CIM Case Study: Detecting Clear Objects
Your choice of technology is particularly important when working with transparent materials (like glass bottles) since some sensors struggle with clear objects. We recently assisted a wine bottling client with precisely this problem. Their system had no difficulty detecting opaque objects, but provided intermittent output signals for clear ones. This led to costly damages and frustrating downtime.
Our client tried placing a polarized retroreflective sensor at different positions on their conveyor, and even mounted it in an effort to detect the clear bottles at different angles. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the problem persisted because their sensor was designed with outdated lens technology. It’s perfectly suitable for many applications, but detecting transparent objects is not one of them.
The obvious fix was to use a better sensor, and we recommended Banner Engineering’s smart sensor technology which is specifically designed for clear and reflective materials. This also solved our client’s need for a timing function to detect bottle backlogs since the QS18 sensor includes an IO-link. Using the IO-link, we were able to program the sensor for our client’s specific conveyor sequences.
Thanks to this solution, our client has made substantial production gains while slashing the cost of damages and downtime. As added benefits, the new sensor is also more cost effective and physically smaller than our client’s older model.
(For some practical insight into Banner Engineering’s smart sensor range, check out this short demonstration of their Q4X sensor detecting a variety of clear objects).
Marinus De Swardt