Safe Gluing and Opening

With the UGB ultrasonic sensor for splice monitoring

A solution from Pepperl+Fuchs

Fig. 1: UGB transmitter above the packaging paper
Fig. 1: UGB transmitter above the packaging paper

Vacuum packages are frequently used to store coffee. To increase the customers’ benefit, the outer package of vacuum-packed coffee has a tear strip. The tear strip is glued onto the back of the printed paper by the coffee producer. This process must be monitored to ensure that all papers have a tear strip.

Task
Depending on the coffee type, the color, thickness and texture of the packaging paper types may vary. The tear strip may be of different colors as well. Until now, sensors that were used to monitor splices had to be adjusted extensively after each paper change. In addition, the reliability of the monitoring process was unsatisfactory.

Fig. 2: UGB transmitter below the packaging paper
Fig. 2: UGB transmitter below the packaging paper

The Solution
The UGB ultrasonic splice detection sensor from Pepperl Fuchs is the solution! This ultrasonic sensor ignores the paper color and texture. With the electrical TEACH-IN input, it is easy to adjust to new paper types and, monitoring 100 packages per minute, the sensor enables very short processing times. Here, the packaging paper passes over a 30 mm hole in the sheet metal. The ultrasonic transmitter sends its signals to the ultrasonic receiver through the hole and accurately detects the paper.

Benefit
he UGB ultrasonic sensor features high reliability, few adjustments during paper changes and low processing times. The MH-UDB1 assembly aid eliminates installation errors and ensures safe splice monitoring.

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

Large field-of-view gauging on paper rolls

Cognex enables Norske Skog to meet significant control challenges by changing from manual to automated inspection with the aid of a system designed by ControlVision.cognex-norskeskog_inspection

Prior to the development of the system, excessive eccentricity was causing vibration and web breaks on customer’s printing presses, and operators were manually measuring paper rolls, looking for ones that were off center. This process was both unreliable and time-consuming.

VisionProTM software was implemented to perform image calibration, pattern-matching, and edge-finding.

These functions ensure that the paper rolls are balanced and centered properly. Norske Skog was able to have this dependable and timely system installed without any customized software.

For more information on application solutions, Contact Tri-Phase Automation.

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

Reliable Detection of Gapless Consecutive Boxes Moving on Accumulating Conveyors

Challenge

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.

Benefits

– 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.