Autonomous Parking Assistance for Trucks

A sensor supported parking system offers protection from parking damage for bulk liquid distributor ADPO in the port of Antwerp – autonomously controlled in the field by Turck's ARGEE logic in the I/O module

Logistics services company ADPO fills liquid chemicals from ships into drums. As part of its automation of the drum filling and loading system, Turck installed a parking assistant for trucks at ADPO. The compact ARGEE logic controller in the FEN20 I/O module converts in the field the signals of a laser scanner for controlling a traffic light signal system. This enables drivers to see when they have to stop – and also if people are present within the protected area. This reliably prevents work accidents at ADPO as well as damage to the loading ramp and thus increases the availability of the automated drum filling system.

  • Without a parking assistant it is difficult to bring the trailer to a 40 centimeter distance to the ramp

  • The driver stops reversing when the red LED ring is lit

  • The truck must be close enough to the ramp for the flap to rest on it securel

  • Jan van Mechelen could “considerably increase the efficiency of the drum filling system” 

  • FEN20 I/O module uses its integrated ARGEE logic to convert the switching signals of the laser scanner

Up to the middle of 2019 the filling process in a cargo terminal for liquid chemicals, was still carried out manually. This required a truck with empty drums to be parked at a loading ramp. Besides the slow filling speed, another drawback of this solution was the fact that the trucks had to be driven very close to the loading ramp. The ramp frequently had to be repaired.

 

Turck Multiprox developed an automatic parking assistant: “We didn't want to regularly renew the loading supports in the optimized plant. The solution for the automatic filling system also had to detect the exact position of the truck,” van Jan Mechelen, responsible project engineer at ADPO, describes his requirement.

 

LED traffic light system indicates the distance to the ramp

Each laser scanner monitors here one of the six parking bays. An LED traffic light indicator signals to the driver the actual distance to the ramp. If the truck is still too far away and the scanner does not detect an object, the traffic light remains unlit. As soon as the truck is within range of the scanner, the green LED ring lights up. The yellow ring lights up once the trailer is 120 centimeters away from the ramp, and the red ring lights up when the trailer is within 40 centimeters from the ramp so that the driver can stop the truck.

 

Decentralized solution saves wiring and costs

A laser scanner detects the trucks and outputs their distance. Its three digital output signals had to be converted for the signal lights of the LED traffic light indicator. This is implemented with Turck's ARGEE logic controller, which runs remotely on the FEN20 IP20 I/O module in the control cabinet. Simple if-then logic operations are used by ARGEE to convert the digital switching outputs to the appropriate output signals for the traffic light signals. Even using a compact controller for this task would have been an excessive solution.

 

Safety and efficiency of drum filling increased

“The Turck Multiprox solution for automating the process considerably increased the efficiency of the drum filling. The loading time was previously much long longer. We were also able to increase safety since the scanner also detects the presence of people in the parking area,” Jan van Mechelen sums up.