Packaging material, end of roll detection

A lot of packaging machines use packaging material on rolls. The moment the rolls is empty it has to be replaced. Replacing the roll when complete empty will stop the machine for a while and a smooth change over is not more possible. Replacing the roll to early would mean that too much packaging material stays on the roll which is wasted.

The line-sensor AT20 array sensor from SICK projects a line of light on the roll with packaging material. An optimum alignment related to the coil assures a maximum accuracy. The sensor detects the edges from the coil and the foil and sets the analogue output in relation to the edge of the foil. A switching output is set when the distance from the foil to is below a certain value.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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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.
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Edge detection/guidance from the packaging material

Edge Detection and positioning in web guide applications

Flow pack machines and wrapping machines use packaging material on film rolls. The film has to be guided in the correct position into the packaging machine. When the film is too far to the left or right the packaging is of bad quality and the packaging design could be destroyed which leads to wasted products.

The AT20 Line Array Sensors  form SICK are the only line array sensors available that have diffuse mode, making them ideal for harsh environments where dirt and dust can interfere with retro-reflective sensors. These sensors are designed for edge detection/positioning in web guide applications.

Benefit
Reduces downtime. The array sensor offered in diffuse mode, making it ideal for environments where dirt and dust can interfere with other types of solutions that require a reflector.

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

CHEP Increases The Availability For Pallet Transport With The Reflex Array Sensor

Damaged pallets have to be detected before they are sent back out into the world again. A reflex array sensor reliably detects all kinds of pallets and reduces the investment of sensors in comparison to a small light grid.

Things are extremely busy at CHEP´s Belgian site in Bornem, with dozens of trucks arriving and leaving every hour, bringing in stacks of blue pallets and picking them up again. Pallets which are sorted, inspected and repaired on site, so that they can be sent back out into the world again. But the quality of all these pallets isn´t the same. How do you detect damaged pallets?

100 mm. Such a light array can detect a pallet perfectly, even if (for example) one block of the pallet is missing. Due to the continuous automatic adjustment of the switching threshold the sensor still works perfectly after 4 months operations in that harsh, dusty environment. Fast and easy in commissioning The two reflex array sensors were installed very easy. Only one sensor, only one power supply connection and only one reflector. The red light array – thanks to the PinPoint LED – is visible very well on the reflector. Furthermore the alignment of the reflex array sensor is supported by an optical alignment. Extension of reliability with the active contamination compensation The reliability of an optical detecting system is reduced due to dust depending on the operating time. The continuous adjustment of the switching threshold keeps a constant distance between the signal and the threshold over a certain time period. This new active contamination compensation increases the availability of the reflex array sensor significantly. That means the cleaning intervals for the optical surfaces will be extended and finally the effort will be reduced.

This is an application story from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Checking for presence of pharmaceutical labels on cardboard boxes

Detect color-coded pharmaceutical labels

Each day, manufacturers of rinsing solutions for dialysis systems, infusions, saline solutions and sugar solutions label and pack around 11,000 cardboard boxes. Since these solutions are critical to medical efforts, it is imperative that these products be correctly identified.

Application Solution
During the packaging and labeling process, color-coded labels rapidly detect and differentiate between the various products. All cardboard boxes must be correctly labeled when they leave the packaging line so that dialysis stations, ambulances and hospitals can rely on the labels.

To ensure proper identification, SICK CS3 Color Sensors are used. These sensors are able to reliably differentiate between more than a dozen different colors and shades on the labels. A further advantage of the CS3 is its ease of teaching-in the labels to be detected directly on-site at the machine. The CS3 can reliably detect the presence or absence of a label and whether it is the correct color.

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

Indicate the correct cutting position on the film roll without any need for traditional marks

Indicate the correct cutting position on the film roll without any need for traditional marks.

Automatic rotary roll-fed hot glue labellers for applying complete wrap-around roll-fed paper or plastic labels on glass, plastic and metal containers need a system that indicates the correct cutting position of the film.

The SICK Markless sensor ML20 is a revolutionary solution for roll-fed labelers. Using innovative technology the Markless sensor is able to indicate label cutting positions without using traditional marks with the highest accuracy even at dazzling label speeds of 60.000 containers/hour. The Markless sensor scans continuous the design of the label and finds the exact point where the cutting will begin. Changing label design requires just a simple teaching of the new label design. After the teaching process the Markless sensor will feedback if the teach was successful. The only thing that rest is to push your start button of the machine to start labeling.

Benefit
Improved appearance and more space for information on the label.

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

Position control of solar fields in harsh environments

Solar fields are automatically adapted to the sun’s position in a large solar park by means of SICK encoders. Inductive proximity sensors from SICK also prevent the moving mechanism from overrunning in the end positions.

The EAR Group is a significant provider of ready-to-use photovoltaic systems in Italy. One of the plants that the company built on 30,000 m² in Cerbera, Italy, consists of 93 solar fields, with 33 solar panels each. Inverters convert the direct current generated on-site into alternating current. The overall performance of the plant is 700 kWp. The fields were designed so that they automatically follow the sun. This results in substantially greater energy efficiency than with rigid fields. The movement is controlled by so-called trackers, in each of which two precision drives work: one aligns the solar field to the vertical position of the sun, and the other adapts the field according to the horizontal movement of the sun. Monitoring these two movements requires a solution that works reliably even under harsh environmental conditions. In addition, the trackers should be able to align the solar fields so that they can receive the maximum sunlight in both summer and winter.

Application Solution
The EAR Group found the ideal solution for the detection of the angular change of the solar fields in the DFS60 incremental encoders with through hollow shaft. The sensor has a very high resolution, enabling precise adjustment of the solar fields. The very compact, integration-friendly design and the robustness in outdoor applications were also convincing. Features such as the metal code disk, the double shaft bearing, the housing’s high enclosure rating, and the water-resistant cable outlet make the sensor a solution that guarantees maximum availability in any weather and at temperatures between −20°C and +100°C.

Benefit
More efficiency by adapting the solar fields

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

Packaging of tablets in the pharmaceutical industry with KT5-2 contrast sensor

Packaging of tablets in the pharmaceutical industry with a contrast sensor

Challenge
Tablets are to be packed individually in a printed foil. During this fully automated process, the printing is always to be positioned at a defined position for an exact cut. A high switching frequency and a high contrast resolution are necessary for this operation. For design reasons, only high-gloss foil is used.

Application Solution
To solve the problem, additional marks have been printed on the film. These marks are reliably detected by a SICK KT5 series contrast sensor at very high speeds. The high speed response time and the sensor’s focused uniform light spot allow high speed and precise detection of the printed marks. By using 3-color emitted light (red, green, blue) the printed marks are detected even where there is poor contrast between printed marks and background colors. High-gloss films are no problem for the sensor due to the automatic gloss adjustment.

Benefit
The KT5 Contrast Sensor helps to reliably and flexibly automate processes and to increase efficiency. The device is easy to use due to the display for visual detection, e.g. detection certainty.

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

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.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Detection of LCD polarizing plate

LCD industry:

Polarizing plate pasting machine in the process of supplying LCD Polarizing plate, we would like to detect the last one plate to supply the following polarizing plates without stopping machine.

Challenge
Robot arm is working for supplying polarizing plates, so the space around plates can’t be used for setting sensors. Since it’s minor change of existing machine, we don’t want major change of design.

Solution Fiber Sensor
We punch a hole in the base. We set sensors to be OFF when there are more than two plates by setting threshold. On the other hand, when there is last one plate, it’s ON and outputs. Therefore, we can know time for supply.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Panasonic/Sunx products in Wisconsin. Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote