In high-volume packaging operations, products are typically packaged and prepared for transit in a few distinct stages. Take potato chips, for example. First, the chips are sorted and sealed in the single-serving bags you might see in a grocery store or vending machine. Next, the bags are packed in the cardboard cartons that get sold to retailers. Finally, these cartons are stacked and shrink-wrapped for palletization so that they can be efficiently shipped in large quantities.
During this last stage of packaging, factory operators need a reliable way to monitor the plant’s production throughput as the shrink-wrapped stacks of cartons travel along fast-moving conveyor systems. Manual counting methods are prohibitively slow and costly, so many packaging plants rely on long-range photoelectric sensors instead.
In this type of application, a photoelectric transmitter and corresponding receiver are mounted on either side of the conveyor system, just past the shrink-wrapping station. As each carton passes between the transmitter and receiver, a light beam is broken and the sensor signals a plant-wide control system to update the item count.
Long-range photoelectric sensors are particularly ideal for high-volume packaging plants because they can function effectively even when the sensors and transmitters are separated by conveyor systems and other large pieces of equipment. Some of these photoelectric sensors offer through-beam ranges of up to 50 meters.
Interested in learning more about these or any of the other custom sensor solutions we offer at Locon? Feel free to give us a call or contact us online today!