Sensors & Checkweighers Provide Process Quality Control

Specialized devices overcome production-speed and environmental challenges.

A series of ultrasonic proximity sensors designed to provide reliable sensing in harsh environments are encapsulated in epoxy to resist shock and vibration and to withstand dusty, humid, high-pressure, and washdown conditions. The noncontact Superprox Model SM600 sensors offer an advantage over inductive proximity sensors in that they can be backed off from the object being detected by 1 to 12 in. They feature a 1-in. dead band, sinking-type (NPN) and sourcing-type (PNP) outputs, and an 18-mm-barrel package for mounting convenience; they are designed for easy installation in difficult-to-mount areas. Available with threaded barrel housings of either blue Ultem plastic or Type 303 stainless steel, the tamperproof 500-kHz sensors are configured at the factory for a specific sensing range and a fixed sensing window that can be as narrow as

1/8 in. They detect objects of all colors and materials, transparent or opaque and liquid or solid, including objects perceived through small openings or moving back-to-back at speeds of more than 2000 objects per minute. Hyde Park Electronics Inc., Dayton, OH.

A miniature through-beam laser sensor provides high-reliability performance in restricted-space applications. The OSDK/OEDK 10 consists of a pulsed Class 2 laser diode emitter and matching receiver in housings the size of sugar cubes; the entire sensor measures 10 x 33.5 x 16.3 mm. Offering a sensing range extending to 8 m, the tiny, lightweight sensor can perform both highly repeatable small-parts detection at close range and long-range sensing of nearly any type of material. The device has a response time of 0.2 microseconds. Featuring LED power, output, and soiled-lens indicators, a power supply range of 10–30 V dc, reverse-polarity protection, and true background suppression, the sensor detects pieces of any color, texture, and reflectivity while ignoring background objects. Baumer Electric Ltd., Southington, CT.

A pair of pharmaceutical checkweighers have been specially designed to perform both precision in-line weighing of tablets, liquids, and cream fillings and final carton and tray checks. The Rx2 has a weighing range of 5–600 g, can handle packages as long as 200 mm and as wide as 150 mm, and features an air-blast rejecter. The Rx3 offers a weighing range of 50–6000 g, accommodates larger packages measuring as much as 450 x 300 mm, and includes a push-off rejecter. Both Rx-series checkweighers are made of stainless steel and anodized aluminum, have a height-adjustable cantilevered frame, offer a maximum throughput of 300 packages per minute, and feature force-restoration weigh cells that can provide accuracy down to 20 mg. Both machines incorporate a touch screen interface, servomotors, and quick-change belts, and are capable of detecting missing tablets, leaflets, or blister packs. Hi-Speed Checkweigher Company, Inc., Ithaca, NY.

Designed for flexibility, cleanability, and speed, a checkweigher can sort many products, including capsules, tablets, and many odd-shaped items, without changeover parts. The open design of the Sade P2 and P4 checkweighing systems makes for easy cleaning, and the operator interface is user friendly. Also available is a SPC data-recording package, WinSort, that allows for batch reporting and statistical analysis. AC Compacting LLC, North Brunswick, NJ.

A machine-vision sensor provides high-resolution imaging at 640 x 480 pixels along with Ethernet and field-bus connectivity. The Series 600 Smart-Image sensor has an embedded Power PC processor in a package whose footprint is just 1.6 x 2.2 x 4 in. Using patented technology to maintain good image stability and repeatability, the sensor can deliver such important data as QC inspection results; it can coordinate information for motion control applications, statistical process control data, and 2-D code verification. It is supplied with the Framework 2.1 software interface, an updated program whose algorithms include template matching and math tools that have been enhanced to accommodate the speed and resolution of the Series 600 system. The camera, image-acquisition electronics, and computer being integrated in a single unit allows dynamic access to the charge-coupled device without image float or fluttering. DVT Corp., Norcross, GA.

Programmable digital vacuum and pressure sensors designed to provide precise monitoring in systems, process-control, and leak-testing applications offer two switch outputs for control of multiple devices. The 1.25-in.-square sensors feature solid-state components and dust- and drip-proof enclosures rated to IP 65. They perform as both an output device and a digital gauge, providing three-digit red LED display indicators and a choice of eight readout scales. Available with either PNP or NPN output, the sensors are able to monitor high and low limits for vacuum or pressure control, as well as system conditions. In process-control and leak testing applications, the sensors' 1- to 5-V dc analog output easily interfaces with a programmable logic controller. Vaccon Co., Medfield, MA.

A compact, lightweight digital pressure sensor with two-color digital and analog display is designed to offer mounting flexibility. The UZU3-series sensor has a response speed of 2 milliseconds or less and can sense vacuum or positive pressure ranging from –14.70 to 152.2 psi (–100 kPa to 1.000 MPa). The sensor weighs 1.062 oz without cables and offers a minimum panel cutout of 0.669 x 1.452 in. When multiple units are mounted, no space is necessary between any two. Sensor features include DIN rail mounting in four orientations, snap-fit cable connection, and output-indicating display function, with the display switching between green and red. Aromat Corp., Automation Controls Div., New Providence, NJ.

A miniature inductive proximity sensor is a self-contained unit that provides a full 1-mm sensing distance without an external amplifier. The 3-mm-diam x 27-mm-long Long Ranger has a smooth stainless-steel barrel housing and polyurethane cable and is rated to IP 67. The durable sensor has an operating temperature range of –25º to 70ºC, runs on 10–30 V dc, offers reverse-polarity protection, and is available with both PNP and NPN outputs. With a 3-mm mounting bracket, the sensor can be installed quickly and easily on robotic grippers, pick-and-place machines, and other space-restricted automation equipment. An LED status indicator confirming that output is on is designed to accelerate setup. Balluff Inc., Florence, KY.

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