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Boost for transparent-object detection in the food & beverage industry

17 June 2014

Omron, the industrial automation specialist, announces a transparent-object sensor specifically designed for the food & beverage industry. Offering better detection of objects such as glass bottles, PET bottles, transparent trays or packaging film, the E3S-DB takes transparent object sensing to the next level.

Further expanding Omron’s world-leading sensing solutions, the E3S-DB represents a new benchmark in industrial sensors for transparent object detection. A high sensing stability makes this new sensor ideal for detecting all kinds of transparent objects found in today’s food & beverage packaging processes.

To enable high-precision detection and positioning on conveyors where the smallest of gaps between bottles exists, the E3S-DB is also available in narrow-beam models with a convergent beam that has a focused spot size of just 2mm at a distance of 200mm.

Advanced features
To meet the trend towards the use of thin PET bottles in the beverage industry, E3S-DB sensors apply a technique known as P-Opaquing, which offers increased detection stability through special polarising filters for PET objects. A further advanced feature also automatically compensates for light-level changes caused by ambient conditions, or contamination.

Outstanding performance
Developed in close conjunction with customers who produce some of the world’s leading brands of food and beverage products, the E3S-DB features a unique optical system that enables sensing with low hysteresis and high dynamic range. This results in outstanding performance. For instance, the E3S-DB is capable of detecting just 3% light-intensity attenuation at a distance of up to 4 metres.

The advanced optical system of the E3S-DB also increases stability performance by completely cutting off even the smallest amounts of stray light that might interfere with glass bottle detection. Known as the “bottle-lens-effect”, this unwanted magnification of light intensity commonly causes disruption of glass-bottle detection on packaging lines that use less stable sensors.

User friendly
Thanks to Omron’s newly developed ‘Smart Teach’ function, setting up the E3S-DB can be achieved both quickly and with minimum effort. Smart Teach simultaneously provides seamless setting of the light-intensity threshold and fast teaching all in one action. To achieve the maximum operating stability, all an operator has to do is manually pre-select (using a trimmer switch) the ideal operational threshold level for the given sensing objects. Then, by simply pushing the ‘teach’ button, the sensor automatically adjusts light emission power and sensitivity according to sensing distance and selected threshold.

Information about the operational threshold of the sensor is always clearly visible and the operator can easily copy the setting from one sensor to another. This saves considerable time when setting up multiple sensors in the same production line, or in the case of maintenance.

The E3S-DB’s user-friendliness is further enhanced by a handy, time-saving PC monitoring tool. The tool can be used to verify the optimum setting for any application and is an ideal support tool for maintenance engineers with respect to fault diagnostics. The PC tool provides instantaneous operation feedback and light attenuation levels, to show clearly the status of the application.
In addition to the new E3S-DB sensor, Omron’s broad range of transparent-object sensors for the food & beverage industry also includes:

Compact sensors for confined spaces
Sensors with high-grade, stainless-steel housing for frequent wash-down
M18 sensors for quick mounting
Sensors with co-axial optics for stable detection independent of sensor orientation
Sensors with flexible parameter setting by remote amplifiers
Chemical-proof sensors for long life

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