Sensor solutions for the packaging industry
Attractive design is a key factor for successful end products. And the sky's the limit when it comes to creativity. Products and product packaging change continuously in the automated packaging industry. The machines and used components are expected to process the variations in products and their packaging without problem. The packaging systems sector is not a homogeneous industry, but rather an important process in segments such as beverages, foodstuffs, pharmaceutics and other consumer goods. Expectations with regard to hygiene, robustness and speed are extremely high in the processing and packaging of the specific products. Demands with respect to safety at work are just as great or even more so. As an industry specialist, we are familiar with the challenges of the respective industries and their specific requirements and offer customized solutions.
"Our customers strive to make the production processes faster, more flexible, more stable and more transparent – all of our activities focus on this objective."
Roland Schricker, Industry Manager Packaging
Until just a few years ago, sensors had to be set up manually each time a product was changed – today, connection via IO-Link provides reproducible remote calibration and continuous monitoring. This makes our solutions ready for Industry 4.0.
We know your needs
Your goal is to maximize the performance of your system. You therefore need a competent partner who understands the operations involved in your industrial processes. Our employees have detailed application knowledge as well as many years of experience and, together with you, will find the best possible solution.
Future-proof thanks to modern technology
Modern production features predictive maintenance and remote serviceability. You want to utilize the new communication technologies in factory automation and prepare your packaging system for Industry 4.0? We offer all established technologies from IO-Link for binary-switching sensors to Ethernet-based interfaces for more complex devices.
Elimination of downtimes maximizes efficiency
The requirements are many and varied. Your packaging systems must operate with maximum stability and reliability. Our sensors are powerful and robust. The extremely high protection classes of the devices and the use of high-quality housing materials ensure a long mission time and a high level of availability, thereby reducing costs.
Areas of application and product highlights
Sensor solutions for beverage filling
In filling machines, liquids are usually filled at extremely high speeds into transparent glass and PET containers. Processes which are performed so quickly that the human eye can no longer perceive them, combined with transparent objects are a particular challenge for sensors used in filling systems. Highly sensitive clear-glass sensors with a switching frequency of up to 5 kHz are able to detect transparent containers even at extremely fast throughput speeds. Thanks to our 3C and 18B series clear-glass sensors with their integrated tracking function, system downtimes caused by increasing soiling are a thing of the past. The sensors are designed for use in wet applications. They are watertight and robustly withstand the permanent cleaning processes. The plastic and metal housings with protection classes up to IP 67 and 69K guarantee maximum availability of the system.
- Detection of PET preform / PRK 18B
- Filling level measurement / LS 55 H2O
- Presence control of bottle caps / HT 3C.XL
- Bottle detection during transport / PRK 3C, 55, 18B
- Container detection for labeling / PRK 3C.T
- Cut mark detection / KRT, CRT
- Door monitoring / MC 300, RD 800
- Precise detection of positions / PRKL 3C
- Detection of conveyor load / HTU 318, HTU 418
- Single track monitoring / IS 218
Sensor solutions for pharmaceutical packaging
The packaging process mainly involves tablets being packed in blisters and various liquids being filled into small glass and plastic bottles. Owing to the strict hygiene standards, stainless steel is often the only material allowed for the components used. Maximum safety requirements apply during the production and packaging of pharmaceutical products. To protect against falsification, code readers must guarantee 100% decoding. The DCR 200i bar code scanner reads all codes and ensures the traceability of the production and packaging process for all products. With its hygienic stainless steel housing, it is ideally suited to the demands of the pharmaceutical industry. The hygiene design stainless steel sensors of the 53 series use laser technology to reliably and quickly detect even minute vials. Many challenges involving the detection of self-adhesive labels in the labeling station can also be mastered: For example, the GSU 14D fork sensor can reliably detect virtually invisible clear-on-clear labels. In quality control, the LRT 8 luminescence sensor also reliably checks the presence of attached paper labels.
- Detection of transparent vials during infeed / LV 463
- Precise positioning of vials / PRKL 53
- Detection of vials in screw conveyor / HT3C.V
- Splice detection / VSU 12, IGSU 14D
- Cut mark detection / KRT 3B, 55, 18B
- Determination of trigger position / PRK 3C, PRK 55
- Label detection / IGSU 14D, GS 63B, GS 61
- Presence control of labels / LRT 8
- Code identification / DCR 200i
- Safeguarding of protective doors and protective covers / RD 800
Sensor solutions for meat packaging
The industrial processing of raw meat and other sensitive foodstuffs requires the highest of hygiene standards. Only regular and intense cleaning of all affected components guarantees perfectly hygienic products. The automation components used in this sector must withstand aggressive cleaning agents, high-pressure cleaning and continuous changes in temperature.
The housings of the sensors recommended below are made of resilient, food-neutral plastic or high-quality stainless steel. They are extremely robust and therefore ideal for use in the meat and food industry. The high degrees of protection IP 67 and IP 69K and the ECOLAB certification guarantee durability.
- Monitoring of product infeed / HRTR 53.S
- Detection of front edge of product / HRTL 53.C2.XL
- Safeguarding of safety doors / S 420
- Mark detection on film / KRT 3B, 55, 18B
- Measurement of roll diameter / ODS 96B
- Detection of film end / RK 18B
- Evaluation of safety signals / MSI SR, MSI 400
- Monitoring of code printing / LSIS, DCR 200i
- Container detection / PRK 46C
- Code identification / BCL 304i
Confectionery and bakery production
Sensor solutions for confectionery and bakery production
In the automated production and packaging of confectionery and baked goods, the fragile snacks are processed safely and hygienically and packed into attractive packaging. The demands on sensor systems are extremely challenging: Standard sensor systems are often not enough to reliably check irregularly shaped products or fill levels. The packaging sector places great demands on the reading performance of the sensors. Depending on the application, a huge variety of packaging materials such as high-gloss printed foils and partially or fully transparent films have to be reliably detected by one and the same sensor. The LS 25B throughbeam photoelectric sensors detect contents while or after the products are packed in printed or laminated films and foils. Contrast sensors such as the KRT 18B ensure that the packaging is cut to the correct size. Remote calibration via IO-Link or user-friendly adjustment at the device makes product changeover simple. It allows the operator to find the ideal configuration for the respective packaging material quickly and easily.
- Multiple-track object detection / LRS 36
- Product height monitoring / ODS 9
- Splice detection / VSU 12, IGSU 14D
- Web edge measurement / GS 754B
- Print mark detection / KRT 18B
- Monitoring of sealed seams / LV 463.XR
- Packaging content check / LS 25B High-Power
- Packaging content check / LCS-1
- Ejection monitoring / RK 46C VarOS, CSR
- Dimension and position monitoring / LSIS 4xx
Sensor solutions for secondary packaging
The secondary packaging protects the elaborate primary packaging – typically shrink-wrapped packages in the beverages sector and boxes for most other goods. To ensure easy transport and handling, the individual units are grouped into packages. The used sensors must guarantee safe and careful packaging as well as smooth onward transport. Retro-reflective photoelectric sensors and scanning sensors are usually used for product detection in the infeed zone. Depending on the requirements of the specific application, measuring sensors such as the ODS 9 are used for more complex tasks. Closure checks then guarantee smooth onward transport. The checking of attached bar codes using the DCR 200i ensures reliable identification during subsequent handling operations.
- Code identification on packaging / DCR 200i
- Position and presence control of cartons / HT 25C, HT 46C
- Fill level monitoring / ODS 96B, ultrasonic sensors
- Closure control of packaging / LRS 36
- Detection of glossy objects / RKR 3B gloss
- Single-lane package monitoring / PRK 25C, 55, 8
- Completeness monitoring on containers / LRS 36
Sensor solutions for End-of-line
End-of-line in factory automation refers to the transition from production to storage and transport logistics. The machines used are characterized by an extremely high level of automation with standardized processes. In addition, the machines must have optimum safeguarding in order to comply with all occupational health and safety regulations. The reliable identification of packages ensures a precise and fault-free flow of material. As far as the efficient and safe design of operational safety zones is concerned, the MLC SPG safety light curtains are streets ahead of comparable solutions because they enable space-saving and tamperproof muting without the need for additional sensors. The RK 46 VarOS retro-reflective photoelectric sensors supply interruption-free presence signals, even in the case of irregularly shaped objects or objects with openings such as pallets or cages. As sensors for interruption-free muting, they also do more than standard sensors, e.g. if gaps in the load are to be detected. The 25C and 46C series sensors reliably suppress interference caused by reflective films in order to ensure that the object is detected correctly.
- Alignment monitoring for packages / CML in V-arrangement
- Monitoring of end positions / IS 244
- Foil detection / PRK 3C, 25C
- Integration of safety sensors / MSI 400
- Interruption-free muting / RK 46C VarOS
- Access guarding / MLD-SET
- Access guarding / MLC 530 SPG
- Code identification / BCL 500i
- Pallet detection / RK 46C VarOS
- Detection of projections on palette load / CSL 710, CSL 505