OD Precision measures bend of finished solar cells

Task
After metallization of the solar cells, they are “baked” in a firing furnace to conserve the properties achieved in the production process. In this process the solar cells bend significantly. The layer of aluminum on the back of the cell and the silicon have a different thermal expansion coefficient. This means that the cell bends significantly during the production process when it is heated to approximately 700 °C in the firing process. It is therefore cooled down to approx. – 70 °C to make it flat again. The exposure time to both temperatures is critical to control the planarity of the cell.

It is important that the finished cell is planar, because it is pressed against flat glass during the lamination process. The process bend is therefore typically checked after the cells have been in the firing furnace, where the bend of the finished cell is greatest.

Implementation
OD Precision sensors (displacement) are used to measure the bend of finished solar cells immediately after the “baking” in the firing furnace where bend is greatest.

Product recommendations
OD Precision: OD5-30T05, together with amplifier unit: AOD5-P/N1, quantities: 3 sensor heads and 1 amplifier unit.

Reliable measuring of bend early on in the process reduces the breakage rate in later processes, especially when the cells are pressed against a flat glass in the following lamination process. This ensures higher quality to the customer, as tension in the cells on the finished module is avoided, which reduces on-site breakage of cells.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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CM30 Capacitive Sensors

Detection of bottle tops and protection bottles

Once beverage bottles are filled on a bottling line, they are packed into multi-packs with the aid of heat shrink film. All bottles must be checked to ensure they have tops and that each pack contains the correct number of bottles.

Four CM30 Capacitive Sensors are used side by side on each packaging line and are installed at right angles to the direction in which the packs are transported. As soon as the package of shrink-wrapped bottles moves through the sensor gate, each CM30 capacitive sensor detects the bottles and confirms that each has a top by identifying changes in capacitance values. Any reject can be detected and removed. However, if the capacitance of the CM30 changes as per the values set, the pack is accepted and can be placed on a pallet.

CM30 Capacitive Sensors feature an industry-proven, standardized housing design and connection system. The sensitivity and the switching distance can be adjusted directly on the sensors. In addition, the plastic housing has an IP 67 enclosure rating to ensure cleaning work on the machine will not affect the sensor, even over the long term.

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

To protect a handling machine against moisture, a C2000 Safety Light Grid with an IP67enclosure rating has been installed.

At a French Camembert factory, employees often work near hazardous areas such as stack collectors. Since hands and fingers are most susceptible to injury, a reliable safety solution that doesn’t interfere with the production process is required. At an ambient temperature of 77° F, the safety system has an atmospheric humidity of up to 85 percent. The machine must be washed off once or twice a day using alkaline or acidic cleaning agents. Cold water (41 to 50° F) at a pressure of 40 psi is also used for rinsing and cleaning.

The compact design and PMMA acrylic tube housing of the SICK C2000 Safety Light Grid is ideal for use in this harsh environment. The protective housing was designed without trap points for dirt or contamination. A pressure equalization membrane integrated into one of the end caps prevents the penetration of moisture and ensures condensation does not form on the window. The cable entry is provided using proven PG cable glands.

The resistance of the materials used for the IP 67 housing series and the cable was positively assessed in material compatibility tests performed by Ecolab (Henkel) for the cleaning products P 3 (P3-topax 56, P3-topax 66, P3-topax 91, P3-topactive 200, P3-topactive DES). The low pressure foam method (COP cleaning and disinfection) for the food processing industry is recommended.

The C2000 Safety Light Grid is an electro-sensitive protective equipment of Type 2 in accordance with IEC 61496. The parallel light beams generate a flat protective field in front of the dangerous area. Any Unauthorized or inadvertent movement within the running machine by an employee results in the interruption of one or more light beams. The evaluation electronics for the C2000 detect this situation within a few milliseconds and immediately generate a shutdown signal for the stack collector.

Using the C2000 Safety Light Grid in an IP 67 housing ensures reliable protection despite harsh ambient conditions. The machine protection meets not only the requirements in relation to hygiene, resistance to cleaning, availability, and safety, but also the requirements in relation to ergonomics and productivity, as the stack collector is always accessible when shutdown.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Differentiation of different color labels

Scanning color difference on labels.

After labeling, ice-cream boxes are packed in batches. During this process it must be ensured only the same type is placed on a pallet. The labels are all the same size and can only be differentiated by color.

It was possible to meet the requirement using the SICK CVS1 Easy color vision sensor. This sensor has a wide light spot and a large scanning distance. It reliably detects any color difference on the labels and triggers the ejection of any incorrect colors. With its 8 memory banks for colors that only need to be taught once using teach-in, a quick batch color change is no problem.

Because the sensor is mounted in a place where it is difficult to see, an external control unit with a dedicated color display and keyboard are used.

Quick batch changes are possible by teaching up to 8 colors. It was possible to reduce to a minimum the complaints due to incorrectly labeled product, reducing costs and improving the image of the ice-cream manufacturer.

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

The Revolutionary Sensor for Aseptic Environments

Accurate, repeatable and reliable non-contact detection of vials in aseptic environments – SICK’s stainless steel sensors enable this.

XTREMA F2000 is the latest innovation in aseptic filling from IMA LIFE.

State-of-the-art constructive details coupled with consolidated and worldwide re-known filling technology make of the NEW XTREMA Series the latest technological breakthrough in aseptic filling. Designed with a modern modular concept, XTREMA gives the possibility to actively manage the production process by tailoring the different machine phases to the actual production needs. XTREMA F2000 is an in-line filling and stoppering machine with continuous motion positive in-line transport system. The machine is suitable for filling liquid solutions into cylindrical vials and for insertion of rubber stoppers. It can handle all vial sizes in the range from 0.25 to 100 ml. To make this masterpiece work, design engineers of IMA LIFE were looking for an accurate, repeatable and reliable non-contact detection of the vials. Additionally, the solution needed to be robust, easy to use and resistant to any chemical agent used for disinfection (vaporized hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, etc.)

SICK provided IMA their competence and experience in developing optical sensors of the highest performance and reliability. IMA is guarantying to his customers:

  • robustness, to increase machine efficiency
  • ease to use and parameterisation, to reduce changeover time
  • accuracy of detection

To maintain high quality standards SICK photoelectric sensors of the series W4S, made out of stainless steel V4A/316L with a scratch resistant front screen resistant to any chemical agent used for disinfection (vaporized hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, etc.), was the perfect sensor for IMA LIFE. The W4S sensors combine the best optical technology from SICK by using a “PinPoint” sender LED, the bright and linear light spot across complete detection range guaranties state-of-the-art detection, accuracy, performance very similar to those of a laser. On top of this is the sensor IO-Link ready giving the possibility to change and store sensor parameters in the controls of the machine supporting 21 CFR part 11.

Advantage:

  • Improve productivity
  • Reduce changeover time
  • Maintain high quality standards
  • Robust, easy to use and resistant to any chemical agent

The W4 stainless steel series assures robustness, to increase machine efficiency, using a stainless steel housing and scratch resistant front screen. It is easy to use and to parameterize. So changeover time could be reduced by the use of teach-in or IO-Link. The accuracy of detection maintains high quality standards. PinPoint technology enables this.

This is an application story from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Vertical protection for an automatic pallet lift

Challenge
A pallet lift that connects several floors in a production building is to be protected against unauthorized or unintentional access during operation. At the same time, it should be possible to insert or remove pallets from the lift without triggering the safety device. There was very little mounting space available on the lift.

Application Solution
The automatic pallet lift is protected using the S3000, the only safety laser scanner approved for vertical protection at the time of installation. The device was installed at a height of around 3 m directly on the frame of the pallet lift. The floor is used as the reference contour. Two protective fields, one behind the other, monitor the lift opening and detect the direction of travel. When a pallet is loaded, the S3000 safety laser scanner detects the pallet based on the geometry taught; the pallet is transported into the lift. A person will not have the same rectangular dimensions as a loaded pallet and is reliably detected because the geometry is different to the geometry known to the scanner. If a pallet is to be moved out of the “paternoster”, the protective field is switched so that a movement in this now reversed direction is allowed.

The pallet lift is reliably protected using the safety laser scanner, without hindering the flow of material. The evaluation of the object contour makes it possible to reliably differentiate between man and material. Also with the vertical protection, not just a protective field, programmed only once, is monitored, its reference contours are also checked continuously. If the device adjustment changes in operation, this contour will change and the S3000 safety laser scanner stops the machine.

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

Verifying security feature on package

Improve package security by verifying all cartons in-line and reduce complaints of point of sales

For security reasons, e.g. anti-counterfeiting, a carton is (pre) printed with an invisible security marking. Before the carton is leaving the packaging machine it has to make sure that the invisible marking is present and is containing the correct information. Otherwise the carton can not be verified as authentic in a later stage in the production, logistics or point of sales.

Luminescence sensors detect marks that are only visible under UV light. This is due to fluorescent substances contained in the mark, which convert the UV light into visible light. The reflected light beam is received by the luminescence sensor and evaluated.

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

Verification of presence of pills in blister packs

Avoid unplanned production stops by verifying all pills after filling

Missing pills in a blister pack is an indication of bad quality, and is critical and crucial for pharmaceutical products. Incorrect number of pills or incorrect size of pills may lead to danger to consumer health, and will in every case lead to consumer complaints.

The Inspector is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package. No matter what blister pack that comes down the line, the Inspector is up to the challenge. Without programming, but parameterization of predefined tasks, the Inspector is made easy. You don’t need to be a vision expert to setup the system.

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

Verification of date code presence on the packaging

Avoid unplanned production stops by verifying all dates after printing.

The “best before” or “use by” date are dates that have to be on all food products. The absence, bad quality dates lead to production of packages that are wasted if detected before shipping or result in consumer complaints when they reach point of sales. Moreover this can lead to a danger of consumer health. The Inspector is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package.

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

Synchronization of cycle on a bag forming, filling and sealing machine with CS8 color sensor

SICK Color Sensor synchronizes the packaging process on a bag forming, filling and sealing machine using only one color element in the printed image.  As a result print marks are not necessary.

A crisps manufacturer had the special requirement that he did not want any print marks and the related read strips on the rear of the crisps bag for appearance reasons.

This task can be performed by the CS8-1 Color Sensor from SICK. A color element in the packaging design was taught once using teach-in. Using a small, precise light spot the device moves over all colors on the film and always switches when it detects the color taught. As a result a print mark is not necessary, it is possible to switch using an element in the printed image. The machine is controlled in this manner and cuts reliably at the correct point.

The crisps manufacturer was able to optimize the design of the crisps bag thanks to the CS8 color sensor, that is the manufacturer was able to avoid print marks and read lines. The sensor is easy to operate, works at high speed (up to 6 kHz), has a robust metal housing and is flexible during installation thanks to its exchangeable optics.

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