Inductive Pairing from SICK Delivers Food and Beverage Solution

Sep 25, 2017

SICK has paired its popular IMF inductive sensor with newly-developed cabling to deliver an economical food and beverage sensing solution for demanding hygienic and wet environments, fully-resistant to harsh chemical washdown regimes.


SICK has introduced a specialist washdown version of the IMF inductive sensor with FDA, ECOLAB and JohnsonDiversey certifications,  optimised for reliable performance and long service life in applications such as mixing, filling, bottling and valve control in food and beverage processing and primary packaging, including the frozen food, dairy and brewing industries.
Not only must food and beverage sensors themselves withstand humidity, high process and cleaning temperatures, all accessories and connections must also comply to the same tough standards. SICK‘s new food and beverage industry cables feature innovative connector sealing technology, based on a double-acting snap-in lock to maintain optimum torque tightness, even in the face of severe shocks and vibration.
For dairy processors, SICK has also introduced a PP-line cable and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) covered connector, with in-line or right angle configuration, in M8 or M12 and LED versions, capable of withstanding lactic acid, cleaning, heat and moisture.
“Inductive sensors are a staple of processing machinery,” says David Hannaby SICK’s UK Product Manager for presence detection. “They must withstand rapid swings in temperature and aggressive cleaning agents used in harsh clean-in-place and sterilise-in-place procedures, remaining watertight and delivering reliable signals.
“All too often, we come across operators who are resigned to regular and costly sensor replacement or who fail to specify connections, cabling and mounting accessories to the same food-grade standards as the sensors themselves.
“SICK’s food and beverage cable connector sealing technology achieves greatly-improved standards of ingress and vibration protection, using materials that withstand degradation and corrosion under aggressive cleaning regimes.”
IMF inductive sensors are made from stainless steel with a flush-mounted front face of FDA-certified polypropylene. The IP69/IP69K housing is M-compatible, with diameters from M8 to M30 for easy installation.  Easily configured for precise sensing distances of between 2mm and 20mm, the sensor has an operating range of -40oC to +100oC. 
The SICK IMF inductive sensors have an IO-Link interface to facilitate real-time diagnostics and monitoring sensor status.  Sensors can be set-up and replaced rapidly and users can configure process-specific settings and store parameters remotely to aid rapid commissioning.
The high-quality cable and connector materials ensure durability and corrosion resistance for maximum service life, verified by ECOLAB certification, even in applications where chemical cleaning is involved. Connectors and cables are rated to IP65, IP68, and IP69K.
For protection against mechanical vibration at 0.4 Nm (M8) and 0.6 Nm (M12), the cabling offers high shock and vibration strength to 50G. The integrated fixed stop prevents the plug connector from being screwed too tightly, so the new design delivers perfect tightness and minimises process downtime, as sensors do not fail as frequently.