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Digitization of the Real World: Is there anything out there?

Updated: 3 days ago


In our current generation, digitization presents a global challenge for humanity. Our world is increasingly dominated by new developing technologies, powerful algorithms and big data processing, all of which can alter our daily lifestyles. But how long does it take to develop the capabilities to digitize our world?


Digitization

Here at Woodtech, we have spent each of the last 15 years tirelessly working on developing the capabilities to digitize and interpret the real world in industries such as forestry and mining. Along the way, we have identified seven different stages, all in which are critical to the digitization of the real world. Each stage, as described in this and future publications, will demonstrate how we integrate our available technologies into our digitization process


Choosing the Right Physical Object


Selecting a physical object that carries valuable information for an industry process is a crucial part to our digitization process. In the case of producing plants for the forestry market, a truck loaded with logs entering a plant is chosen. This truck carries a certain volume of wood that needs to be measured with precision. This is ideally done in the shortest amount of time as possible and without any human intervention.


There’s the argument that simply calculating the volume using width times depth and height can be pretty straightforward. However, complications begin to arise given the variability in how the trucks are loaded, types of wood species, and different trailer configurations.



Digitizacion truck forestry


Stage One: Object Detection


The initial stage in the digitization process is to determine if the object to be measured has reached the measurement point. Various sensors can detect objects and distinguish the object of interest from other objects, animals, or people.


Photocells are placed at a specific height to detect objects based on their height. Inductive or capacitive sensors are useful if the object has a high metal content. Cameras and OCR software are employed for reading characters printed on objects. Artificial vision systems, which use cameras, can recognize a wide range of objects. RFID tags are widely used in vehicles for identification. Additionally, short-range RFID and barcode identifiers are suitable for applications involving human interaction, such as ID cards.


Case Study: Detecting Trucks with a 2D Laser Scanner


In most of the facilities that implement our products, a 2D laser scanner is used to detect trucks. Our product Logmeter, which has the 2D sensors, sits along a track where the scanner operates. This sensor has the advantage of monitoring the truck’s position over time. This capability allows us to provide visual feedback to the truck driver to regulate their speed during digitization. At the same time, the three-dimensional point cloud of the truck is reconstructed using 2D scans from other LIDAR sensors in the Logmeter.




digitization truck


Looking Ahead


Digitization in the real world involves understanding and integrating various technologies to measure and interpret physical objects accurately. Our extensive experience in forestry and mining industries has allowed us to develop robust solutions for these challenges.


Stay tuned for more detailed explanations of the seven stages of digitization and how they can transform industry processes. In the next article, we will be going over how to get relevant information.

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