Clear Film Detection

How can I detect a web of clear film without using a reflector?

Divergent (wide-beam) diffuse mode photoelectric sensors are well equipped to detect transparent objects, such as clear films, bottles, glass, and packaging. This eliminates the requirement of a reflector or thru-beam. However, as a rule of thumb, the sensing distance is reduced by about 50% of the sensor’s specified maximum distance due to inefficiencies of the transparent object. This usually translates to sensing ranges of 25-50 mm (1-2 inches). Examples of sensor families that can be used in this case are the KT9 and KT11 series.

This is a application solution from PepperL+Fuchs. Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Pepperl + Fuchs in Wisconsin.
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Controlling print marks

With the KTS and KTX contrast sensors from SICK, you can control your packaging processes quickly and precisely. Thanks to TwinEye-Technology®, the KTS and KTX detect high-gloss materials and complex contrasts, even on heavily fluttering materials. The integrated color mode also enables reliable detection of even the most minor contrast differences and color features. Furthermore, the sensing range tolerance has been extended to ±5 mm for stable detection even in the most unstable material transportation systems.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Monitoring paper transport on a sheet-fed printing press with DKS40

Monitoring paper transport on a sheet-fed printing press

On a sheet printing machine, paper is transported through several colour towers, at high speed. In many cases, the printing material range is only 0.04 mm. The rollers transporting the paper must run in absolute synchronization, otherwise the sheets may be misprinted. The rotation of the rollers must therefore be monitored, and the number of roller rotations per minute must be communicated to the controller. The device used for monitoring must withstand heavy vibrations.

The SICK DKS40 incremental encoder was selected. One of the main reasons was the favorable price, compared with other products in the same quality class. With numbers of lines from 1 to 2048, the DKS40 determines the speed of the rollers and sends the data to the controller. Thus, if the rotation value of a roller differs, this will be corrected by the controller. The encoder housing consists of solid die-cast zinc and with an outer diameter of 50 mm, it is extremely compact, thus saving valuable mounting space. Its core contains the highly successful mini disk technology, making the DKS40 with its IP 64 protection rating supremely robust in respect of shock and vibrations.

Low price, high reliability through robustness and proven technology make it easy for the customer to choose this encoder, which is also used for rotation monitoring and positioning in many other market areas.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Protection of the handling area of gantry cranes

An S3000 protects the handling area on gantry cranes between printing presses and a printing cylinder store.

Challenge
In a large printing works, the approx. 6 m deep handling area for a gantry crane must be protected. The area is also crossed by people. An existing, high maintenance sensor solution, that often requires adjustment and can only be reactivated manually after interruption of the protective field, is to be replaced with a more cost-effective, automatically re-starting, low maintenance system.

Application Solution
The SICK S3000 safety laser scanner is setting a new technological standard and provides a high level of security of investment. Improved performance data and integrated functions provide the user with more benefits. Less mounting and wiring effort, less space required, and in comparison to the past, minimized maintenance effort on the safety system are considered to be significant advantages by this user.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Reading of barcodes on paper coils

Reels of paper are transported to various printing presses in a printing works. As the paper thickness and color varies from reel to reel, it must be clearly identified which reel needs to be taken to which machine. The barcode to identify the reel can be at any position on the front of the reel. Comparable requirements exist in paper mills.

Application Solution
Two SICK CLV490 barcode readers are used; these devices are arranged with their scan lines at 90° to each other. The scan lines move over the front face of the reel of paper due to the movement of the reel. With the maximum read distance for the scanners of up to 2100 mm at a modulus width of 0.5 mm and the autofocus function, the coils can be clearly identified and the controller for the conveyor line receives the necessary information to be able to guide the reels to the correct printing press.

Benefit
Using the CLV490 with autofocus, it is also possible to reliably read imprecisely positioned codes at varying read distances. As a result the fully automatic transport of the reels of paper can be undertaken rapidly and reliably.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Detecting the end of a roll of labels

Challenge
Rolls of labels in the packaging industry are sometimes marked in color before the end of the roll is reached. A sensor is to detect this color marking and trigger a signal so that the roll can be changed immediately to save time. The rolls run at very high velocities and the marking is not always applied in the same place or in the same color, as the label format changes frequently.

Application Solution
This task is performed by the SICK CVS1 Easy Color Vision Sensor. With its wide light spot, this sensor reliably detects the color marking, even at a large scanning range, and triggers the signal. The device has up to 8 memories for colors such that on a roll change to different label formats, it is only necessary to teach the colors once at the start using teach-in. The CVS is therefore ideal for quick label changes.

Benefit
The large light spot and the scanning range ensure the signal is triggered reliably. As a result, time is saved due to the quick label change, less machine downtime and as a result money is saved.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Protection of a punching machine

One safety light curtain protects an automatic punching machine and at the same time increases the machine performance by approx. 30 % in PSDI mode.

On a punching machine for labels, brochures, credit cards, children’s books and savings books, protection must be provided against people reaching into the running machine with its sharp knives and punching pressures of 5.7 metric tons. This protection is to be designed such that the operation of the machine is not hindered.

Application Solution
The punching machine is equipped with a C4000 Standard safety light curtain with a protective field height of 300 mm and 14 mm resolution. The signals from the light curtain are evaluated in the UE402 switching amplifier.

Benefit
Using the C4000 electro-sensitive light curtain, safety according to type 4 is achieved together with significant production advantages. The direct access to the machine when it is not in operation saves a considerable amount of time and shortens the machine’s cycle time. It was possible to increase the machine’s productivity by up to 30%; depending on the item punched.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Protection field switching with DME5000 laser distance measurement system

Protection field switching of rail-guided transport trolley for rolls of paper independent of position and direction using laser distance measurement system.

For a rail-mounted truck that travels in two directions, a precise and robust system was sought for switching between and activating the protective fields of two safety laser scanners mounted on the truck.

Two DME5000 laser distance measurement systems mounted on the truck are used. When the truck is moving, the two sensors continuously measure (redundantly in the related direction) the time taken by the light pulses emitted to travel to the end of the track and back. From this information the electronics determine the position of the truck and provide this information to the truck’s PLC over Profibus. The data are processed in the PLC and the related binary signals generated. These signals are used for protective field switching on the laser scanners.

The proximity switches originally used for the protective field switching did not last long, as the switching lugs for the proximity switches were bonded to the floor and were frequently damaged by the fork lift trucks in the building. The DME5000 PLS solution has proven to be extremely reliable in comparison. Furthermore, the measurement accuracy is extraordinarily high at /- 2 mm with a reproducibility of 0.5 mm. A current measured value is output every millisecond – it is hardly possible to measure distances more precisely in such applications.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Counting of newspapers in a printing press output

Newspapers and magazines produced in printing works must be counted as they travel on fast moving conveyors.

Challenge
Newspapers and magazines produced in printing works must be counted as they travel on fast moving conveyors. Here the printed products are transported in an offset, i.e. overlapped arrangement. Currently mechanical switches are used for this task, however there are subject to wear and require maintenance. It is also not possible to exclude incorrect counting or the failure to count.

For counting newspapers and magazines in the printing press, the offset stack counter DMH is used in many cases, predominantly with a scanning range of 110 mm. The height profile acquired by the sensor is evaluated based on the step reductions in height caused by the layers of newspapers. Here the step changes in height can leave the measurement field in the direction away from the sensor (mode 1) and in the direction toward the sensor (mode 3). At the point when a step change in height from one newspaper to the next, a so-called offset stack, is detected, the offset stack counter DMH outputs the corresponding count pulse. Newspapers and magazines of varying thickness can be correctly counted after one-off adjustment.

Using this non-contact system, the maintenance required on mechanical switches due to wear is avoided. The error rates when counting are also significantly reduced. Even height fluctuations on the conveyor or interrupted flows of offset stacks do not affect the measured result.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Label counting and print verification

Flawless label detection at 100 parts per second

Reconcile Engineering was faced with certain challenges from customers in the CD/DVD manufacturing sector and in the pharmaceutical sector. Challenge number 1 involved verifying that the right language is present on the printed packaging for CDs.

The second challenge involved the counting of complex pharmaceutical labels. The only solution for both applications was a vision sensor from Cognex whose intelligent part-finding sensor beat the competition hands down. According to Des Farrelly, Managing Director of Reconcile Engineering; “It would have been impossible to solve this label counting application without Cognex’s part-finding sensor.  With a successful counting rate of 100 labels a minute, we intend to include it as an option on our label counting machine from now on.”

Application Solution
Reconcile investigated the options available for this kind of inspection and tested it alongside competing systems and it was the only one to perform successfully. The part finding sensor proved very powerful in determining the text patterns printed on the CD boxes and as a result it was retrofitted onto the printing line by engineers from Reconcile. The installation was complete within 2 hours and even in this short time a mix-up successfully detected and rectified.

Benefit
The system was quickly installed and is now fully operational counting labels at a rate of 100 per second. The customer is fully satisfied – not only is it easy to use and very stable, but the counting speed is unprecedented.

Recommended Product:  Cognex In-Sight 2000

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor in Wisconsin. We offer machine vision evaluations and technical support to help our customers solve their applications.