Hygiene-compliant sensors 'shine' not only on account of their stainless-steel housing but also as a result of numerous other measures.
The smart factory is becoming a reality in more and more sectors — including the machine tool industry.
The 3D vision sensor designed for industrial use — the TriSpector1000 from SICK.
Most of the smart factory discussion has centred around discrete manufacturing, but modern smart sensing technologies can also be applied to improve many aspects of the food and beverage industry, particularly for food safety and track and trace, improved packaging and new product opportunities.
In recent years, intelligent sensor and control solutions have made it possible to achieve both productivity and safety.
In the fight against the forgery of preparations, imitations and tampering of packaging, the European Union has defined a catalogue of measures intended to prevent fakes entering the legal supply chain of medicines.
The limitless exchange of manufacturing, product and logistics data supports better decisions and complete transparency across the value chain. Greater resource efficiency depends largely on the equipment that supplies this data: intelligent sensors.
Industry 4.0 opens up new possibilities for both quality assurance and process optimisation, but higher-level systems are being flooded with data. Sensor intelligence can evaluate the data and undertake preprocessing so that only relevant information is forwarded.
Fulfilling the strict hygiene standards that apply in food and beverage manufacturing means exposure to strong thermal and mechanical loads, as well as aggressive chemical cleaning agents, which presents a real challenge to sensors.
Identification solutions enable companies to trace back the trajectory of their products from the producer, through the processing stages, to retailers — meeting consumer and regulatory demand for transparency on the provenance and authenticity of foodstuffs.
As well as being used in the food industry to trace foodstuffs reliably, RFID technology, laser-based barcode scanners and image-based code readers can also be used to optimise production and packaging processes.
Tailor-made products manufactured in line with a specific customer's requirements call for a flexible packaging solution. To meet these market demands, intelligent sensors are becoming one of the main components in many systems.
There are no manned forklift trucks driving about loading truck trailers with boxes of chips at PepsiCo's Broek op Langedijk site in the Netherlands. Instead, the recently installed Joloda loading system saves 30 minutes/load as it pushes 42 pallets of chips into an extra-long truck in one fully automated operation.
Machine vision is a branch of engineering that uses cameras in the context of process control. Images are collected and analysed and the data extracted used for controlling an automated process or action. When we refer to machine visions systems we are typically referring to smart cameras or vision sensors - devices that possess image capture capability, are able to extract information from captured images and make decisions that are used in wider automation systems.