Geo Week News

September 20, 2023

Using lidar to measure bulk inventories while in motion

Wingfield Scale & Measure’s WingScan products provide accurate volumetric measurements for inventory on rail, conveyor belts, and trucks.
Image via Wingfield Scale & Measure

Wingfield Scale & Measure is a third-generation family business who specializes in providing tools and solutions for weighing and measuring in a number of industries, like mining and construction. One of their newer innovations has been their WingScan product line, which utilizes what the company calls “advanced lidar technology,” and has the ability to track and measure volume for inventory that is moving through a job site. 

The WingScan products come in different forms, but all of them work by sitting above where inventory is moving through a site and collecting lidar data as it passes underneath the scanning mechanism. The tool, whose lidar technology was developed in partnership with German software company LASE Industrielle Lasertechnik GmbH, is explained by Dan Caine, managing director of Wingfield Measure, in a press statement: “WingScan delivers real-time, accurate information to your PLC with zero maintenance and one-touch calibration which frees up your maintenance team to focus on other issues.”

The WingScan product line includes three main offerings, based around different ways inventory is moved around job sites: Rail, Belt, and Truck. These correspond with exactly what they sound like, starting with rail to track inventory moving within rail cars. This is the newest WingScan addition, and it measures inventory being moved within individual cars using their intrinsic RFID tags. The product, WingScan-R, can measure the contents of any number of cars in any order.

In addition to the WingScan-R, Wingfield also offers the WingScan-B and WingScan-T, used to scan inventory volume moving on belts and trucks, respectively. The former can work for belts underground and on the surface, and is available as a standard setup as well as customizable to fit with existing systems. The latter, meanwhile, can be used to measure inbound and outbound deliveries being moved in mining haul trucks, articulated dump trucks, or over the road open bed trucks.

It goes without saying that on these sites, tracking the movement of inventory as well as inbound and outbound deliveries is crucial. That said, traditional methods are extremely tedious, rough estimates at best, or some combination of the two. Having one piece of equipment – which can remain stationary and not have to be moved throughout the day or even constantly monitored – can truly be a game-changer for these professionals, with this new advanced lidar system providing the most accurate volumetric measurements they can get – certainly more accurately than traditional methods.

In a press statement, Winfield Scale & Measure CEO Joseph Wingfield said, “With WingScan, we are taking our expertise in the field of measurement to a whole new level. We are making it possible to know the precise quantities of materials in the earliest stages of the supply chain.”

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