS48-ST    Detector with a working range of 4 m
Included softwares :
CC : container detection prior to handling in 1D or 2D, container size detection
CS : container detection prior to stacking

SPC60-ST    Central calculator in waterproof box for 6 detectors
Included softwares :
CC : container detection prior to handling in 1D or 2D, container size detection
CS : container detection prior to stacking

SCA-05        Cable between calculator and crane's PLC –  5 meters long
Cable between sensor and calculator – 10 meters long

BEME158     Metallic support for SPICA sensor
BEME159     Protective housing for SPICA sensor 


Download Product Data Sheet


Réalisation SYSTONIC 2008