A fundamental task in the design process of a complex system that requires 3D visual perception is the choice of suitable 3D range sensors. Identifying the utility of 3D range sensors in an industrial application solely based on an evaluation of their distance accuracy and the noise level may lead to an inappropriate selection. To assess the actual effect on the performance of the system as a whole requires a more involved analysis. In this paper, we examine the problem of selecting a set of 3D range sensors when designing autonomous systems for specific industrial applications in a holistic manner. As an instance of this problem we present a case study with an experimental evaluation of the utility of four 3D range sensors for object pose estimation in the process of automation of unloading containers.