Top 5 Applications for Inductive Sensors on Packaging Machines
Simple Sensors Deliver Productivity Boost
Inductive sensors are one of the most dependable and versatile components being integrated into automated packaging processes. These simple sensors have held their own for many years among advanced technologies and are beneficial for both OEMs and end users. SICK has highlighted five Packaging applications for Inductive Sensors.
Five places where inductive sensors can positively impact productivity
- Position detection on a mechanical moving part
Inserting items into packages or cartons using metal flags fitted on conveyor chains is a fairly simple process. However, exact positioning is necessary to ensure accurate alignment of the product and its target. The packager risks wasted product, empty containers, line jams, and other problems due to wear and interference factors when mechanical limit switches are used. Instead, inductive sensors ensure more dependable alignment and follow through functions which results in less waste and fewer system interruptions, even at rapid line speeds.
- Gear tooth detection for motion monitoring
Results which are reliable and repeatable are also important when monitoring the position of chain guides or flexors, which drives other components of conveyor system. Often, simple detection sensors do not factor for variations such as the location of the product on the conveyor, resulting in a late or even missed switching point. With ASIC chip technology, a packager can be assured that inductive sensor’s high repeatability alleviates these variations, producing more consistent and synchronized detection.
- Valve position control during processing
In dairy production, as well as other high-hygienic processes, valves are used to switch system feeds from ingredients to cleaning solutions, then back when sanitation process is finished. Timing is essential for this operation, as is confirmation that the valve is in its correct position. Relying on a mechanical limit switch for such a critical function is concerning. Due the wear and accumulation of substances on the components could easily result in limited or no movement of the valve. As a result of inductive sensors being more resistant to these issues, operators have better piece of mind of long-term, consistent valve operation.
- Foil seal detection inside plastic caps
A photelectric sensor can usually answer the question if the cap’s foil seal there or not by looking inside the cap. However, photelectric sensors may result in false reading due to the greater range of foil seal materials now being used. This is not an issue with inductive sensor because they simply look for the presence of metal. Also, since the cap is basically transparent to the inductive sensor, there is no need to have the cap oriented to match the position of the sensor as it passes by.
- Can position detection on a beverage line
Metal detection capabilities of inductive sensor with ASIC technology is also important on packaging lines for canned products and beverages. Photoelectric sensors may not respond properly to color change and reflections. With the ASIC programmed range, machine builders can incorporate a consistent space between the sensor and its target preventing potential damage.
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