Lector62x image-based code readers in sleeving systems of the SetLine series from A+F Automation + Fördertechnik GmbH ensure that the machines are operated without errors, which allows achieving optimum packaging performance.
“For several reasons, A+F opted for the Lector620 Professional,” explains Dipl.-Ing. Sascha Barkei from Software Engineering at A+F. “The code reader delivers convincing performance due to its compact and industry-compatible design. The image-based device is capable of 1D and 2D codes, ensures reliable, omnidirectional reading behavior and enables monitoring of code quality.”
A+F: Performance and flexibility in fully automatic final packaging
For more than 40 years A+F based in Kirchlengern is a leading supplier of end-of-line packaging machines and equipment having specialized in the development and manufacture of fully automated packaging systems. “The product program includes systems for transporting and handling of, among other things, cups, bottles, cans, or bags as well as secondary packaging in sleeves, crates, or wrap-around trays,” explains Alfredo Schneider from Product Management.
Required: Error-free feeding of sleeves
The integrated sleeving and packaging systems of the SetLine series are capable of processing different container sizes and multiple sleeves – doing so at machine capacities of up to 40,000 cups an hour. The cardboard cutouts for the sleeves are fed from a magazine to multi-row stacks. In order to achieve the best possible safety in the course of the packaging process, the sleeves have to be identified and confirmed as correct prior to being unfolded in the sleeve inserting station. In the process, the position and orientation of the bar code may vary for the same types of sleeve. In addition, it is necessary to monitor the print and contrast quality of the coding. “Finally, the code reader must be able to read 1D codes with utmost reliability, while at the same time being suitable as well for the future 2D codes on the sleeves,” says Holger Boeckeler from Industry Support Commercial Goods of SICK Vertriebs-GmbH. To a large extent, he did the consulting with respect to and implementation of the project for equipping the sleeving system.
Lector®62x ensures correct supply of cutouts
In the sleeving system, a vacuum gripper arm takes several cutouts at a time from the stacks, swiveling them into the field of view of the code readers installed above the magazine feed. As soon as the codes come within the field of view, they are detected independently by the eight Lector620 Professional overall by means of presentation mode, and the reading process starts. Afterwards, the vacuum gripper arm inserts the as yet flat sleeves into the cutout feed, where they undergo pre-folding. Subsequently, in the cup insertion stations, the cups coming from a filling machine, e. g. for yoghurt in different flavors, are inserted into the sleeves, which have adhesive applied to them on top and get folded and glued automatically. “In case the code readers have detected an incorrect sleeve before, this particular packaging unit is sorted out behind the cup insertion station,” explains Sascha Barkei. “Thus, raspberry yoghurt in the lemon sleeve is impossible. If the reading devices detect several incorrect types of sleeves in close succession, the system is stopped, and the machine operator has to check the feed stock in the carton magazine.”
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Using the Lector620 Professional, A+F thus manages very efficiently to achieve a maximum level of packaging safety while reliably avoiding rejects and complaints at the end customer’s operation.