Sensors & transducers

New forming, filling and sealing machine FMH 80 from SN Maschinenbau

Quality check at high speed W

hether sauces, snacks or ready meals have to be filled and packaged, high throughput and

quick format changes matter in the packaging systems and food industry – and to the highest standards of quality and hygiene, too. For this purpose, the sensors used have to be able to do one thing above all: meet high demands for power, flexibility and hygiene all at the same time. To do this, the packaging machine experts from SN Maschinenbau have rethought the entire concept of a bag-filling system used at notable companies in the food industry, tackled this subject innovatively and have opted for the smart camera technology from Leuze electronic for verifying codes and expiration dates.

Three Tasks, one visualisaTion When developing the new FMH 80 forming, filling and sealing machine, the designers from SN Maschinenbau came up with a complete solution for various tasks using one single

camera system. They scrutinised existing processes and principles and sought new, creative and flexible solutions. The objective was to make the monitoring of the expiration date economical on the one hand, and to identify reference codes on the other. With the latter function even being able to changeover automatically when products are changed. A third application using the same camera measures the position of the print mark on the packaging with the output of an actuation variable [mm] to a servo drive and adjusts the sealing stations of the vertical sealing seams in the process. As a result, the pressure fluctuations on the packaging are automatically corrected. The result is quite impressive: “An innovative design concept came out of this which provides the basis for a new generation of bag packaging machines,” states Thomas Berger, head of Electric Development SN Maschinenbau, with satisfaction. With the new machine concept, an open, hygienic machine design with reduced component sizes was realised, which excludes hidden points and edges, thus enabling very

simple cleaning. At the same time, increased customer requirements in terms of hygiene and allergy containment were able to be addressed. Every single element – from the safety concept to the visualisation – was placed on the test bench and re-conceived.

Reference code check LSIS 462i in the IP67 housing


visualisaTion and checking of reference codes “The first task was the verification of reference codes,” explains Michael Fahr, a sales specialist at Leuze electronic for many years. The products and recipes programmed in to the machine are changed directly via the control, without any manual intervention from staff. “In addition, quality control to check the right contents are actually being filled in the right packaging intended for it must be provided every time,” adds Fahr. To this end, visualisation optics are required which will read the reference codes and match them at the same time. Otherwise, customers could end up getting a carbonara sauce in the package displaying a picture of their favourite Bolognese! This is no longer merely something that could cause anger. Nowadays, with increasing levels of serious allergic reactions, it could potentially be fatal. The newly introduced visualisation system now with the LSIS 462i is a camera-based technology. This becomes an absolute high-end solution in combination with the employed KRTM20 contrast sensor, which can save different contrast values of print marks on the packaging, which can be accessed directly from the control. “Such a convenient, and at the same time, economical solution had been in my mind for a long time. But up until now, I had not yet found a way to make this a reality,” says Berger. He is clearly delighted with this high-end model. In the past, either reference codes could be detected, which were depicted in the form of a bar code, or 2D-codes. “In order to be prepared for the future tasks of our customers, it is important to have a solution for bar codes, data matrix codes and QR codes simultaneously,” points out Berger. For this problem, too, Fahr had the fitting solution for him with the smart camera, because the LSIS 462i is a multi-code-capable high-speed reader which can detect different types of reference codes. The check takes place while the

April 2019 Instrumentation Monthly

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