Inspecting Candy-Roll Orientation With Cognex Vision Systems

Cognex vision has been implemented in a system to maximize the speed and automation of processing PEZ candy blister packs. Randomly placed candy rolls are deposited onto a conveyor belt. As these rolls move past, an In-Sight® vision system determines whether or not they are facing the appropriate direction by viewing the orientation of the print on the roll. If in fact, the roll is incorrectly placed, it is then redirected to a turning station. Here, the roll is pivoted to face the correct direction and then sent back onto the conveyor belt to be inspected again. This production line upgrade that Cognex has been a part of has since enabled PEZ to increase blister-packing speeds to a rate of 16-18 per minute.


Bottle Rejecting, Diverting, and Multi-Lane Sorting

SMAC electric actuators can reject or divert a single container only, at line speeds over 1200 containers/minute. Movement of container is smooth, fast, and gentle with unique Soft-Land™ feature. Container will not tip over because of force and velocity control. First the actuator must slowly make contact and start the bottle moving then do the high speed push after 10mm or so of movement. Total out and back is 50ms, 1200/min.

Multi-Lane Rejection and Sorting Systems

SMAC is capable of sorting and rejecting containers into different lanes. For example: Lane #1 is used for bottles with missing caps, Lane #2 is used for unlabeled bottles. The sorting capabilities of SMAC can be individually programmed and tailored to your application.

Multi-Lane Rejection and Sorting Systems on a Conveyor line
Multi-Lane Rejection and Sorting Systems


Reliable Detection of Gapless Consecutive Boxes Moving on Accumulating Conveyors


sensor_tgw_2_medTGW is one of the world’s leading system providers of highly dynamic, automated and integrated materials handling solutions for warehousing, production, order picking and distribution. Together with its American subsidiary, the TGW headquarters in Wels, Austria, has developed a control engineering solution which enables direct handling of carton boxes. The solution comprises a pneumatic accumulation roller conveyor with low dynamic pressure and a corresponding logic module – the CRUZ-Control unit – which enables the user to remove boxes from the conveyor either individually or in a chain. In order to detect the boxes, TGW was looking for a sensor solution which could be integrated into the conveyor segment without taking up much space, required no setting work and could be connected directly to the logic module. By working closely with SICK, they were able to find a suitable solution.

Application Solution

Together with SICK developers, TGW created a miniature photoelectric sensor (Z sensor) for detecting the cartons that fulfilled all of the company’s requirements. Due to its miniature design, the sensor can be optimally installed in defined slots in the roller conveyor segments. The lack of complicated setting options, the minimal need for additional functions and the direct connection to the logic modules, make commissioning much easier, and the sensor much more economically attractive. In operation, the integrated ASIC technology guarantees high detection performance, due to features such as the reliable background suppression and safeguarding against the influence of neighboring sensors. The specific requirements demanded a special design that enabled the optics to turn steplessly in different directions, in a similar way to the human eye.


  • Close cooperation during project definition and development leads to optimum realization of the customer’s wishes
  • Miniature and special designs allow space-saving detection solutions to match specific applications
  • Focus on basic functions and direct connection to logic modules reduce procurement and commissioning costs.

The sensors from SICK play an important role in enhancing the performance of the TGW accumulation roller conveyors, as their miniature and special designs enable space-saving detection solutions to match specific applications. Their economical advantages are also impressive: by concentrating on the basic, essential sensor functions and the direct connection to the logic modules, SICK has reduced TGW’s procurement and commissioning costs. The close cooperation between TGW and SICK was also key to the successful solution of the task. Josef Reischl, Product Manager for Conveyor Systems at TGW Mechanics GmbH, confirmed this: “SICK offers an all-round package, from the quality of the products to the scope of services provided, e.g. for new products developed for a special customer or application.” The joint project definition and development meant that the full extent of the customer’s wishes could be fulfilled.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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