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New Ultrasonic Sensor Ensures Smooth Production Flow

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New Ultrasonic Sensor Ensures Smooth Production Flow
New Ultrasonic Sensor Ensures Smooth Production Flow

Video: New Ultrasonic Sensor Ensures Smooth Production Flow

Video: New Ultrasonic Sensor Ensures Smooth Production Flow
Video: Reliable solution with high-performance ultrasonic sensors with integrated setting & filter options 2023, December

The step conveyors from Weber are used for storing, organizing, conveying, separating and feeding small parts such as screws, pins and nuts provided as bulk goods. They are used in large parts of mechanical engineering, in the automotive, electrical and aerospace industries.

“As a typical medium-sized company with an annual production of over 1000 machines in the assembly automation area alone, quality and reliability are our top priorities. This is one of the main reasons why we mainly maintain long-term customer partnerships,”says Franz Kroll, group leader of mechanical development at Weber Screw Automats GmbH. With around 350 employees worldwide, the Wolfratshausen-based company develops and manufactures products and solutions - from the finished electric handheld screwdriver to automatic screwdrivers to automated assembly cells exactly according to customer requirements.

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Reliable level monitoring is important

Reliable level monitoring in material storage is a key issue at Weber. In automated production processes, the operator wants to be sure that his machine does not suddenly stop due to an infeed system that has gone empty unnoticed or due to incorrect messages from the fill level monitoring system. In the past, mechanical systems have not been suitable for all bulk goods. Plant operators today expect intelligent alternatives for every bulk material. "Until recently, we solved the issue of level monitoring with a closing or opening initiator, depending on the application, one was chosen," explains Franz Kroll.

The new UST Q12 ultrasonic sensor from Di-Soric with a robust, fully encapsulated aluminum housing in protection class IP67 is now being used in the storage containers of Weber step conveyors. The sensor, measuring just 12 mm x 12 mm x 84 mm, is optimally protected against mechanical influences and completely insensitive to dirt and noise. It is quick and space-saving with two continuous M4 holes on the bunker wall. Teaching (the working area is between 40 and 400 mm) is done from the control level or via a cable teach in about 15 s. With a narrow sound beam of around 30 °, the sensor has a reliable view of the fill level and reliably detects even small, irregular parts.

Long-term project partnership

Di-Soric, headquartered in Urbach near Stuttgart, has specialized in the development, manufacture and sale of sensors for industrial automation for more than 30 years. Weber and Di-Soric have had a very good project partnership for over 10 years when it comes to developing new sensor solutions or implementing customer-specific applications. "Di-Soric has been a consultant and component supplier for many years, whom we no longer want to do without in our value creation process," said Franz Kroll. In mechanical engineering, ultrasonic sensors are the all-rounders among the sensors: They are used when short switching distances of inductive and capacitive sensors are not sufficient or optical sensors are unsuitable due to the nature of the objects to be detected (e.g. glass).

Compared to other measuring techniques, the ultrasonic method is extremely robust: ultrasonic sensors detect partially, fully transparent, extremely dark, reflective objects as well as objects in dusty, hazy or damp environments. Ultrasonic sensors are the ideal solution for the detection of small parts in bulk containers and for the detection of glass.

Classic ultrasonic sensors reached their limits

The designers and engineers at Weber had in mind that an ultrasonic sensor could be an alternative to previously used methods for level control. With the flat-walled bulk bunkers, however, classic variants in threaded tube design reach their limits: The sound must hit the bunker floor perpendicularly in order to achieve optimal reflection. A radial sound emission would therefore make sense in order to reliably measure the bunker fill level.

For Weber, the optimal solution came just-in-time: “In the course of our regular project discussions, we confronted Stephan Seidenberg from our system partner Di-Soric with this topic. With the new UST Q12 ultrasonic sensor, he proposed a reliable and cost-effective solution that we finally implemented in all of our step conveyors after a test phase,”emphasizes Franz Kroll. The interference-resistant ultrasonic sensor from Di-Soric finds a wide range of applications in small, medium and large bunkers in the feeding technology. It is basically suitable wherever objects with unfavorable sound reflection or glass objects are to be recognized.

Variants with IO-Link available

Di-Soric recognizes an increasing need for small, robust, easy-to-install and teach-in ultrasound probes. With a view to Industry 4.0 concepts that are gaining in importance, variants in M12 and M18 with IO-Link have been available since July 2016. For all those users who need process data in real time, transparency down to the process level and time-saving parameterization solutions. Weber automatic screwdrivers are currently testing the application of the insensitive and reliable ultrasonic sensors to other product groups. (jv)

SPS IPC Drives 2016: Hall 4A, Stand 301

* Torsten Delfs, Sensor Product Manager, Di-Soric GmbH & Co. KG