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Ultrasonic sensors ensure reliable material flow

07 November 2014

Speed and cleanliness are the determining factors in many food and beverage industry applications. Short cycle times and minimum machine and plant downtimes are of particular importance, while hygiene requirements cannot be ignored. 

In beverage filling systems, incoming and outgoing bottles need to be continuously counted, regardless of the material and type of liquid. Individual bottles need to be detected in order to ensure material flow at the outlets of PET bottle blowing machines and bottle washing machines and the speed of these processed is often too fast to allow sensing by ultrasonic technology. The bottles pass the sensor too quickly and the gaps between the bottles are often too small. 

Ultrasonic thru-beam sensors with a high degree of chemical resistance, however, can offer a solution in such applications, which often use hot steam and chemicals for machine cleaning. The IP degree of protection needs be at least IP68/69K that makes the UBEC300-18GM40 (splash zone) series from Pepperl+Fuchs particularly suitable.

In machine areas not affected by cleaning cycles, it is possible to use standard ultrasonic thru-beam sensors such as the UBE1000- 18GM40 series. Because these sensors are able to recognise even the most difficult materials such as transparent glass or plastic bottles.

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