Industrial RFID F61 Reading Head for a Track Switch Reading Point in Conveyor Systems

Decentralized control of intelligent container with integrated RFID transponder

A solution from Pepperl+Fuchs

Modular track switch detects the topology via a connection to the IDENTControl interface
Modular track switch detects the topology via a connection to the IDENTControl interface

In conveyor and production systems, work steps and conveyor routes are often centrally controlled. The F61 RFID reading head from Pepperl+Fuchs forms the basis for the track switch reading point that helps you optimize your processes. Logistics processes, like congested conveyor belt sections, can continue without disruptions.

The F61 reading head even allows the decentralized control of intelligent containers with integrated, writeable RFID transponders directly at the scene. The transponders in the containers integrate all the required information, which is present throughout the entire conveyor process.

The “Internet of things” principle should be transferred to warehouse, conveyor, and production systems. All goods are accompanied by a transponder that carries information on the origin, quality assurance, and other processes and transport destinations. Write operations can be used to update this data at any time. A decision is made to select the next process step and the best conveyor route. A large antenna fitted to the track switches and work stations makes the transponder position noncritical. As a result, time-critical adjustments in combination with a central database are rendered superfluous, and data communication to the higher level is reduced. Due to the modular structure of the conveyor modules and automatic topology detection, the conveyor route operates almost fully automatically and transports goods to their destination.

Featuring an extremely slim design, the F61 reading head is ideal for integrating in machines or installing in locations with limited space.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Pepperl+Fuchs in Wisconsin.

Thermoforming Equipment with Electric Linear Actuator

A Packaging Solution from Exlar.

Powerful Roller Screw Actuators Replace Hydraulics.

exlar-foam-container-appCUSTOMER
Commodore Technology

 

APPLICATION
The customer’s thermoforming equipment was using two opposing vertical hydraulic cylinders that came together to compress polystyrene sheets into foam trays at a high rate of speed. These trays are commonly found in grocery stores mainly in the meat department for meat and fish, fast food containers, restaurant take out containers, etc.

CUSTOMER CHALLENGE
The customer wanted a “green” solution that eliminated the undesirable traits of hydraulics – such as mess from hydraulic fluid leaks, constant maintenance, etc. They were also seeking a higher production rate and improved product consistency.

SOLUTION
The Exlar proposal consisted of an Exlar®FT35-0410 with high capacity screw, 2:1 parallel mount, oil ports with site gauge and a Schneider servo motor / drive.

RESULTS
The Exlar actuation solution nearly doubled the production rate from 20 cpm to 37 cpm.  It also provides significantly better consistency of the finished product

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Exlar in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get a Quote

Vision Tools Speed Development of IMB Postal Barcode Verifier

fastechnology-in-sight-postal-us_10-webThe new Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) has all but replaced the old POSTNET and PLANET barcodes used in United States Postal Service (USPS) automation.  FASTechnology Group created FASTverify Postal Verification System is the first system that not only verifies the readability and critical metrics of the barcode but also verifies that it is the right barcode. They chose to integrate the Cognex In-Sight 5613 because it provides powerful tools for IMB verification and automation control connectivity that greatly reduced development time.

The new Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) has all but replaced the old POSTNET and PLANET barcodes used in United States Postal Service (USPS) automation.  FASTechnology Group, already the leading developer and supplier of high-speed selective binding and mailing controllers used to address large mailings, anticipated the need for an inspection system that would validate the quality and conformity of IMBs to help mailers avoid potential additional charges.

FASTech used the Cognex In-Sight® 5613 because it provides powerful tools for IMB verification and automation control connectivity that greatly reduced development time.  Mark Breunig, VP Product Development for FASTech. “Cognex offers a full set of built-in IMB verification tools that make it possible to program the vision system to verify IMB compliance with just a few simple commands. Cognex connectivity tools make it easier to integrate Cognex vision systems into existing automation control systems.”

We were able to develop the application in a remarkably short period of time,” Breunig concluded. “The cameras and software that we have used in the past to develop vision applications could have done this job but it would have been more difficult and taken considerably more time. Cognex vision tools helped us quickly bring a product to market that is the first in the IMB verification space to offer a number of important capabilities. Our system is the first to provide the ability to not only verify that the IMB is produced to specifications but also to verify that the right code has been printed on the mailer. The FASTverify Postal Verification System is also one of the first systems with one button calibration and the capability to inspect every single piece of mail produced by today’s high-speed selective binding and co-mailing systems with full image archival capability”

Read the full customer success story
Vision Tools Speed Development of IMB Postal Barcode Verifier

Reading codes on beer kegs using DataMan readers from Cognex

Cognex DataMan barcode readers help ensure fill quantities match stated weight.

cognex-reading-codes-on-beer-kegs-using-datman-barcoder-readersTo ensure the fill quantity matches the stated weight, the Warsteiner brewery, located in Germany, weighs their kegs before and after the filling process. Traceability of the kegs during the production process is currently provided by a combination of label printing, precision weighing and barcode reading.  The labels (and the Data Matrix codes) are subject to beer foaming over the keg and the cleaning water from the barrel washer unit, which make them even more difficult to read. There are often highly reflective water droplets on the code when the full keg is weighed, which would be a challenge for most barcode readers.

DataMan® barcode readers from Cognex are used to read the challenging barcodes that are affixed to the kegs Cognex DataMan 302X barcode readers for the challenging 2-D Data Matrix codes, which are robust enough to read the reflective codes on labels which are soaking wet and wrinkled.

The two weighing stations with Cognex barcode were a complete success for Warsteiner, saving them time and money. Because the reading station recognizes 100 percent of the  Data Matrix codes applied to the kegs, manual re-weighing becomes unnecessary. The DataMan 302X is one of the main factors in the success of this solution. It was designed to cope with the most demanding applications with hard-to-read codes on clocked or high-speed lines. The 2DMax algorithm gives it a crucial advantage over competitive products. In addition, the liquid lens autofocus gives the DataMan maximum flexibility in obtaining the desired depth of field. Additionally, the controllable and field replaceable red lighting allows the DataMan to be configured to provide the best possible lighting for any application. This unique design enables the DataMan 302X to achieve the highest read rates, even under the most difficult conditions.

Read the full story:

Reading codes on beer kegs using DataMan barcode readers from Cognex

DSC Series Speed Controllers

DSC Speed Controllers allow for precise and repeatable flow!

Application solution by CKD

CKD DSC Series Speed ControllersChallenge
Large part misalignment  caused by out of sync pneumatic cylinders when transferring part between conveyor lines.

Solution:
By using the DSC series speed controllers, the customer was able to synchronized the actuation of the cylinders

Benefit:
Quick, repeatable set-up greatly reduces time spent matching pneumatic cylinder speed.

SANIMotor – IP69k Rated Stainless Steel Gearmotors

sanimotorBison Gear’s innovative SANIMotor™ line of stainless steel gearmotors were designed to meet the IP69K extreme washdown rating established by the European IEC for equipment exposed to temperature extremes, constantly wet environments, and the use of harsh cleaning agents.

To ensure long, trouble free life, all electrical components are encapsulated in thermally conductive epoxy resin, allowing use in up to 40°C (104°F) ambient temperatures. The encapsulation optimizes heat conductivity within the motor, allowing TENV construction. The encapsulated assembly is enclosed within a 304 stainless steel tube and investment castings front and back. Output shaft sealing is done with a two part rotor-stator style seal, providing three sealing surfaces. Electrical termination is done with a stainless steel, modular, multi-pin power connector that is IP69K rated. The three-phase 230 volt inverter duty SANIMotor™ gearmotors employ Bison’s Verdant Duty™ design for increased energy efficiency and are available in two frame sizes (88.4 and 127mm dia.). Each frame size is mated to 7 standard gearing packages offering fixed output speeds from 345 RPM to 8 RPM and rated torques ranging from 7 to 500 in-lb (0.8 to 56.5 N-m).

Benefit:
SANIMotor™ is ideally suited for food, chemical, and pharmaceutical processing applications as well as foodservice equipment, packaging machinery, factory automation, conveying, car wash, and a wide variety of demanding applications where gearmotors are exposed to harsh environments and/or frequent washdowns.

Automated High-Speed Pallet Storage and Data Capture

Here is a solution from Cognex for warehouses.

automated-high-speed-pallet-storage-and-data-captureImage-based barcode readers from Cognex replace laser scanners in EDEKA distribution centers

EDEKA is investing strongly in new distribution centers. The facility in Berbersdorf opened in 2015 and has worked very successfully thanks in part to the high level of automation. To ensure smooth operations, EDEKA decided to replace their laser scanners with image-based barcode readers from Cognex.

In April 2015, after 2 years of construction, EDEKA’s most modern distribution center located in Berbersdorf opened its doors. Around 125 million Euros were invested in the new 50,000 square meter building, situated on premises of more than 200,000 square meters. Almost 380,000 pallets, containers, thermotainers and receptacles are handled there per day, utilizing 60% of total capacity.

This new distribution center combines the 2 Hof and Borna warehouse locations and was designed for high efficiency. The racks are 20 meters high with over 1 million cubic meters of enclosed space available. It is also capable of handling up to 400 trucks at the incoming and outgoing goods portals each day.

Unloading goods

No sooner does a truck arrive at the ramp than the portal opens and unloading begins. Classic industrial trucks are used in the receiving area for dry goods. The pallets are transported by forklift out of the truck to the delivery points, also known as “pick passes”. There are a total of 6 pick passes in the dry goods area alone. Around 60 truckloads each averaging 30 pallets need to be processed here every day. Unloading a truck takes an hour on average, which means there are about 2 minutes available to move each pallet from the truck into the warehouse.

Quick and reliable capture of article data

Given the volume of goods received and shipped each day, it is absolutely vital to read and verify the manufacturer labels automatically to ensure the logistics operation run smoothly. Cognex DataMan image-based barcode readers read 1-D and 2-D codes extremely quickly and are able to validate the read result immediately. For this reason, more and more distribution centers are moving away from laser-based devices with complex line scan technology to image-based systems. Cognex DataMan barcode readers facilitate system integration because, thanks to the easy-to-use system interface and simple Java scripting, they can be integrated into the Witron control technology and warehouse management system seamlessly, providing direct connection to the material flow computer.

After entry of the pallet weight and dimensions, it is vital to read and validate the labels containing GS1 codes. GS1 is an organization that issues article numbers, to which the EAN International and Uniform Code Council (EAN-UCC) also belongs. Every pick pass in the dry goods warehouse is equipped with 4 DataMan 363 fixed-mount barcode readers – 2 on each side of each pick pass, totaling 64 readers running on a two-shift system every day. The 2 readers per side jointly cover a very large field of view, allowing them to locate and read the codes no matter the position or orientation of the pallet. Once the photo eyes have detected the pallet and activated the Cognex barcode readers, the readers identify the labels and acquire the data, even if the conditions are unfavorable.  As soon as a label has been read, the DataMan software verifies that the data contained within the code complies with GS1 data formatting rules. If a label is either unreadable or the data does not comply with the GS1 rules, the pallet is rejected and an image of the label is exported via TCP/IP to an FTP network location. For EDEKA, this data has become critical for supplier education on barcode quality and data conformity. It is improving process quality and performance, already upstream in EDEKA’s supply chain with a true approach for Logistics 4.0.

Image-based code readers replace laser scanners

It is possible for labels to become damaged during transport or unloading from the truck. Using patented software with Hotbars image analysis technology, Cognex readers decode even the most compromised 1-D barcodes greater than 0.8 pixels per module and achieve a read rate of up to 99.99%. This represents an 8% increase in read rates compared to the previous laser-based system thanks to Cognex readers’ ability to reliably read damaged, distorted, blurred, scratched and low-contrast codes and codes with a low height. Not only were laser scanners unable to read these challenging codes, they also did not offer performance feedback available with image-based systems.

In addition, the DataMan 363 readers are able to read materials covered by reflective, glossy film. This has greatly improved warehouse productivity since if codes cannot be read, the belt stops and the operator in the receiving area at EDEKA has to enter the manufacturer data manually. 

Strong benefits for logistics

Image-based readers, like the Cognex DataMan 363, are faster and more flexible than laser scanners. Using high depth of field and a large field of view, they are able to read several codes simultaneously, regardless of the orientation of the imprint or label. Unlike laser-based systems that have moving parts that can wear out or fail, DataMan image-based barcode readers have a robust, solid-state design. That means less wear and, therefore, less maintenance. DataMan 363 barcode readers are also easier to set up and install. The integrated and controllable lighting and the liquid lens with adjustable focus enable optimum setup in order to achieve the best-possible read rates.

An intelligent auto-tuning function automatically selects the ideal settings for the integrated lighting, autofocus and imager for every application. This tuning process instantly ensures that the reader is set up to attain the highest read rates possible for 1-D and 2-D codes. 

Watch the video:

http://www.cognex.com/videos/en/dataman-readers-at-edeka/

Read More:
Image-Based Barcode Readers from Cognex Replace Laser Scanners in Distribution Centers

ID Readers Enable Part Traceability of Direct Part Mark Products

cognex-id-reader-enables-part-tracebility-of-direct-part-mark-productWhen Canadian energy services company Packers Plus needed to read challenging dot peened codes on a variety of parts, they specified Cognex® DataMan® handheld ID readers. The company’s StackFRAC® system consists of many parts, each marked with a unique 2D Data Matrix code that enables traceability throughout its useful life.

Traceability delivers two important benefits for Packers Plus. First, it reduces rework costs by providing better manufacturing process control and ensuring that the right parts are used at every stage of production. Second, it enables Packers Plus to quickly retrieve information on 100% of the parts in every system that has been shipped out their door, including production history and quality control information.

In the past, Packers Plus manually recorded information such as lot numbers, heat numbers, quality control measurements and other information in a spreadsheet. “This was a very time-consuming manual process that took approximately four hours for each product, so we only did it when necessary,” said Marlon Leggott, Director of Manufacturing for Packers Plus. “Another problem with the manual process is that it is susceptible to mistakes, such as data entry errors.”

Selecting marking and reading tools

Packers Plus considered a number of different options for improving traceability when it installed its new ERP system. Kurtis Weber of iTech Tool Technology helped Packers Plus design the traceability solution. “We looked at labels with standard line bar codes but determined they would have to come off during assembly, which would negate many of the advantages of serialization,” Weber said. “RFID tags don’t work well with various metal parts because of interference with reading and writing the tags. Laser marking overcomes all of these problems but laser marking machines begin at $50,000 and have to be enclosed — which causes problems when used to mark large pieces — and cannot easily be moved from place to place. We recommended a dot peen marking system because it is permanent, does not rely on fragile RF transmissions, costs only about $10,000 per machine, and is available in fixed or mobile models. The mobility allows us to easily move around the plant and successfully mark any size part in a variety of orientations.” With dot peen marking, a carbide or diamond-tipped stylus pneumatically or electromechanically strikes the material surface.

Packers Plus then faced the difficult challenge of reading the marked parts. The challenge arises from the fact that Packers Plus makes parts with curved surfaces and many different materials and coating combinations. Nearly any reader can be adjusted to provide perfect accuracy on a particular combination but Packers Plus wanted a reader that could deliver high levels of accuracy on any part. “We recommended Cognex DataMan handheld readers because they adjust the lighting to match the part and use the industry’s most  advanced algorithm  for picking out the 2D Data Matrix code from the background,” Weber said. “This is the only product I have seen that is capable of accurately reading the wide range of parts used by Packers Plus.” 

Read More:

ID Readers Enable Part Traceability for Direct Part Marked Products

Bottling, Filling and Conveying – Kollmorgen’s Motion Solutions for Food & Beverage Manufacturers

Here are bottling, filling and conveying solutions from Kollmorgen.

Get a Quote from Tri-Phase Automation, a high tech automation distributor in Wisconsin.

Bottling Filling and Conveyingsmac-liquid-dosing

Whatever you’re producing – juices, milk, beer, wine, soda or maybe an entirely new beverage category – the packaging can be as important as the product. Your packaging processes can make the difference in terms of controlling volume, eliminating waste, maximizing throughput and ensuring quality. Even more, better packaging can strengthen your brand reputation, improve your competitive position on the shelf and increase consumer satisfaction – driving higher sales and profitability.

Uncork Innovation and Performance.

To compete effectively today, beverage manufacturers are looking to wow customers with new products in innovative containers. At the same time, they’re looking to maximize profitability by increasing bottling line uptime and throughput. They can’t afford sluggish performance or wasted product during changeovers – let alone the “Monday Morning Shock” of a machine that won’t run after an extensive cleaning performed over the weekend. Kollmorgen removes the barriers to full performance and true innovation.

Mechanical Systems Are Stuck in the Past. Look to the Future.

With servo control of each axis, your machine can deliver far greater uptime and throughput, along with the configuration flexibility to enable innovative package designs, fine-tuned portion control, pushbutton changeovers and more. There’s no backlash and slop from transmission components, and no limitation on your ability to program motion optimally for each independent process – from beverage preparation to filling, capping, cleaning and labeling.

Clean It Faster. Make It Last Longer.

Kollmorgen’s food grade, washdown-ready motors and gearheads make it easy to clean the machine and keep it productive over an extended lifetime with minimal maintenance. With a smooth cylindrical design and sealing systems that allow us to double the industry’s standard warranty period, our stainless steel servo motors and AquaTRUE™ planetary gearheads last longer and reduce your cleaning time by as much as 85 percent.