Summary

個々にチーズをパッケージングする膨大な生産において、コンベアがパッケージング工程へ製品を運びます。ライン内のバッファステーションはパッケージングのスループットに合うように流れを調整します。小型Ecolab認定された光電センサはバッファリング後やパッケージングサイクルの起動後各製品を検出します。各製品サイズの感度のパラメータは、センサに内蔵のメモリにストアされ、マニュアルによる調整を必要とせず遠隔で更新されます。これによりバッチ処理間の計画にない消毒が削除できます。

ユーザー利点

  • Ecolab認定センサは衛生環境生産機器として理想的
  • 広い作動レンジは全製造製品サイズをカバー
  • 感度のパラメータはIO-Link経由で遠隔に取り出し、変更
  • バッチ処理間の不必要な消毒作業が不要
  • 簡単な1又は2ステップのティーチ作業でセンサのセットアップを最適化
  • スタビリティーアラームで感度低下がわかりチョコ停止を避ける
  • 機械復帰に技術者が不要でダウンタイムを避ける

製品特徴

  • バックグラウンドサプレッションモード装備のEcolab認定光電センサ
  • 追加コスト無しのIO-Link
  • あらかじめ設定した感度パラメータはセンサ内蔵メモリにストア
  • IO-Link経由で遠隔で感度値の取り出しと更新
  • 小型プラスチックハウジングの頑丈なセンサ(20mm x 30mm x 10mm)

Customer Application

A Swiss manufacturer of premium dairy products produces a range of individually packaged cheese portions in a high-volume hygienic production facility. Once cut to size, cheese portions travel on a food-grade conveyor to a packaging station; the duration of the packaging cycle is dependent on the type of cheese and the portion size.

Prior to packaging, a buffering station produces a regular flow of portions with a predetermined spacing to suit the packaging throughput. The two operations must be synchronized; the manufacturer requires a sensor system that detects the presence of each cheese portion as it leaves the buffering station, triggering the packaging cycle.

Sensors must be food-grade certified and withstand the aggressive cleaning agents used during washdown routines. They must also accommodate the full range of portion sizes without the need for manual adjustment, as this would necessitate sanitization each time the portion size changes. Maximizing throughput is an additional priority; rapid changeover between product batches is essential.

Customer Solution

Ecolab-certified, diffuse-mode photoelectric sensors with background suppression from the Contrinex C23 product family are ideally suited to this application. These miniature cubic devices, mounted above product conveyors immediately after each buffering station, detect the presence of cheese portions as they pass underneath. Positioning sensors is simple thanks to a range of adjustable stainless steel mounting brackets.

An industry-standard PNP normally open output with an M8 connector ensures optimum flexibility. Additionally, IO-Link, a standardized point-to-point serial connection protocol for sensors and actuators, is enabled on PNP versions at no additional cost, offering the advantages of digital communication without the need for special cabling. A second output provides a stability alarm in the event of reduced sensitivity, flagging the need for preventative maintenance before any performance degradation occurs.

Robust sensor construction, featuring miniature (20mm x 30mm x 10mm) plastic housings, ensures reliable operation in the demanding washdown environment; Contrinex C23 devices are rated to IP67. An operating range between 15mm and 250mm, adjustable via a teach button or via IO-Link, accommodates the range of portion sizes without compromise.

A brief one- or two-step teach procedure simplifies initial set-up. One-button operation allows process engineers to teach the target object and, optionally, the background, each time a new portion size is introduced. Once taught, sensitivity parameters are stored on the sensor’s inbuilt memory and may be retrieved or updated remotely via IO-Link, eliminating the need for manual adjustment.

These rugged miniature sensors meet the customer’s need for reliable operation with little or no manual intervention, while unplanned sanitization is avoided. The solution is highly cost-effective with minimal non-productive time; throughput is maintained at or above target levels.

Products used