ALSONTECH Outdoor 3D Vision Container Lock and Unlock Application

2023-05-23 17:54


Maritime transportation is the artery that connects the global economy, and modern port is gradually becoming automated and unmanned. On October 17, 2021, the world's first "intelligent zero-carbon" terminal - Section C intelligent container terminal in Tianjin Port Beijiang Area was officially put into operation, in which the "container ground intelligent unlocking station" became a highlight. Traditionally, the lock and unlock work is done manually, and the terminal needs to be equipped with a large number of personnel. Workers are prone to fall from the container or be injured by falling locks. Therefore, this peocess is in urgent need of automation transformation.


The Tianjin Port Container Terminal introduced robots for container locking and unlocking. Due to the position deviation of the container truck when docking, the robot could not operate according to the teaching position. Moreover, there are hundreds of container locks commonly used in the port, and the robot cannot judge the type of locks in real time. Therefore, the robot needs robotic vision to locate and Identify the lock type and guide it to complete the lock and unlock process. In addition, the port environment is harsh, with large temperature change between day and night, strong outdoor light, humidity and salt fog, etc., which are serious challenges for the adaptability of the 3d vision camera.


ALSONTECH 3D vision system has been introduced to solve the challenges of port automation. The project adops ALSONTECH ET series outdoor 3D vision system, which can achieve long continuous operation in outdoor. Combined with the workstation layout, we choose the small and medium FOV model--AT-S1000-04A-ET, which is light and flexible and can guide the robot to work in narrow space. The 3D vision camera is arm-mounted on the robot and move with the robot to identify and locate container corner pieces and guide the robot to quickly complete locking and unlocking. The 3D vision system can also correct the deviation of container docking effectively, reducing the difficulty of container docking and the investment cost of limiting mechanical devices.


The port container locking and unlocking project reflects the following advantages of ALSONTECH outdoor camera:

110,000lux Light Resistance

ALSONTECH outdoor 3D camera has strong light resistance ability, it can obtain high-quality point cloud under 110,000lux direct sunlight, compatible with strong light or morning and evening light changes. Different color, painting, rust will not affect the imaging.

High Flexiblity

ALSONTECH laser 3D vision camera can identify hundreds of container locks and switch and add new locks quickly, reducing half?the?time?of?locking?and?unlocking and increasing efficiency by 100%.

Wide Operation Temperature

ALSONTECH outdoor 3D vision camera solves the problems of shutdown in high temperature and fogging in low temperature, extends the effective working temperature to -20℃~+55℃ by wide temperature design, so that the product can be used in different times in a day, four seasons in a year and ports in cold area.

IP67 Protection Grade

ALSONTECH outdoor 3D vision cameras has IP67 protection grade (waterproof, anti-salt spray, anti-mold), which can cope with the high humidity and salt fog environment in the port, avoiding the corrosion damage of the internal components of the camera and prolonging the service life of the product.

Stable & Reliable

ALSONTECH 3D vision camera has stable binocular structure and global top accessories, which can suppress temperature drift and ensure stable output of high-precision data in continuous operation, reducing equipment maintenance costs and guaranting smooth operation of the fully automated ports.

Flexible & Efficient

A workstation with multiple robots and ALSONTECH 3D vision cameras operating at the same time, the identification speed of single container is compressed to 3s, the overall unlocking process reduced from the original 1 min to 30s. The optimization of locking and unlocking efficiency helps to improve the speed and transfer efficiency of the the entire terminal.

The intelligent container terminal of Tianjin Port has been in continuous and stable production since 2021, and the intelligent locking and unlocking station solution has been replicated in other seafront ports in China. ALSONTECH outdoor 3D vision system is the best choice for the vision guidance of robots under outdoor harsh operating condition. ALSONTECH will continue to optimize our 3d vision products and help more corporate customers to build first-class ports and smart terminals.