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New sensor technology is helping to solve long standing labelling issues

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Sensor intelligence company SICK was able to come up with an ideal conveyer detection solution for a client with challenging packaging conditions 

When Aztro reached out to long-time partner SICK Sensor Intelligence about line detection issues a client was facing, SICK took the opportunity to introduce a new sensor with capabilities the market had been asking for. 

SICK Australia sales engineer Kevin Zarczynski was on site within hours of the call to help come up with a viable solution for Aztro’s client.   

The client in question specialises in the labelling of slimline clear trays for products such as single slice cheese and prosciutto. However, the ultrasonic sensor which were originally installed to detect the packaging for accurate labelling wasn’t meeting the desired result.  

Aztro managing director, Niall Lynch, said the Aztro Labellers are designed to work within a plus-minus of 1mm labelling tolerance, with this type of product ultrasonic sensors couldn’t keep up with variations in the packaging dimensions.  

“The customer came to us for a solution, and we then turned to Kevin at SICK,” said Lynch.  

“We get the vast majority of our sensor solutions from SICK so when we have a need for a new solution or to do something different, we will always contact Kevin and ask him to have a look at the alternatives available to us.”  

Lynch showed Zarczynski a sample of the low profile packaged products the following day and he was able to identify a solution within a very small window of time.   

Sensor
Sensor technology experts SICK developed a new sensor which the market had been asking for.

“We came up with a sensor that didn’t even exist the week before. It seemed like the ideal solution” Zarczynski said. 

That new sensor is the SICK WTB4 Double Line photoelectric sensor. 

“It’s a multi-tasking product delivering the features our customers have been asking for and we were finally able to bring it to market. It is the best for reading glossy, shiny products with a small height moving along the conveyor belt,” said Zarczynski.  

The sensor is also able to overcome any issues created by conveyor belts that don’t have a completely seamless surface. 

“The type of conveyor this customer was using has little holes in it, so the sensor had to be able to read only the product while ignoring the gaps in the belt,” said Zarczynski.  

Another big selling point of the WTB4 Double Line is its ease of use, from installation to daily operation. 

“Aztro was able to mount it before we even had a chance to demonstrate the how-to, it is a very easy to use technology and it solves our customers’ problems. It will help improve efficiencies and throughputs in the Australian packaging industry,” Zarczynski added. 

After arriving on site, Zarczynski and a SICK application engineer helped demonstrate the capabilities of the double line sensor. The client then requested the commissioning of sensor installation onto their production line and got the exact result they were looking for.  

Sensor
The WTB4 Double Line is also an easy to use piece of technology for any company.

Solving the packaging detection issue with the new sensor also results in several benefits along the line, from affordability to an ease of set up through Blue Pilot, no reflector, it can work within short ranges and on the thinnest of objects.  

“There was a lot of downtime because you would have to adjust the ultrasonic sensors any time the product on the line was changed, some lines might have five to ten separate products a day,” said Lynch.  

“A lot of time would be spent each day on getting the sensor right but this new sensor from SICK allows for one set up for the entire product line to run through, and that was something we reaffirmed with our client. 

“They came back to us extremely happy with the end result because the sensor has given them a continuity of production.”  

For Lynch, the affordability, and the practicality of the new SICK WTB4 Double Line are equally matched and has the potential to be a ‘huge boost’ for the packaging industry. 

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