CHEP Increases The Availability For Pallet Transport With The Reflex Array Sensor

Damaged pallets have to be detected before they are sent back out into the world again. A reflex array sensor reliably detects all kinds of pallets and reduces the investment of sensors in comparison to a small light grid.

Things are extremely busy at CHEP´s Belgian site in Bornem, with dozens of trucks arriving and leaving every hour, bringing in stacks of blue pallets and picking them up again. Pallets which are sorted, inspected and repaired on site, so that they can be sent back out into the world again. But the quality of all these pallets isn´t the same. How do you detect damaged pallets?

100 mm. Such a light array can detect a pallet perfectly, even if (for example) one block of the pallet is missing. Due to the continuous automatic adjustment of the switching threshold the sensor still works perfectly after 4 months operations in that harsh, dusty environment. Fast and easy in commissioning The two reflex array sensors were installed very easy. Only one sensor, only one power supply connection and only one reflector. The red light array – thanks to the PinPoint LED – is visible very well on the reflector. Furthermore the alignment of the reflex array sensor is supported by an optical alignment. Extension of reliability with the active contamination compensation The reliability of an optical detecting system is reduced due to dust depending on the operating time. The continuous adjustment of the switching threshold keeps a constant distance between the signal and the threshold over a certain time period. This new active contamination compensation increases the availability of the reflex array sensor significantly. That means the cleaning intervals for the optical surfaces will be extended and finally the effort will be reduced.

This is an application story from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Checking for presence of pharmaceutical labels on cardboard boxes

Detect color-coded pharmaceutical labels

Each day, manufacturers of rinsing solutions for dialysis systems, infusions, saline solutions and sugar solutions label and pack around 11,000 cardboard boxes. Since these solutions are critical to medical efforts, it is imperative that these products be correctly identified.

Application Solution
During the packaging and labeling process, color-coded labels rapidly detect and differentiate between the various products. All cardboard boxes must be correctly labeled when they leave the packaging line so that dialysis stations, ambulances and hospitals can rely on the labels.

To ensure proper identification, SICK CS3 Color Sensors are used. These sensors are able to reliably differentiate between more than a dozen different colors and shades on the labels. A further advantage of the CS3 is its ease of teaching-in the labels to be detected directly on-site at the machine. The CS3 can reliably detect the presence or absence of a label and whether it is the correct color.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Checking the handle position on food crates using IVC-2D

The position of the handle relative to the outer edge of the crate is measured. It is then determined whether the handle is in the correct position.

Challenge
Foodstuff logistics companies often use uniform containers. These containers are equipped with moving handles for transportation and stacking purposes. The handles must be left in a certain position so the containers can automatically be stacked several meters high. If the handles are in different positions, the stacks may fall over and large quantities of valuable foodstuffs become unusable.

Application Solution
The containers pass through an inspection station equipped with an IVC-2D Smart Camera before they reach the stacking and sorting area. The position of the handles is measured relative to the outer contours of the container; it is then determined if the handles are correctly positioned. A special light source, in conjunction with an optical fiber, ensures the results are consistent even when ambient lighting conditions vary. The correct selection of the lighting also ensures that the process is rarely confused by content on the container that may appear similar to a handle.

In this application, the IVC-2D Smart Camera reliably detects container handles, even with external light sources are present. Due to the short duration of the analysis, the cycle time is not impaired. The logistics company has since had no complaints about damage due to crates falling.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Cascading Mini Twin Safety Light Curtains Provide Safe Packaging Operation

Protection from a manual loading station in a cartoning machine by cascading 3 miniature safety light curtains in U-shape.

The French company ARIES PACKAGING develops and builds full automated solutions for handling of products as well as solutions for secondary and tertiary packaging.  Aries developed a cartoning machine with ergonomics as top priority, i.e., easy access for the machine operators. To guarantee the packaging quality the packages are transported by a gear belt with a cadence of 30 cartons/mm and with a transverse speed of 2 m/s. Taking into account the risk of injuring hands caused by the pusher of the belt, it was essential to integrate a protection system with high resolution to ensure the total safety of the operators.

Application Solution
Miniature safety light curtain in U-shape cascading provides ergonomic and safe operation.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Solar wafer alignment and damage detection

Solar wafer alignment and damage detection

An easy vision solution that solves both detailed inspection and precise positioning applications.

Challenge
Wafer positioning and breakage detection are critical applications in the solar cell production process. To reduce cost and compete with traditional energy sources, the solar industry continually increases production speed and reduces wafer thickness. Vision systems are critical components in the high-speed production of brittle wafers. Wafer breakage can happen at any stage along the production process. Defects should be detected early. Wafer fragments on the production line often cause the subsequent breakage of good wafers.

Application Solution
The Inspector is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package. No programming is needed, just some parameter setting of predefined tasks. No vision expertise is required to setup the system. The Inspector also includes a calibration feature that corrects lens and perspective distortion. It transforms the pixel coordinates into ready-to-use metric values. Calibration greatly simplifies commissioning and perspective correction allows greater flexibility in the camera placement. Having corrected image to work with the Inspector elegantly solves the application. A special version of the Inspector has been developed for the solar cell industry. There are special algorithms for the solar cell environment providing unmatched positioning accuracy and chip size detection in its category. The Inspector comes with comprehensive functions for production control, including image viewing, recording and off-line support. The Ethernet interface provides easy integration with the tool controls.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Simplified safety mechanisms on a packing machine

The “V300 Extended” camera safety system monitors guard doors while securing assembly cell areas at the same time from “reaching over” and, together with a photoelectric sensor, can provide exit only protection on a wrap around tray packaging machine.

Challenge
A wrap around tray packing machine takes 6 or 12 drink cartons and puts them onto tray cutouts. The machine folds up the sides of each cutout and glues it to make a tray, which now provides a secure base to transport the goods. Several guard doors have to be monitored so that the machine stops if a person reaches in. The output of the machine also represents an access point to dangerous movements. One particular requirement is to safeguard the machine with electro-sensitive protective equipment which is quick and easy to install and which reacts within a specified time to an operator inserting their hand.

Application Solution
This requirement can be quickly and easily met with a “V300 Extended” camera safety system and a photoelectric sensor. This is electro-sensitive protective equipment based on image processing technology. The sensor sender and receiver are integrated in a single housing, as are the additional reset and EDM functions (Electronic Device Monitoring) to check the protection provided). To monitor the nine guard doors, the “V300 Extended” is installed in the upper right hand corner and the reflective tape is fitted to the fencing and also over the door frames. Taking account of the machine stop time, this means that the cell height can be reduced by more than half. The consequences of this include easier access, reduced safety costs, simple installation and maintenance as well as higher productivity.

Benefit
During the initial installation, or for realignment of the “V300 Extended”, there is no need at all for the time-consuming alignment of sender and receiver which would otherwise be necessary. The camera safety system is also well protected by being installed in a corner. With just a single device, several guard doors can be secured at the same time.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Sick Solution Helps Traceability and Safety Demands for SHL’s Auto-injector Assembly Machine

Tracking and tracing material numbers using a 2D code reader, preventing damages and injuries via safety light curtains and safety locking devices and controlling quality in limited mounting space with compact and precise sensors in an auto-injector assembly machine.

Challenge
The SHL Group is the world’s largest privately-owned designer, developer and manufacturer of advanced drug delivery devices, including pen-injectors, auto-injectors and inhaler systems. It consists of three distinct group companies: SHL Medical, SHL Healthcare and SHL Technologies. Limited mounting space, traceability and safety requirements have led SHL to look for a supplier able to provide a solution for these challenges. Usually SHL uses fiber optic sensors in assembly-testing machines. However, due to a specific request of one of its customers to use compact sensors instead of fiber optic sensors, SHL identified SICK as a supplier able to provide a compact sensor that fits its applications. One requirement was a sensor with a precise light spot able to detect a transparent glass syringe tube. Additionally, a miniature 2D code reader was needed to trace material numbers. Lastly, to prevent damage to its machines and prevent an operator getting injured, SHL required a safety light curtain and safety locking devices for doors.

Application
For traceability, SHL identified, in close cooperation with SICK, the image-based code reader (ICR803) as an ideal solution for handling the tracing requirement. The code reader perfectly fits into the limited space SHL has available for mounting. To fulfill the requirement of having compact optic sensors that were precise and easy to align, SHL relied upon SICK’s proximity sensor with PinPoint technology (WTB4 PinPoint) with a clear, visible red light spot and SICK’s laser proximity sensor (WT9L) with a very precise light spot able to detect small parts inside the syringes. Additionally, both SICK sensors provided a perfect price-performance ratio. The safety light curtain (C2000) and the safety locking device (i10 Lock) from SICK provided machine and operator safety. SICK‘s ability to provide various solutions and sensor expertise has met the customers’ needs as a partner for total sensor solutions.

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Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Sensors in Singulation with Odd Surfaces

Intellifeed, a manufacturer of high-speed automation equipment, has a machine that singulates small packages for the food and beverage industry, so they can be inserted into another package.

Singulation, the process of separating and aligning side-by-side or overlapping products on a conveyor, allows items such as cereal box giveaways and juice packets to be correctly packaged. Since all products are different (shiny, clear, flat, colored) and are moving at high speeds, a solution is needed that will reliably detect the distance between products on a conveyor. The machine, which separates product before it reaches a case packer or pick-and-place robot, is inadequate without an effective sensing solution.

For this application, the SICK W18 Photoelectric Sensor with foreground suppression was used. The foreground mode allows the sensor to be taught one of the rollers as the background. To sense foil pouches, irregularly shaped objects and any other hard-to-detect objects, an output is given when the background is changed.

The OES3 technology is simple to setup and has the ability to suppress reflections from the machine (machine is all SS). Plus, it complies with IP69K for wash down applications.

Reliably Recording Different Containers on Trays in Automated Small Part Stock

Miniature photoelectric sensors from SICK provide information about presence and position for electronically controlled tray management in an automated small part stock.

Challenge
AM-Automation GmbH in Offenau, Germany, founded in 1986, specializes in project planning, electrical, software and mechanical engineering, production and service for automated high-bay and small part stock technology. The company has developed an automated small part stock, in which a transponder-controlled tray management system enables efficient use of space both in the warehouse and on the tray itself. The controller requires information from photoelectric sensors to identify how many containers are positioned on a tray. When the requirements were analyzed, it was established that the sensors would need a compact size and increased ranges. Another important requirement is that the sensors must guarantee a high degree of detection reliability even if there are reflective, light diffusing and depolarizing surfaces at near range. SICK was able to offer a high performance and economic sensor solution for this.

Application Solution
The wide range of miniature photoelectric sensors includes one sensor with particular optical properties (WL100 Bright Light) that has proved to be the ideal solution. Thanks to their small size and suitable fixtures, the devices can be integrated into the automated small part stock’s storage rises, perfectly aligned and minimizing on space. The moment that a tray moves into one of the sections, the photoelectric sensors successively identify the containers on the tray. The critical effect of plastic surfaces that depolarize the sensor light (and can therefore disrupt the sensor in close range detection) is suppressed by the WL100 Bright Light. At the same time as the containers are detected, the tray’s transponders and the transponders of the containers on the tray are identified electronically and used, together with the signals from the miniature photoelectric sensors, for the REID-assisted tray management. The reliability of the photoelectric sensor signals guarantees a high degree of process reliability and availability when operating the automated small part stock.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Reduce Downtimes with door protection on a sealing, cutting and labeling unit in the meat processing

Machines and equipment in the meat processing industry are subject to special requirements

The door to a sealing, cutting and labeling unit for meat products must be protected. Machines and equipment in the meat processing industry are subject to special requirements such as cold and mandatory cleaning cycles with caustic media.

These requirements can be met with the Sick i16S safety switch combined with flexible actuators. When the protective device is deliberately opened, the NC contacts on the safety switch are opened and the dangerous machine movement is stopped.

The robust construction of the switch keeps down times to a minimum.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote