Automatic Condition Monitoring System for Parcel Sorting Conveyor Systems through infrastructure-free Sensor Technology in a compact mobile Data Logging Unit suitable for a Variety of Packages
Operators of logistics centers and manufacturing companies increasingly have to cope with unforeseeable fluctuations in goods throughput, changes in order structures and in the range of goods. Therefore, it is important to maintain the necessary conveyor systems permanently to avoid total breakdowns. To be able to detect the failure of key components in such a complex system in good time, this paper proposes a mobile objective measuring system with multiple sensors, which allows automatically record, compare and inform about normal/anomalous conditions from the perspective of a mobile observer moving in a parcel sorting system. Recent progresses in the availability and mobility of depth cameras enable the mobile observer spatially recognize its environment. Conveyor technology assemblies can be characterized by sensor fingerprints consisting of typical sensor readings and can thus be recognized in the collected data of a measurement run. With the help of a-priori knowledge, it is possible to derive the real path in space of the proposed mobile observer monitoring system. Anomalous sensor readings, like unexpected vibrations, can thus be assigned to the specific conveyor belts of the parcel sorting system. The mobile observer moves the same routes as the parcels would do and provides a unique and complete insight into the sorting system without requiring intrusive and complex sensor infrastructure installed throughout the whole system.