Differentiation of different color labels

Scanning color difference on labels.

After labeling, ice-cream boxes are packed in batches. During this process it must be ensured only the same type is placed on a pallet. The labels are all the same size and can only be differentiated by color.

It was possible to meet the requirement using the SICK CVS1 Easy color vision sensor. This sensor has a wide light spot and a large scanning distance. It reliably detects any color difference on the labels and triggers the ejection of any incorrect colors. With its 8 memory banks for colors that only need to be taught once using teach-in, a quick batch color change is no problem.

Because the sensor is mounted in a place where it is difficult to see, an external control unit with a dedicated color display and keyboard are used.

Quick batch changes are possible by teaching up to 8 colors. It was possible to reduce to a minimum the complaints due to incorrectly labeled product, reducing costs and improving the image of the ice-cream manufacturer.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Verification of date code presence on the packaging

Avoid unplanned production stops by verifying all dates after printing.

The “best before” or “use by” date are dates that have to be on all food products. The absence, bad quality dates lead to production of packages that are wasted if detected before shipping or result in consumer complaints when they reach point of sales. Moreover this can lead to a danger of consumer health. The Inspector is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Synchronization of cycle on a bag forming, filling and sealing machine with CS8 color sensor

SICK Color Sensor synchronizes the packaging process on a bag forming, filling and sealing machine using only one color element in the printed image.  As a result print marks are not necessary.

A crisps manufacturer had the special requirement that he did not want any print marks and the related read strips on the rear of the crisps bag for appearance reasons.

This task can be performed by the CS8-1 Color Sensor from SICK. A color element in the packaging design was taught once using teach-in. Using a small, precise light spot the device moves over all colors on the film and always switches when it detects the color taught. As a result a print mark is not necessary, it is possible to switch using an element in the printed image. The machine is controlled in this manner and cuts reliably at the correct point.

The crisps manufacturer was able to optimize the design of the crisps bag thanks to the CS8 color sensor, that is the manufacturer was able to avoid print marks and read lines. The sensor is easy to operate, works at high speed (up to 6 kHz), has a robust metal housing and is flexible during installation thanks to its exchangeable optics.

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

Level measurement and control of automatic grain filling in silos

Ultrasonic sensors measure the level in silos and control automatic filling with grain.

As part of a project to automate the filling of the silos with grain, a solution was sought with which the grain in the lorries arriving could be evenly deposited in two storage silos. For this purpose a longitudinal conveyor on the filling system must be moved in accordance with the level in the silo and the cross conveyor also moved appropriately.

UM series ultrasonic sensors  from SICK are used. A UM30-15113 ultrasonic sensor with 4-20mA analogue output is used to measure the level of the grain. The sensor is installed on an arm on the cross conveyor and measures the distance to the surface of the grain. The measurement is performed discontinuously in the breaks between filling, as the grain causes air turbulence and dense dust clouds that could affect the measurements. The UM30-13111 ultrasonic sensors fitted to the longitudinal conveyor detect the position of the cross conveyor underneath it and enable precise adjustment. To avoid the sensors detecting the cross struts in the silo, angled reference plates were fitted to the cross conveyor. Two ultrasonic sensors are fitted on each side of the conveyor – one at an angle of 90° and one at an angle of around 120° aligned with the angled reference plate. Only when both sensors switch simultaneously have they detected the cross strut. All output signals are processed in a PLC outside the silo and used to control the automatic grain filling process.

The use of ultrasonic sensors, and the resulting ability to automate the silo filling process, provides advantages for the personnel and the process. The operator no longer has the arduous task of monitoring the filling as in the past, with its related dust, heat, stuffy air, perhaps even with breathing equipment. Furthermore, the grain is stored optimally for drying thanks to the even distribution over the entire area of the silo.

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

Identification of different goods and barcodes with random alignment and print quality

Omni-portal scanners OPS at a large Spanish retail chain enable a range of goods and barcodes of random alignment and print quality to be automatically identified.

Goods from thousands of different suppliers arrive at the distribution center daily. To enable these to be stored in the warehouse and subsequently delivered to several thousand shops, the goods must be reliably identified in goods receipt. Varying conveyor system widths and object sizes, high conveyor velocities, the use of different types of barcodes as well as poor quality codes place high requirements on the automatic identification.

This problem was solved with series 18xx omni-portal scanners OPS. With 18 read heads per portal, these are the most complex system that SICK has ever built anywhere in the world. Different size objects are reliably identified irrespective of the alignment. The software for the OPS was further developed such that all aspects in relation to code type, code length, code identifier etc. can be taken into account. In this way, along with the code qualities A and B that the system acquires as standard, “poorer” codes of quality C, D and F can also be read. Signals and data are output over RS-422 and Profibus DP interfaces. During the Solution of the project, changes and additions from the customer were quickly and easily incorporated by adding individual scanners using Plug & Play. Any code readers that have failed can be rapidly replaced without the need for re-configuration and without affecting the overall function of the system.

In operation the OPS ensure a high level of reliability during identification – and thus the overall function of the distribution center.

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

End position detection for short-stroke cylinders with MZ2Q magnetic cylinder sensor

Using the MZ2Q cylinder sensor, both end positions on short-stroke cylinders are detected in forming machines for confectionery.

A business that, among other items, manufactures forming machines for solid and filled chocolate products, as well as sweet casting machines, was looking for a compact sensor with two adjustable switching points in one housing for the numerous short-stroke cylinders installed in the machines. By detecting the start and end of the stroke movements on the pneumatic cylinders, it is intended to achieve improved process reliability and availability.

This task was realized using the MZ2Q magnetic cylinder sensor from SICK. The device has two adjustable switching points and, at the same time, is so compact that it can be fitted and fastened in all common T and C housing grooves with drop-in mounting. The miniature design was made possible by the separation of the sensor element and electronics. The evaluation electronics for the MZ2Q as well as the teach element for teaching in the switching points are integrated into a remote control unit in the connection cable, separate from the sensor element. As a result it is also easy to adjust and fine-tune the switching points even when installed.

In terms of the design, the application and economic aspects, the MZ2Q is the optimal solution for the detection of two switching points. Recent example calculations in which the MZ2Q is used as an alternative to two separate magnetic proximity sensors, each with only one switching point, produced cost savings of up to 30 %. The key issue here is the reduction by more than half in time required for the mounting and adjustment of the MZ2Q. Qualitative aspects also have an impact, e.g. usage of only one groove, less cabling on the cylinder and in the machine, and improved access to the sensor when the cylinder is already installed.

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

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.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

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.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

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.

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