On the journey from manufacturer to consumer, packaging protects all types of product, including foods, pharmaceuticals, white goods and cosmetics. Although packaging helps bring competitive products to target markets in the best possible condition, costs are often significant, and automation helps minimize the impact.
During high-volume confectionery packaging operations, conveyors deliver stacked cartons to shrink-wrapping stations. At each station, a wrapping machine encloses a stack in heat-shrink film and an infrared oven shrinks the film to form a sealed pack of cartons. A long-distance through-beam photoelectric sensor, mounted beside the conveyor, senses the presence of each pack as it leaves the oven and signals a plant-wide control system to increment the production throughput totals.
During high-volume production of confectionery, sealed cartons of bagged candy travel by conveyor to a labeling station. A versatile photoelectric contrast sensor, mounted beside the conveyor, checks the label alignment and confirms the presence of print markings as each carton leaves the labeling area. If a label is blank, illegible or wrongly positioned, the carton is diverted to a holding area for investigation.
During high-speed production of retail items, a confectionery manufacturer conveys individual bags of candy to a pick-and-place packing robot for secondary packaging. A highly reliable diffuse-mode photoelectric sensor, mounted beside the conveyor, detects the presence of bags as they approach the packing station and inhibits the pick-and-place sequence if no bags are queued for packing.
During secondary packaging of bags of confectionery, manufacturers arrange bags in overlapping layers. Multi-axis pick-and-place packing robots align and pack layers of bags in preformed cardboard cartons. The filled cartons are conveyed to case-sealing stations. A highly reliable photoelectric sensor, mounted directly above the conveyor, senses the height of the top layer of bags in each carton before sealing and rejects insufficiently filled cartons
During confectionery packaging operations, conveyor lines deliver preformed cardboard cartons to packing stations. At each station, a pick-and-place packing robot packs layers of bagged candy in cartons. Once filled, cartons are conveyed to case-sealing stations. A highly reliable retro-reflex photoelectric sensor, mounted beside the line, senses each carton as it arrives at the packing station, halting the conveyor and initiating the packing sequence once it is correctly positioned.
Plastic containers, filled with liquid food products, are hermetically sealed at a Portuguese food-processing plant. Prior to containers being capped and packed in bulk, in-line testing confirms that each one has been correctly sealed. A long-distance inductive sensor, positioned directly over the packaging line, senses the presence of an aluminum-foil seal over the top of each container.
Versatile C23 photoelectric sensors from Swiss manufacturer Contrinex play a vital role in managing high-volume, automated food-packaging operations. Manufacturers rely on these high performance devices to maintain an appropriate degree of control across multiple discrete process stages, ensuring maximum uptime. The C23 Series is available with IO-Link, a standardized point-to-point serial connection protocol, at no additional cost, offering the advantages of digital communication without the need for special cabling.
Food-grade washdown inductive sensors from Swiss manufacturer Contrinex are completely compatible with the strict hygiene standards of the dairy industry, helping maximize plant utilization during round-the-clock production of milk-based foodstuffs. Rated to IP68/IP69K, Contrinex stainless-steel washdown sensors withstand both aggressive cleaning chemicals and high-pressure water jets, offering highly robust solutions for the harshest operating environments. Food-grade sensors are available with IO-Link, a standardized serial connection protocol, providing digital communication in washdown areas at no additional cost.
In a bottling plant, filled bottles are capped and then shrink-wrapped together to produce rigid packs of bottles. A missing cap or bottle is a serious quality fault that must be eliminated reliably.
An American beverage producer conducts a final, pre-shipment check on all cases of bottles after the corrugated cardboard case has been sealed. Product integrity is verified by detecting bottle caps through layers of cardboard at the top of each sealed case.
Modern packaging machines for the food industry rely on fast product changes and smooth-running processes. RFID data modules for format tool identification give the users of food packaging machines the flexibility and safety they need when they have to change format tools quickly.
A consumer packaging company supplies toothbrushes in individual blister packs to stores. Production quality checks include final verification that the intended product is present in each blister pack prior to shipment to the store shelf. A fiber-optic solution meets both the technical challenges and space constraints of this application.
A Japanese manufacturer of canned products uses inductive sensors with analog outputs in the packaging department to check that closed cartons have the required number of cans inside. The sensor’s analog output enables it to process different can sizes and materials in a final pre-shipment quality check for a range of product types.
A US manufacturer of aerosol cans needs to ensure that, for each can, only one bottom is inserted into the press that applies and crimps the bottom to the can body. This checking must be accomplished without physical contact while the product is moving.