Helping you #Make Sense of Sensors
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CONVEYOR APPLICATIONS Material Handling and Conveyors rely upon Contrinex’s Photoelectric, Inductive, RFID and Machine Safety sensors.
CONVEYOR APPLICATIONS
During the production of individually packaged cheese portions, conveyors deliver product to packaging stations. In-line buffering stations regulate flow to match packaging throughput; miniature Ecolab-certified sensors detect the presence of each portion after buffering, triggering the packaging cycle. Sensitivity parameters for each portion size, stored on the sensor’s inbuilt memory, may be updated remotely without manual intervention, eliminating the need for unplanned sanitization between batches. 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. Maximising 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 and Ecolab-certified miniature (20mm x 30mm x 10mm) plastic housings which are corrosion-resistant and impervious to water ingress ensure 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. An additional benefit of offering a range of low-cost stainless-steel mounting and protection bracketry.
APPLICATION - DETECTING CHEESE ON A FOOD CONVEYOR
APPLICATION - COUNTING SHRINK-WRAPPED CARTONS
During high-volume 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. CUSTOMER APPLICATION In factories producing fast-moving consumer goods, automated packaging operations are the norm. Confectionery products are no exception; in high-volume production, manufacturers pack sealed bags of candy in cardboard cartons, which are in turn stacked for shrink- wrapping and palletization. Packed cartons arrive for shrink-wrapping in uniform stacks. A wrapping machine encloses each stack in a tube of heavy-duty heat- shrink film; the stack then passes through an infrared oven, where the film shrinks, forming a sealed pack of cartons. After heat-shrinking, packs are conveyed to the consolidation area for palletization. Factory operators need to monitor production throughput for each packaging line. Manual counting methods are impractical and expensive. A highly reliable non-contact sensor system is needed to detect the presence of each pack as it leaves the shrink-wrapping area and to update the item count held on a plant-wide control system. Long-distance operation is desirable, as not all packaging lines are easily accessible markings as cartons leave the printer-applicator, rejecting any defective cartons.
Customer Solution A miniature through-beam photoelectric sensors from the Contrinex C23 range are ideal for this application. These dual-unit sensors, available with an optional alignment aid, have a maximum sensing range of 30,000mm. Each sensor comprises a separate transmitter and receiver, each mounted in a 20mm x 30mm x 10mm miniature plastic housing; connection to the control system is via a PVC- sheathed cable with the choice of an integral M12 connector or a hermetically sealed entry. Immediately after each oven, a sensor is mounted with the transmitter and receiver on opposite sides of the conveyor. Depending on the space available around the oven, either unit may be located some distance away from the track. The integral alignment aid ensures rapid, accurate set-up, even at extremes of operating range, while custom- designed mounting brackets allow optimal sensor positioning in almost any situation. As each carton breaks the light beam, the sensor detects its presence and signals the control system to increment the item count. Industry- standard PNP or NPN 3-wire or 4-wire outputs support direct interfacing with modern industrial controls. A second output provides a stability alarm in the event of reduced sensitivity, flagging the need for preventative maintenance before any performance degradation occurs. The C23 range detects fast-moving targets reliably; remote selection of switching frequency is possible via IO-Link, a standardized point-to- point serial connection protocol, available as standard at no extra cost for PNP versions.
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CUSTOMER VALUES • Reliable long-range item counting on a non- contact basis Improved data accuracy arising from real-time, error-free pack detection • Increased productivity as stability alarm flags preventative-maintenance needs • Single sensor accommodates a range of carton sizes without repositioning
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PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • Maximum sensing range of 30,000mm with integral alignment aid • IO-Link connectivity available at no extra cost on PNP versions • Dual output with stability alarm • Versatile, purpose-designed mounting brackets for ease of installation
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CUSTOMER VALUES • Ecolab-certified sensors are ideal for hygienic production facilities • Wide operating range accommodates full range of portion sizes • Sensitivity parameters are retrieved or updated remotely via IO-Link • Unnecessary sanitization between batches is avoided • Simple one- or two-step teach procedure optimizes initial sensor set-up • Stability alarm highlights reduced sensitivity, avoiding unplanned stoppages • Downtime is avoided by eliminating the need for technicians to attend machines
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PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • Ecolab-certified photoelectric sensors with background-suppression mode • IO-Link serial-connection protocol enabled on PNP versions at no additional cost • Pre-taught sensitivity parameters stored on inbuilt sensor memory • Remote sensitivity retrieval or update via IO- Link • Robust sensors with miniature (20mm x 30mm x 10mm) plastic housings
APPLICATION - IO-LINK RFID PROVIDES SIMPLE PROCESS CONTROL
A manufacturer of automated conveyor systems uses RFID technology to monitor the location of items and to route them to their chosen destinations. As an basket, fitted with an RFID transponder tag, travels through the warehouse, IO-Link-enabled high-frequency read-write modules (RWMs) monitor its position and read pre-set data stored in the tag. Local logic capability enables a read-write module to trigger a conveyor diverter, routing the item without reference to a centralised PLC-based control system. CUSTOMER APPLICATION An OEM manufacturer of automated conveyor systems for the distribution sector uses RFID technology to monitor the location of items as they pass through a warehouse. Designers also required local control of two-way conveyor diverters to route items to the correct destination;. Therefore generic information stored on each RFID transponder tag determines the required diverter position and thus an item’s destination. Location monitoring relies on a plant-wide PLC-based control system. An industry-standard interface with the RFID modules is highly desirable as this allows the use of existing libraries of PLC function blocks, avoiding the need for custom PLC code. Ultra-high-speed communication is not essential as conveyor speeds are moderate. Local diverter switching relies solely on the information contained in an item’s RFID tag; communication with the centralized system is unnecessary. Response time must be no more than 200 milliseconds to allow the diverter to operate before the item reaches the switch point.
Customer Solution IO-Link-enabled high-frequency (HF) read-write modules (RWMs) and RFID tags from Contrinex are ideal for this application. IO-Link- enabled RWMs are capable of meeting both requirements, allowing commonality of RWM hardware across the entire installation. With data-transfer rates up to 38.4 kbaud (COM2) in IO-Link mode, communication speeds are well in excess of the minimum requirement. Contrinex IO-Link RWMs are configurable to operate in one of two discrete modes; IO-Link mode allows remote communication via the standard protocol, while standard I/O mode (SIO mode) allows the device to function as a smart condition-detection sensor. Process engineers can switch RWMs between modes either remotely, using the IO-Link protocol itself, or locally, using a pre-configured RFID tag (a Master Tag) which is applied directly in front of the RWM at start-up. While in SIO mode, RWMs operate either as simple presence- detection sensors, with a single switched output, or as two-state condition-detection sensors with two PNP outputs that correspond to pre-set generic values saved to an item’s RFID. In the event of a match, an RWM instructs a diverter to assume one of two alternative switched positions. With sensing distances up to 60mm, robust M18- and M30-threaded metal housings and integral M12 connectors, Contrinex RWMs are ideally suited to the environment of a busy industrial warehouse. They are compatible with all ISO/IEC 15693 approved RFID tags, allowing designers ultimate flexibility and excellent value for money.
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CUSTOMER VALUES • Industry-standard IO-Link interface ensures reliable out-of-the-box connectivity • Two modes of operation in a single RWM provide ultimate flexibility • Standard I/O mode operation supports operation of decentralised sorting systems • Plant-wide IO-Link hardware simplifies system integration • Commonality of RWM hardware minimizes spares inventory holding • Integral M12 connectors ensure easy installation and replacement
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PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • IO-Link V1.1 compatibility • Robust metal housings with PBTB sensing faces • Sensing distances up to 60mm • Reconfigurable remotely or via Master Tag • Smart condition-detection sensor in SIO Mode
APPLICATION FLYER
A sensing range up to 30m, for Through-beam sensors adjustable via a teach button or via IO-Link, accommodates a wide range of machine geometries. 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.
APPLICATION - RFID TRACKING OF MOBILE CONVEYOR
A manufacturer of bulk material-handling equipment uses Contrinex Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology to sense the position of a large rail-mounted reclamation-conveyor operating in a hot, dusty environment. A pair of read-write modules, mounted on the machine structure, interrogates a series of RFID tags, positioned at one-meter intervals along each travel rail. The control system identifies each tag individually and determines the exact position of the machine. CUSTOMER APPLICATION During surface-mining operations, large mobile reclamation machines are used to recover bulk materials. On each machine, a bucket-wheel excavator collects material and deposits it onto a conveyor. As an area is cleared of material, the machine moves along parallel steel travel rails to the next area, allowing continuous operation without interruptions for machine repositioning. The distance between the travel rails is around 100 metres (300 ft) and travel speeds may reach 2m/sec (4.5 mph). If machine movement along the two rails is not controlled accurately, the two sides of the structure become misaligned, causing the machine to skew. In this event, production is halted while the machine is realigned; in the worst case, costly damage occurs. A sensing system is required that detects the position of each side of the machine structure accurately and reliably along the entire length of the travel rails, allowing coordinated control of the drive systems. Sensors must accommodate up to 10mm lateral movement of the machine structure across either rail and must withstand the hot, dusty environment of a desert climate.
Customer Solution Contrinex high-frequency RFID read/write modules and 30mm- diameter RFID transponder tags are ideal for this application. Rated up to IP67, the M30-diameter read/write modules have PBTP sensing faces and V2A stainless-steel housings, making them ideal for the demanding environment. The ConIdent® passive transponders require no internal power source and, with PBTP synthetic housings, have the same IP67 rating. The selected combination provides read/write distances of up to 45mm (nearly 2 in), ideal for the specified operating conditions. Tags are mounted at one-meter intervals along each travel rail, each programmed with a unique identification number. As the machine passes a tag, the read/write module reads its identification number at high speed; this is transmitted via a PROFIBUS DP interface to the customer’s control system. A simple look-up table confirms the location of the tag and thus the position of the machine, allowing movement of both sides of the structure to be synchronized without skewing. Operation is independent of the direction of travel. Contrinex ConIdent® RFID devices allow accurate and highly reliable sensing of machine position and the long sensing distance avoids any risk of collision damage. The customer enjoys extended service life and robustness not available from alternative position-detection systems, together with excellent value for money.
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CUSTOMER VALUES • Uninterrupted production as positional identification is highly reliable. • No risk of skewing as movement of the machine structure is synchronised. • Elimination of collision damage because of sensing distance up to 45mm.
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PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • Passive RFID transponder tags require no power source and minimal maintenance. • Rugged RFID transponder tags with nylon or all-metal housings sealed to IP67. • ConIdent® technology provides extended sensing range ≤ 45mm. • Read/write units interface with a choice of industry-standard control systems or IO-Link.
APPLICATION VIDEO
During high-speed production of retail bags, a confectionery manufacturer conveys individual bags of sweets 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 the packing robots. CUSTOMER APPLICATION In the food-processing industry, consumer products generally require secondary packaging – both for consolidation and for protection, before final dispatch. During confectionery production, individual bags of sweets travel by conveyor from bagging stations to a pick-and-place packing robot for secondary packaging, before passing on to the labelling and packing area. Ideally, product flow along the conveyor is continuous; in practice, interruptions occur from time to time as bagging machines require attention. In the absence of bagged products arriving at the secondary- packaging station, a plant-wide control system prevents operation of the pick-and-place robot to prevent miss-filling. Immediately prior to arrival at the secondary-packaging station, custom- formed guide rails align bags for packing. Space is limited and there is no easy access to both sides of the conveyor. A highly reliable non- contact sensor system was needed to detect the presence of bags as they approach the alignment rails; the system must inhibit the pick-and- place sequence if no bags are queued for packing.
Customer Solution Diffuse-mode photoelectric sensors from the Contrinex C23PA family of sensors are ideal for this application. These highly reliable devices contain both a transmitter and a receiver and do not require a separate reflector, instead relying on the reflective nature of the target. Space constraints are accommodated without compromise, thanks to a maximum sensing range of 3 to 1500mm. This is adjustable via a pre-set potentiometer or via IO-Link, the standardised point-to-point serial connection protocol. Immediately before the alignment rails, a single sensor is mounted beside the conveyor; positioning sensors is simple thanks to a range of adjustable mounting brackets. As each bag passes in front of the sensor, its presence triggers the device, sending a signal to the customer’s control system. A high-intensity red LED with a 15mm- diameter light spot at the selected 500mm sensing range ensures highly reliable detection of bags in real-time. Mounted in 20mm x 30mm x 10mm miniature plastic housings, C23 photoelectric sensors are available with industry-standard PNP or NPN 3-wire or 4-wire output. Connection to the customer’s control system is via a PVC-sheathed cable with the choice of an integral M12 connector or a hermetically sealed entry. A second output provides a stability alarm in the event of reduced sensitivity, flagging the need for preventative maintenance before any performance degradation occurs.
APPLICATION - DETECTING BAGS OF SWEETS AT BUFFERING STATION
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CUSTOMER VALUES • Maximum sensing range 3mm to 1.5m. • Preventative maintenance ‘stability alarm’ – Output over IO-Link, or second switched output. • Switching frequency selectable between 500Hz and 5kHz via IO-Link • IO-Link interface included for free – Ideal for Industry 4.
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PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • Reliable, repeatable in-line detection on a non-contact basis. • Elimination of errors caused by previous mechanical sensors. • Increased productivity as stability alarm flags preventative-maintenance needs. • Single sensor accommodates a range of bag sizes without repositioning. • Remote adjustment via IO-Link reduces changeover time between products
The sensors are corrosion-resistant and impervious to water ingress and has the additional benefit of offering a range of low-cost stainless- steel mounting and protection bracketry. The reliability of the sensors in the application has been excellent.
Helping you #MakeSenseofSensors
CONVEYOR APPLICATIONS Material Handling and Conveyors rely upon Contrinex’s Photoelectric, Inductive, RFID and Machine Safety sensors.
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. An additional benefit of offering a range of low-cost stainless- steel mounting and protection bracketry.
APPLICATION - DETECTING CHEESE ON FOOD CONVEYOR
During the production of individually packaged cheese portions, conveyors deliver product to packaging stations. In-line buffering stations regulate flow to match packaging throughput; miniature Ecolab-certified sensors detect the presence of each portion after buffering, triggering the packaging cycle. Sensitivity parameters for each portion size, stored on the sensor’s inbuilt memory, may be updated remotely without manual intervention, eliminating the need for unplanned sanitization between batches. 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. Maximising throughput is an additional priority; rapid changeover between product batches is essential.
During high-volume 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. CUSTOMER APPLICATION In factories producing fast-moving consumer goods, automated packaging operations are the norm. Confectionery products are no exception; in high-volume production, manufacturers pack sealed bags of candy in cardboard cartons, which are in turn stacked for shrink- wrapping and palletization. Packed cartons arrive for shrink-wrapping in uniform stacks. A wrapping machine encloses each stack in a tube of heavy-duty heat-shrink film; the stack then passes through an infrared oven, where the film shrinks, forming a sealed pack of cartons. After heat-shrinking, packs are conveyed to the consolidation area for palletization. Factory operators need to monitor production throughput for each packaging line. Manual counting methods are impractical and expensive. A highly reliable non-contact sensor system is needed to detect the presence of each pack as it leaves the shrink-wrapping area and to update the item count held on a plant-wide control system. Long- distance operation is desirable, as not all packaging lines are easily accessible markings as cartons leave the printer- applicator, rejecting any defective cartons.
APPLICATION - COUNTING SHRINK-WRAPPED CARTONS
Customer Solution A miniature through-beam photoelectric sensors from the Contrinex C23 range are ideal for this application. These dual-unit sensors, available with an optional alignment aid, have a maximum sensing range of 30,000mm. Each sensor comprises a separate transmitter and receiver, each mounted in a 20mm x 30mm x 10mm miniature plastic housing; connection to the control system is via a PVC- sheathed cable with the choice of an integral M12 connector or a hermetically sealed entry. Immediately after each oven, a sensor is mounted with the transmitter and receiver on opposite sides of the conveyor. Depending on the space available around the oven, either unit may be located some distance away from the track. The integral alignment aid ensures rapid, accurate set-up, even at extremes of operating range, while custom- designed mounting brackets allow optimal sensor positioning in almost any situation. As each carton breaks the light beam, the sensor detects its presence and signals the control system to increment the item count. Industry-standard PNP or NPN 3-wire or 4- wire outputs support direct interfacing with modern industrial controls. A second output provides a stability alarm in the event of reduced sensitivity, flagging the need for preventative maintenance before any performance degradation occurs. The C23 range detects fast-moving targets reliably; remote selection of switching frequency is possible via IO-Link, a standardized point-to-point serial connection protocol, available as standard at no extra cost for PNP versions.
+ CUSTOMER VALUES • Ecolab-certified sensors are ideal for hygienic production facilities • Wide operating range accommodates full range of portion sizes • Sensitivity parameters are retrieved or updated remotely via IO-Link • Unnecessary sanitization between batches is avoided • Simple one- or two-step teach procedure optimizes initial sensor set-up • Stability alarm highlights reduced sensitivity, avoiding unplanned stoppages • Downtime is avoided by eliminating the need for technicians to attend machines PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • Ecolab-certified photoelectric sensors with background-suppression mode • IO-Link serial-connection protocol enabled on PNP versions at no additional cost • Pre-taught sensitivity parameters stored on inbuilt sensor memory • Remote sensitivity retrieval or update via IO-Link • Robust sensors with miniature (20mm x 30mm x 10mm) plastic housings + + CUSTOMER VALUES • Reliable long-range item counting on a non-contact basis Improved data accuracy arising from real-time, error-free pack detection • Increased productivity as stability alarm flags preventative-maintenance needs • Single sensor accommodates a range of carton sizes without repositioning PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • Maximum sensing range of 30,000mm with integral alignment aid • IO-Link connectivity available at no extra cost on PNP versions • Dual output with stability alarm • Versatile, purpose-designed mounting brackets for ease of installation +
FIND OUT MORE - HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS:

AUTOMOTIVE APPS

Customer Solution Contrinex high-frequency RFID read/write modules and 30mm-diameter RFID transponder tags are ideal for this application. Rated up to IP67, the M30-diameter read/write modules have PBTP sensing faces and V2A stainless-steel housings, making them ideal for the demanding environment. The ConIdent® passive transponders require no internal power source and, with PBTP synthetic housings, have the same IP67 rating. The selected combination provides read/write distances of up to 45mm (nearly 2 in), ideal for the specified operating conditions. Tags are mounted at one-meter intervals along each travel rail, each programmed with a unique identification number. As the machine passes a tag, the read/write module reads its identification number at high speed; this is transmitted via a PROFIBUS DP interface to the customer’s control system. A simple look-up table confirms the location of the tag and thus the position of the machine, allowing movement of both sides of the structure to be synchronized without skewing. Operation is independent of the direction of travel. Contrinex ConIdent® RFID devices allow accurate and highly reliable sensing of machine position and the long sensing distance avoids any risk of collision damage. The customer enjoys extended service life and robustness not available from alternative position-detection systems, together with excellent value for money
A manufacturer of bulk material-handling equipment uses Contrinex Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology to sense the position of a large rail-mounted reclamation- conveyor operating in a hot, dusty environment. A pair of read-write modules, mounted on the machine structure, interrogates a series of RFID tags, positioned at one-meter intervals along each travel rail. The control system identifies each tag individually and determines the exact position of the machine. CUSTOMER APPLICATION During surface-mining operations, large mobile reclamation machines are used to recover bulk materials. On each machine, a bucket-wheel excavator collects material and deposits it onto a conveyor. As an area is cleared of material, the machine moves along parallel steel travel rails to the next area, allowing continuous operation without interruptions for machine repositioning. The distance between the travel rails is around 100 metres (300 ft) and travel speeds may reach 2m/sec (4.5 mph). If machine movement along the two rails is not controlled accurately, the two sides of the structure become misaligned, causing the machine to skew. In this event, production is halted while the machine is realigned; in the worst case, costly damage occurs. A sensing system is required that detects the position of each side of the machine structure accurately and reliably along the entire length of the travel rails, allowing coordinated control of the drive systems. Sensors must accommodate up to 10mm lateral movement of the machine structure across either rail and must withstand the hot, dusty environment of a desert climate
+ CUSTOMER VALUES • Uninterrupted production as positional identification is highly reliable. • No risk of skewing as movement of the machine structure is synchronised. • Elimination of collision damage because of sensing distance up to 45mm. PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • Passive RFID transponder tags require no power source and minimal maintenance. • Rugged RFID transponder tags with nylon or all-metal housings sealed to IP67. • ConIdent® technology provides extended sensing range ≤ 45mm. • Read/write units interface with a choice of industry-standard control systems or IO-Link.  +
APPLICATION - RFID TRACKING OF MOBILE CONVEYOR
APPLICATION VIDEO
Customer Solution IO-Link-enabled high-frequency (HF) read-write modules (RWMs) and RFID tags from Contrinex are ideal for this application. IO-Link-enabled RWMs are capable of meeting both requirements, allowing commonality of RWM hardware across the entire installation. With data-transfer rates up to 38.4 kbaud (COM2) in IO-Link mode, communication speeds are well in excess of the minimum requirement. Contrinex IO-Link RWMs are configurable to operate in one of two discrete modes; IO-Link mode allows remote communication via the standard protocol, while standard I/O mode (SIO mode) allows the device to function as a smart condition-detection sensor. Process engineers can switch RWMs between modes either remotely, using the IO- Link protocol itself, or locally, using a pre-configured RFID tag (a Master Tag) which is applied directly in front of the RWM at start-up. While in SIO mode, RWMs operate either as simple presence-detection sensors, with a single switched output, or as two-state condition-detection sensors with two PNP outputs that correspond to pre-set generic values saved to an item’s RFID. In the event of a match, an RWM instructs a diverter to assume one of two alternative switched positions. With sensing distances up to 60mm, robust M18- and M30- threaded metal housings and integral M12 connectors, Contrinex RWMs are ideally suited to the environment of a busy industrial warehouse. They are compatible with all ISO/IEC 15693 approved RFID tags, allowing designers ultimate flexibility and excellent value for money.
APPLICATION - IO-LINK RFID PROVIDES CONVEYOR CONTROL
A manufacturer of automated conveyor systems uses RFID technology to monitor the location of items and to route them to their chosen destinations. As an basket, fitted with an RFID transponder tag, travels through the warehouse, IO-Link-enabled high-frequency read-write modules (RWMs) monitor its position and read pre-set data stored in the tag. Local logic capability enables a read-write module to trigger a conveyor diverter, routing the item without reference to a centralised PLC-based control system. CUSTOMER APPLICATION An OEM manufacturer of automated conveyor systems for the distribution sector uses RFID technology to monitor the location of items as they pass through a warehouse. Designers also required local control of two-way conveyor diverters to route items to the correct destination;. Therefore generic information stored on each RFID transponder tag determines the required diverter position and thus an item’s destination. Location monitoring relies on a plant-wide PLC-based control system. An industry-standard interface with the RFID modules is highly desirable as this allows the use of existing libraries of PLC function blocks, avoiding the need for custom PLC code. Ultra-high-speed communication is not essential as conveyor speeds are moderate. Local diverter switching relies solely on the information contained in an item’s RFID tag; communication with the centralized system is unnecessary. Response time must be no more than 200 milliseconds to allow the diverter to operate before the item reaches the switch point.
Customer Solution Diffuse-mode photoelectric sensors from the Contrinex C23PA family of sensors are ideal for this application. These highly reliable devices contain both a transmitter and a receiver and do not require a separate reflector, instead relying on the reflective nature of the target. Space constraints are accommodated without compromise, thanks to a maximum sensing range of 3 to 1500mm. This is adjustable via a pre-set potentiometer or via IO-Link, the standardised point-to-point serial connection protocol. Immediately before the alignment rails, a single sensor is mounted beside the conveyor; positioning sensors is simple thanks to a range of adjustable mounting brackets. As each bag passes in front of the sensor, its presence triggers the device, sending a signal to the customer’s control system. A high-intensity red LED with a 15mm-diameter light spot at the selected 500mm sensing range ensures highly reliable detection of bags in real-time. Mounted in 20mm x 30mm x 10mm miniature plastic housings, C23 photoelectric sensors are available with industry-standard PNP or NPN 3-wire or 4-wire output. Connection to the customer’s control system is via a PVC- sheathed cable with the choice of an integral M12 connector or a hermetically sealed entry. A second output provides a stability alarm in the event of reduced sensitivity, flagging the need for preventative maintenance before any performance degradation occurs.
During high-speed production of retail bags, a confectionery manufacturer conveys individual bags of sweets 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 the packing robots. CUSTOMER APPLICATION In the food-processing industry, consumer products generally require secondary packaging – both for consolidation and for protection, before final dispatch. During confectionery production, individual bags of sweets travel by conveyor from bagging stations to a pick-and- place packing robot for secondary packaging, before passing on to the labelling and packing area. Ideally, product flow along the conveyor is continuous; in practice, interruptions occur from time to time as bagging machines require attention. In the absence of bagged products arriving at the secondary-packaging station, a plant-wide control system prevents operation of the pick- and-place robot to prevent miss-filling. Immediately prior to arrival at the secondary-packaging station, custom-formed guide rails align bags for packing. Space is limited and there is no easy access to both sides of the conveyor. A highly reliable non-contact sensor system was needed to detect the presence of bags as they approach the alignment rails; the system must inhibit the pick-and-place sequence if no bags are queued for packing.
+ CUSTOMER VALUES • Reliable, repeatable in-line quality checks on a non-contact basis • Improved quality arising from real-time detection of incorrectly packed cartons • Increased productivity as stability alarm flags preventative-maintenance needs • Single sensor accommodates a range of carton sizes without repositioning • Remote adjustment via IO-Link reduces changeover time between products PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • Maximum sensing range of 300mm with pinpoint red LED • Best-in-class background-suppression black/white behaviour • IO-Link connectivity available at no extra cost on PNP versions • Dual output with stability alarm +
APPLICATION - DETECTING SWEETS AT BUFFERING STATION
The A sensing range up to 30m, for Through-beam sensors adjustable via a teach button or via IO-Link, accommodates a wide range of machine geometries. 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.
The sensors are corrosion-resistant and impervious to water ingress and has the additional benefit of offering a range of low-cost stainless-steel mounting and protection bracketry. The reliability of the sensors in the application has been excellent.
+ CUSTOMER VALUES • Industry-standard IO-Link interface ensures reliable out-of-the-box connectivity • Two modes of operation in a single RWM provide ultimate flexibility • Standard I/O mode operation supports operation of decentralised sorting systems • Plant-wide IO-Link hardware simplifies system integration • Commonality of RWM hardware minimizes spares inventory holding • Integral M12 connectors ensure easy installation and replacement PRODUCT ADVANTAGES • IO-Link V1.1 compatibility • Robust metal housings with PBTB sensing faces • Sensing distances up to 60mm • Reconfigurable remotely or via Master Tag • Smart condition-detection sensor in SIO Mode +
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