SCOTTISH waste management and recycling company, Levenseat Renewable Energy, now has real-time access to material inventory figures after implementing a LiDAR-based solution for inventory tracking.
One of Levenseat’s waste treatment and energy generation facilities for municipal waste covers nearly 3,000 square meters, and the materials delivered for sorting are constantly in motion. As a result, the previously employed methods, primarily visual estimation upon delivery and counting of incoming trucks, were inadequate for accurately determining inventory levels.
The lack of inventory information is said to have resulted in inefficient processes and made operations vulnerable to disruptions. For example, when material accumulated too much in the storage facility due to process delays, such as outages, safety risks increased. The larger volume of waste also heightened the risk of fires, pushed storage capacity to its limits, and necessitated the diversion of trucks to other locations, negatively impacting logistical efficiency.
Conversely, at times underutilisation of storage space resulted in missed opportunities. Available processing resources were not fully utilised, leading to lower production levels than could have been achieved.
The solution was inventory tracking. The business opted for a volume monitoring solution from Munich-based LiDAR manufacturer Blickfeld, installed by Quvo, Blickfeld’s exclusive partner for the waste and recycling industry in the UK and Northern Ireland.
LiDAR sensors emit several hundred thousand laser pulses per second across a large field of view, systematically scanning the surroundings. From this, 3D surface images are created, and a perception software accurately calculates the volume.
Despite the enormous dimensions of the facility, only four Blickfeld LiDAR sensors, model ‘Cube 1’, mounted on the ceiling are sufficient to collect the data.
Thanks to the inventory tracking, Levenseat has reportedly increased efficiency in the storage area and logistics processes.
There are already plans for further implementations of LiDAR technology, with Levenseat working on equipping a second location, with more to follow.