Top 5 Applications for Inductive Sensors on Packaging Machines

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A carton of milk, a can of soda, and a squeeze tube of…mayonnaise?  What do these three items have in common?  Other than being items on your grocery list, all three may have been packaged with the use of an inductive sensor, an ideal sensor for many aspects of food and beverage packaging.

Although inductive sensors share the same operating principle, not all are alike.  A proprietary Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) makes all the difference.

Inductive Sensor with ASIC chip infographic

With the unique functionality of SICK’s advanced ASIC technology, inductive sensors for packaging operations benefit from:

  • Post-manufacturing digital calibration that eliminates uncertainty
  • Sensing range that is precisely defined, reliable, and repeatable, ensuring consistent detection
  • Enhanced resistance to electromagnetic interference, increasing reliability tenfold
  • Pliable filling that protects against shock, vibration, and temperature extremes, and
  • A simplified device—so you can do more with less!

A SICK inductive sensor with our proprietary ASIC technology can be applied to a variety of packaging system design and operation needs.  Here are our top 5:

1. Position Detection on a Mechanical Moving Part

The process of inserting items into packages or cartons using metal flags fitted on conveyor chains is a relatively simple, yet precision-driven function. The responsiveness and reliable detection qualities of inductive sensors ensures consistent alignment and follow-through functions. That results in less waste and fewer system interruptions.

2. Gear Tooth Detection for Motion Monitoring

Reliable, repeatable results are also critical when monitoring the position of chain guides or flexors, which drives other components of conveyor system. With SICK’s ASIC chip technology, a packager can be assured that inductive sensor’s high repeatability mitigate these variations, producing more consistent and synchronized detection.

3. Valve Position Control during Processing

Most high-hygienic processes such as dairy or yogurt production utilize valves to switch system feeds from ingredients to cleaning solutions, then back when sanitation process is complete. Because a well-manufactured inductive sensor is more resistant to wear than mechanical limit switches, processors have greater assurance of long-term, consistent valve operation.

4. Foil Seal Detection Inside Plastic Caps

Is a cap’s foil seal there, or isn’t it? With a wider range of foil seal material now being used, certain colors and textures may be missed by a photoelectric sensor, resulting in false readings. Because an inductive sensor looks merely for the presence of metal, the seal material’s qualities are irrelevant.

Can Position Detection using Inductive Sensors with ASIC chip5. Can Position Detection on a Beverage Line

The metal detection qualities of a SICK inductive sensor with our advanced ASIC technology are also valuable on packaging lines for beverages and other canned products. The reliability of the ASIC sensor’s programmed range, and the highest repeatability allows machine builders to incorporate a consistent space between the sensor and its targets, preventing potential damage while preserving seamless operation.

Making Sound Detection Decisions

These are just some of the many ways an inductive sensor with custom ASIC technology from SICK can benefit a packaging or process operation involving close-proximity metal targets.

Download the full whitepaper: Top 5 Applications for Inductive Sensors on Packaging Machines

Your Turn…

How do you use inductive sensors in your applications?

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