The Microsonic MIC range of ultrasonic sensors available from Balluff-MultiSwitch have been used by Ace Assembly Systems to solve the problem of product damage when transferring from their Platen System conveyor to packing cases.
Ace Assembly Systems manufacture the UK's only realistically flexible, cost effective platen system, used as the basis for the fully automatic, semi automatic or manual assembly of a wide range of products.
The featured Platen System is used in the production of chrome sink strainers.
The problem encountered was that when the transfer carriage gripper arm dropped the product into the packing cases from too great a height, the product was prone to damage.
To avoid this a separate sensor was required to position the gripper arm at a set distance above the current product level within the packing case before releasing the product.
Photoelectric sensors could not be reliably used because they would see the gaps between the products as they fell randomly.
A dual output ultrasonic sensor from Microsonic was used to solve the problem.
The relatively wide ultrasonic cone allowed the sensor to see the product level within the box without seeing the gaps between product, allowing the gripper to drop the product into the box from a constant height of 100 mm above the current level of product.
The second output from the ultrasonic sensor could then be used to position the gripper for picking up the product from the Platen Tool allowing both jobs to be controlled from a single sensor.
Another benefit is that the sensor is insensitive to changes in colour or material allowing the process to deal with stainless steel or coloured plastic coated products without the need for adjustment.
In the event of a completely different product being introduced, the push to teach set up of the ultrasonic sensor allows for quick and easy change of parameters.
The Microsonic MIC range of ultrasonic sensors is now available from Balluff-MultiSwitch with sensing ranges from 30mm to 6m and with single or dual switched outputs or analogue output.
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