Ensure High-Quality Sensors

Sensors test for temperature, humidity, color, text, and bar codes to protect the quality and ensure the consistency of a product.

Sensors and inspection systems provide invaluable services to pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Not only can they check label placement, bar codes, and consistency, they can also monitor the environment of the package during shipping and storage. Manufacturers of sensors keep the user firmly in mind when designing their products—specialized software and easy-to-read displays allow easy access to data.

A selection of cabled and wireless data loggers supports a variety of accurate, traceable sensors. The Tracksense system of wireless monitoring data loggers can measure 0–10 bar (0–150 psi) in an environment with temperatures ranging from –40° to 140°C. The E-Val data loggers use cabled sensors to measure temperatures from –90° to 400°C for sterilizers and other applications. Ellab Inc., San Jose.

A six-sided scanning system examines the top, sides, front, back, and bottom of parcels. The HoloTunnel is suited for sortation systems and high-speed, high-volume parcel-handling systems. The HoloTunnel's C3 industrial scanners use holographic technology. Metrologic Instruments Inc., Blackwood, NJ.

A family of photoelectric sensors incorporates the latest advancements in optical technology to provide a wide field of vision regardless of target size or color. The BOS-SDS5 sensors' optics provide increased tolerance for target vibration and enhanced background suppression capabilities. The 18-mm tubular-style sensors provide counting, presence, and proximity detection for packaging applications. Balluff Inc., Florence, KY.

A climate sensor is designed to monitor the environment of temperature-sensitive medications and biologics. The Xi3 microelectronic climate sensor/alarm has programmable parameters that include an acceptable temperature window, temperatures never to be exceeded, and a time buffer period of allowable excursions. An alarm condition is indicated when preset ranges are exceeded. TCP Reliable Inc., Edison, NJ.

Inspection systems for printed webs feature the automatic detection of missing prints, extra prints, and incorrect registration. The InVision system, which is software driven based on digital signal processor technology, can be fully integrated with motion and tension control for fault placement. The system has user-defined inspection zones with variable zone resolution specifications. vrp Web Technology Inc., Mississauga, ON, Canada.

A machine vision unit is designed for use in the pharmaceutical packaging industry. The Visionscape I-Pak provides optical character verification for label identification verification, date and lot code verification, and bar code reading. The machine eliminates the need for multiple processors to handle various labels. Robotic Vision Systems Inc., Canton, MA.

A seal process certification system provides nondestructive, quality control monitoring of individual containers as well as continuous packaging-line monitoring. The Sealing Process Certifier detects problems caused by such factors as bottle position, bottle speed, and liner material composition. Lepel Corp., Waukesha, WI.

A digital bottle cap torque sensor tests the required application or removal torque of bottle caps. Other uses for the Model STB include breakaway fastener, motor stall, and valve operating torque measurement. The STB features a universal gripping mechanism to accommodate a variety of round or irregularly shaped items. The unit connects to the company's digital force and torque indicator Model BGI. Mark-10 Corp., Hicksville, NY.

A line of miniature infrared temperature sensors offers noncontact operation at a low cost. The M50-series infracouples are simple, compact sensors that feature integrated microelectronics and offer a choice of J or K thermocouple outputs or linear or nonlinear voltage outputs. They operate in a temperature range of 0–575°F. Kernco Instruments Company, Inc., El Paso, TX.

A photoelectric sensor detects the presence or absence and the basic position of a label on a glass or plastic container, regardless of color. The E3S-CD diffuse photoelectric sensor focuses on whether the label itself, rather than the container, is in a predetermined location. The configuration of its beam-splitting optics allows the unit to detect labels of varying color and luster. Omron Electronics Inc., Schaumburg, IL.

Ultrasonic sensors offer four different sensing ranges from 102 to 1016 mm. The Model SM800 flat-profile series of microprocessor-based, through-beam sensors reliably perform a variety of sensing functions. Applications include detecting container backup, caps in proper position, coding activation on paperboard cartons and cases, container accumulation, containers at filler, lead edges, and tamperproof foil seals, seams, and splices. Hyde Park Electronics Inc., Dayton, OH.

A range of ultrasonic industrial position sensors features analog output and teach mode. These sensors offer simple, one-button programming and require no special tools for setup. Operating range is 100–700 mm. Applications for the multifunction sensors include web tension or breakage control, monitoring roll diameters, and measuring. Baumer Electric Ltd., Southington, CT.

An empty bottle inspection system examines returnable and nonreturnable glass bottles. The Linatronic conducts complex bottle inspections at the base, neck, and sidewalls for proper height, size, shape, color, and condition, rejecting unsuitable bottles. Other functions of the in-line machine include inspecting for chipped glass, clear and opaque foreign substances, residual liquids, and glass imperfections. Krones Inc., Franklin, WI.

A dual-temperature recorder provides a permanent visual record of damaging temperature conditions for transit and storage of temperature-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The ColdSnap+ consists of a bimetallic sensing element that snaps at a predetermined temperature, turning a "low temp" indicator window bright red when the temperature goes below a predetermined cold set point. When the temperature rises above a predetermined hot set point, a "hot" indicator window turns from silver to black. Telatemp Corp., Fullerton, CA.

Thermohygrometric instruments can detect temperature and humidity in controlled environments such as cleanrooms, pharmaceutical packaging areas, medical device manufacturing and storage areas, and testing laboratories. The Habitat Monitor Climate Security System products feature accuracies of ±2% relative humidity and ±0.8°F temperature that are NIST traceable. Units can be set to control alarms and other devices when temperature or humidity is outside desired ranges. CMT Inc., Hamilton, MA.

A sensor with Ethernet connectivity allows multiple systems to be set up and maintained from one central location; remote access to data is available through the Internet. The Series 600 SmartImage sensors perform both automatic identification and data capture by reading two-dimensional codes to deliver part tracking and inventory control. The sensors communicate coordinate information to motion controllers for robot positioning and report inspection results to SPC software packages for quality assurance. DVT Corp., Norcross, GA.

Infrared thermometers offer solutions for many noncontact temperature measurement applications. The OS520 and OS530 series record temperatures up to 2500°F. These infrared thermometers provide many features such as adjustable emissivity, dual digital backlit LCD, audible and visible alarms, five different fields of view, analog output, RS-232 interface, data storage, built-in laser sighting, and thermocouple input option. All models are CE approved. Omega Engineering, Stamford, CT.

NIST-traceable data loggers with digital displays monitor temperature and humidity. Two models, TM121 and SM101, both feature a minimum/maximum key to allow users to see the current, minimum, and maximum readings before downloading and printing all data. Features include an optional ac adapter and Fahrenheit/Celsius switchable display. Dickson, Addison, IL.

A product inspection system is designed for the packaging industry. The sensor controller performs a variety of tasks, such as checking for high or missing cotton, out-of-position caps, smudge and defect detection, label presence, missing foil packs, and color detection. The unit provides a complete sensor interface, PLC, and product ejection system. Automated Product Inspection, Bristol, PA.

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