New sensor technology is helping to solve long standing labeling issues

Apr 5, 2022

When Aztro reached out to long-time partner SICK about line detection issues a client was facing, SICK took the opportunity to introduce a new sensor with capabilities the market had been asking for.

The ideal conveyer detection solution
The ideal conveyer detection solution

 

The ideal conveyer detection solution SICK Australia sales engineer

Kevin Zarczynski was on-site within hours of the call to help come up with a viable solution for Aztro’s client. The client in question specializes in the labeling of slimline clear trays for products such as single slice cheese and prosciutto. However, the ultrasonic sensor which were originally installed to detect the packaging for accurate labeling was not meeting the desired result.

The WTB4 Double-Line photoelectric sensor: a multi-tasking product
The WTB4 Double-Line photoelectric sensor: a multi-tasking product

Aztro managing director, Niall Lynch, said the Aztro Labelers are designed to work within a plus-minus of 1 mm labeling tolerance, with this type of product ultrasonic sensors could not keep up with variations in the packaging dimensions. “The customer came to us for a solution, and we then turned to Kevin at SICK,” said Lynch. “We get the vast majority of our sensor solutions from SICK so when we have a need for a new solution or to do something different, we will always contact Kevin and ask him to have a look at the alternatives available to us.” Lynch showed Zarczynski a sample of the low profile packaged products the following day and he was able to identify a solution within a very small window of time.

The new photoelectric sensor

“We came up with a sensor that didn’t even exist the week before. It seemed like the ideal solution” Zarczynski said. That new sensor is the WTB4 Double-Line photoelectric sensor. “It’s a multi-tasking product delivering the features our customers have been asking for and we were finally able to bring it to market. It is the best for reading glossy, shiny products with a small height moving along the conveyor belt,” said Zarczynski.

The sensor is also able to overcome any issues created by conveyor belts that don’t have a completely seamless surface. “The type of conveyor this customer was using has little holes in it, so the sensor had to be able to read only the product while ignoring the gaps in the conveyor belt,” said Zarczynski.

Photoelectric sensors
Another big selling point of the WTB4 Double Line is its ease of use, from installation to daily operation.
Another big selling point of the WTB4 Double Line is its ease of use, from installation to daily operation.

Another big selling point of the WTB4 Double Line is its ease of use, from installation to daily operation. “Aztro was able to mount it before we even had a chance to demonstrate the how-to, it is a very easy to use technology and it solves our customers’ problems. It will help improve efficiencies and throughputs in the Australian packaging industry,” Zarczynski added.

After arriving on site, Zarczynski and a SICK application engineer helped demonstrate the capabilities of the double-line sensor. The client then requested the commissioning of sensor installation onto their production line and got the exact result they were looking for. Solving the packaging detection issue with the new sensor also results in several benefits along the line, from affordability to an ease of setup through BluePilot, no reflector, it can work within short ranges and on the thinnest of objects.

 

Solution gives a continuity of production

“There was a lot of downtime because you would have to adjust the ultrasonic sensors anytime the product on the line was changed, some lines might have five to ten separate products a day,” said Lynch. “A lot of time would be spent each day on getting the sensor right, but this new sensor allows for one set up for the entire product line to run through, and that was something we reaffirmed with our client. They came back to us extremely happy with the end result because the sensor has given them a continuity of production.”

For Lynch, the affordability, and the practicality of the WTB4 Double Line are equally matched and has the potential to be a ‘huge boost’ for the packaging industry.

 

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