Packaging technology: Print marks yield to pattern
Packaging in an exemplary way without any print mark – that is precisely what the ML20 Markless Sensor from SICK was designed to do. Used like a print mark sensor, it does not require any optical marking on the package, however, instead detecting a taught-in design pattern.
Thus, the ML20 Markless Sensor features more flexibility and more design freedom when planning packaging. It needs less set-up time when it comes to changing labels and formats, and avoids unnecessary use of material and therefore waste.
Pattern instead of mark
The ML20, which can be used for controlling cutting edges, for example, employs a novel method for contrast pattern detection. This technique involves teaching in a pattern sequence to the sensor. The pattern is detected during processing at a scanning speed of up to 7 m/s, resulting in the output of a switching signal. Even in the case of complex designs, tolerances in the track course of the continuous material, and high machine speeds, the ML20 delivers convincing performance due to reproducibility of up to 0.6 mm and extremely precise and stable detection of nearly any pattern.
Tops for creative minds, design engineers, and cost calculators
The ML20 opens up new possibilities for packaging processes. Creative minds benefit from the fact that in designing packages and labels, they do not have to integrate any optically distracting markings. From the perspective of design engineers, the sensor offers a high degree of ruggedness as well as ease of integration and commissioning. For instance, optionally the patterns to be recognized can be taught in, saved, and retrieved either using the sensor’s operating panel, the control cable, or Ethernet. The economic efficiency of the ML20 in operation is likely to convince any cost calculator. The stable and process-tolerant detection of even complex image patterns ensures high availability and minimizes downtimes. Set-up times when changing formats are extremely short – which means set-up costs are also low.
The ML20 also lives up to the demands of the “green conscience.” When changing label or film rolls, the sensor avoids unnecessary cutting loss and waste, since pattern detection is active immediately, i.e. the material can be used very soon after the beginning of the roll. Moreover, in the case of various packaging procedures, e.g. when labeling bottles, it is possible to save additional material that used to be dedicated exclusively to the mark.
This makes the ML20 not only an economical but also sustainable solution.