Multicolored Targets and Product Changeover


Multicolored targets are increasingly becoming the norm, especially in consumer packaged goods industries. The various types of packaging used include shiny, glossy, or other unpredictable surfaces.

For example, reflective, multicolored, and wrinkled material such as foil or film is frequently used in food and beverage packaging and can cause inconsistent sensor readings. 

Why Multicolored Targets are Challenging


Multicolored targets are challenging for many sensors to consistently detect.  This is because some colors, such as very dark colors, are more difficult for traditional photoelectric sensors to see because darker colors reflect back less light back to the sensor compared to lighter colors. Multicolored targets also have frequent color transitions and varying amounts of reflectivity that further impact sensing reliability.  

Product changeover creates additional challenges because sensors must be able to reliably detect a variety of color combinations. To keep up with consumer demand, manufacturers require flexible sensing solutions that can detect all colors and that can be quickly updated with each new "recipe" during product changeover to keep production lines moving. 


The Solution: Laser Distance Sensors with IO-Link

Laser Distance Sensors Detect All Colors


Laser distance sensors are an excellent choice for detecting multicolored packaging because cause they determine target presence or absence using distance. Laser distance sensors are unaffected by color transitions, and they can reliably detect all different varieties of packaging, regardless of color or reflectivity. 

In addition, many laser distance sensors from Banner Engineering feature exceptionally high excess gain to reliably detect very dark colors, as well as automatic gain adjustment to dynamically increase or decrease sensing power depending on target reflectivity. 

IO-Link Enables Fast Product Changeover

With IO-Link, users can easily read and change device parameters through the control system software, enabling fast configuration and commissioning that saves time and resources. 

In addition, IO-Link sensors can accommodate multiple recipes that can be quickly and dynamically changed from the control system as needed—such as in the case of product changeover.  For example, a line that runs products of different sizes at different times will require changes to sensors’ distance thresholds.  

Choosing laser measurement sensors
Laser Sensor Specifications Explained

Manufacturers use many terms to describe sensor performance, but not all manufacturers use the same specifications, which can make it challenging to compare different models of sensors. Read the article to learn tips for choosing the right sensor for any application.


Featured Products

Q4XT Facing Left
Q4X Series

Laser Distance Sensor with IO-Link, 25-610 mm

Versatile, rugged laser distance sensors offering superior performance and capable of detecting sub-millimeter changes in distance.

  • Discrete, analog (0 to 10 V or 4 to 20 mA), clear object, and IO-Link models available
  • Reliable sensing range from as close as 25 mm and as far as 610 mm
  • Detects across a variety of target colors, materials and surfaces based on distance
  • Dual teach mode (intensity + distance) is ideal for error-proofing applications and enables clear object detection with no retro-reflector required
  • Robust housing rated to IP69K with FDA-grade stainless steel
Q5X Series

Laser Distance Sensor with IO-Link, 9.5 cm to 2 m

The Q5X background suppression laser is a powerful, problem-solving sensor in a cost-effective device with industry-standard rectangular housing.

  • Range from 9.5 cm (4 inches) to 2 m (6 ft. 6 inches)
  • Exceptionally high excess gain enables the sensor to reliably detect the darkest objects (<6% reflective black targets)
  • Reliably detects black targets against a black background, black targets against a shiny metal background, clear and reflective objects, multicolor packaging, and targets of all colors
  • Dual teach mode measures both distance plus light intensity to solve the most challenging applications