Application: Detecting clear and plastic bottles

Challenges: Translucent materials with varying sizes and shapes in a washdown environment

Solution: The Q4X Clear Object Detection Sensor

Benefits: Dual-mode sensor measures distance and light intensity to reliably detect a wide range of transparent and translucent objects. IP69K-rated stainless steel housing resists exposure to harsh cleaners and washdown.

Sensors Must Overcome Challenges of Variables in Bottle Manufacturing and Fast Pace of Travel

In a day, a single bottling line may process bottles numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Reliably detecting and accurately counting these bottles as they travel on the line supports many downstream processes. However, variations in bottle shape, size, material, color and translucence can complicate accurate detection. For example, clear glass will attenuate light differently than clear plastic and variations in the contours and grooves in a bottle can cause light to reflect in unpredictable ways.

Sensors used in these applications must be able to overcome these challenges and keep pace with the rate the bottles are traveling. Retroreflective photoelectric sensors typically offer the response times required for reliable detection on a bottling line, but many will see through clear bottles, missing detection completely. Additionally, regular exposure to high-pressure, high-temperature washdown can dull and damage reflectors, gradually diminishing inspection effectiveness and increasing maintenance visits.

Banner’s Q4X Clear Object Detection Sensor Detects a Broad Range of Objects Without Use of a Reflector

Banner’s Q4X clear object detection sensor measures the distance to and light intensity of a stable background condition, such as a smooth or painted surface. This allows the sensor to reliably detect a broad range of translucent objects without the use of a reflector. A clear bottle passing through the inspection area will alter the perceived distance and/or light from the background condition, making the sensor immune to variations in the shape, size, or tint of a bottle as well as any faceting.

The sensor is easy to setup and use. An operator simply teaches the sensor to recognize the reference background condition using the three responsive tactile buttons on the sensor. The angled, four-digit display provides continuous feedback from the inspection to facilitate setup and management.

The sensor is protected by an IP69K-rated FDA grade stainless steel enclosure. It will resist high-pressure, high-temperature washdown as well as exposure to harsh chemicals and cleaners. It is built to withstand extreme vibration, over-tightening as well as mechanical impact.