Several volume measurement application are now enabled by LiDAR software

LiDAR solutions for volume measurement

3D LiDAR solutions offer a solution for industries where traditional volume measurement methods are outdated by offering more accurate data

Jan 30, 2023
Anne-Sophie Dubois

In today's fast-paced market, companies must maximize efficiency to stay ahead. One important way to reach this goal is to measure and keep track of raw materials accurately from planning to delivery.

Accurate volume measurement is a key part of this process because it makes it possible to keep track of inventory and measure material stockpiles.

In fields like agriculture, forestry, construction, and mining, where current technologies don’t allow the precision that customers would like to achieve and have high costs, 3D LiDAR solutions can offer an answer.

By giving more accurate measurements at different stages like planning, production, and delivery, operations in these industries can make data-driven decisions, save costs, and be more efficient.

Traditional volume measurement

Traditional manual volume measurement methods, such as visual estimation, walking wheel instruments, and bucket / truckload counting, are outdated and inefficient. They are also expensive and often inaccurate.

Monitoring large inventories security is a challenging task with the traditional methods

Accurate volume measurement demands a complete scan of the material surface, considering surface level variations. Other technologies, such as cameras or single-point lasers, cannot gather three-dimensional details of the entire surface, demanding more complex and costly installations.

Ultrasound sensors, on the other hand, suffer from issues like signal absorption, noise and reflection, limited range, and high energy needs, resulting in faulty data and expensive installations.

A new era for volume measurement

With the right software, 3D LiDAR solutions can solve these problems by scanning the surface of the target material thoroughly, creating an accurate 3D point cloud image, and using the spatial data of the surface to calculate the volume of the target material in real time.

Precise 3D point cloud map of a recycling plant created with LiDAR solutions

Moreover, LiDAR's ability to work in low light and darkness gives customers peace of mind that their operations and storage can be monitored continuously and instantly, around the clock. This sets LiDAR apart from other optical reconstruction methods that need ambient light.

By using a precise volume-measuring system as part of your inventory management, you can improve the accuracy of your inventory, improve delivery confirmation, make sure shipments arrive on time, and reduce the risk of stock shortages and overstocking.

Hardware and software can detect volume intelligently on a variety of surfaces and materials in the same recycling plant.

In the next section, we will cover some use cases solved with Outsight’s Augmented LiDAR Software.

Examples of volume measurement applications using LiDAR

Warehouse inventory volume calculation

In this case, a client of Outsight was having trouble monitoring the inventory of a huge warehouse and preventing product theft. The warehouse was storing several heaps of rice bags.

Due to their basic design, the existing sensors previously deployed were incapable of providing comprehensive, real-time data for effective level monitoring and inventory management.

Example of one of client's visited warehouses

Therefore, Outsight Augmented LiDAR Software was chosen to calculate the volume of the inventory, the number of bags in each heap, and identify people moving around the warehouse.

To make sure the solution had the right number, position, and types of LiDARs, Outsight’s Simulation tool was used to evaluate how performant the solution would be.

Simulation output example

The next video shows the 3D point cloud of the warehouse with the inventory inside it, generated with Outsight’s LiDAR technology and software.

LiDAR software' volume measurement feature allows this visualization

Finally, an alarm would be triggered if an abnormal and unexpected volume change occurred, and a video would be provided for alarm verification. The next image shows a screenshot of the solution interface.

Warehouse operators are notified if there is an unexpected change in the inventory volume

Segmenting and measuring truck load volume

Paper mills and manufacturers worldwide face challenges in confirming the accuracy of their fiber material purchases.  This is due to the limitations of weight control, which may not be sufficient to ensure the correct volume and water density of the material.

For these clients, accurate volume measurement is crucial for verifying the purchase price and ensuring that internal processes, which depend on the water content of the material, run smoothly.

Truck arrives with fiber material load

To address this challenge, a leading research firm in the pulp and paper industry selected Outsight's Augmented LiDAR Software for a new 3D system solution.

The system consisted of two LiDARs connected to a gantry and Outsight's software, which combined the LiDAR data to provide information on the truck's load, including its starting and ending points, height, width, and volume.

Gantry with LiDARs positioned on both sides allowed accurate measurement

This technology allows for rapid and automated measurement of the volume of large quantities of fiber material delivered by truck, providing the necessary information to guarantee that the lot is correct.

Outsight's volume measurement solution illustrated

Outsight's software plays a crucial role in solving the problem of accurately measuring the volume of moving objects. Its unique ability to fuse point clouds from two LiDARs and create 3D models allows for precise volume calculation.

The accompanying application enables users to easily extract actionable insights from the generated data, providing complete autonomy for the segmentation of a vehicle's load and volume calculation for multiple trucks.

Finally, the 3D system achieves high accuracy despite using only two LiDARs, making it a reliable and efficient solution.

SLAM algorithm is used to generate a super-resolution scan


In the end, 3D LiDAR technology, when paired with the right software, is the most advanced and effective way to solve problems with measuring volume and make things run more smoothly.

Together, the hardware and software for LiDAR make up powerful solutions that businesses can use to improve their operations and logistics, gain a competitive edge, and grow over time.

Truck 3D model

To discover more about LiDAR software, download our whitepaper or contact a product specialist.

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