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Black Plastic Tray Detection at a Hopper and Filling Station

Tray Detection at Hopper Application Image

Application: Detect black plastic trays at a sauce filling hopper

Challenges: Dark material moving at high-speeds inside a hygienic environment

Solution: Banner Engineering’s Q4X laser distance sensor

Benefits: IP69K rated housing with FDA-grade stainless steel and washdown ready

Verifying that a plastic tray is in place is a crucial step in the food processing industry. Errors along the line can create unwanted mess and waste and cause costly downtime. To keep production costs down and efficiency high, a sensor solution is needed that can reliably detect black plastic food trays as they approach hoppers to be filled with sauce. Accurate detection of each tray ensures that the filling machine only operates when a tray is present, preventing spillage and wasted food.

Rugged Sensor on a High Speed Line

Banner Engineering’s Q4X laser distance sensor detects a wide variety of target colors, materials, and surfaces based on distance with a sensing range of 25 to 300 mm.  The sensor's rugged design allows to withstand mechanical impact and vibration damage. The Q4X also has incredibly robust housing made of IP69K rate FDA-grade stainless steel. This makes it ideal for use in the food industry where machines must be subjected to high-pressure washdown.

To maintain high throughput within the food industry, it is important that food trays remain very close together without touching as they move along the production line. The Q4X can detect distance changes as small as 1 mm and has a small light spot, which allows the sensor to see through the tiny gaps between trays. These features allow a Q4X to maintain accurate sensing in a high-speed environment with many trays passing through the sensing area.

The Q4X is also compact and easy to install which provides opportunities for versatile placement near the confined space near hoppers. 

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Q4X Series Rugged Laser Distance Sensor
Q4X Series Rugged Laser Distance Sensor

Rugged Q4X laser distance sensor solves many challenging applications and comes in a rugged IP69K rating with FDA food grade stainless steel housing.

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