Sensors & Transducers


Innovation for the beverage industry

February 2012 Sensors & Transducers

Baumer’s SmartReflect light barriers without reflectors.

Baumer introduced an attention-grabber for the beverage industry at the Brau Beviale fair, SmartReflect is the company’s first light barrier that operates without a reflector and recognises all types of beverage packaging, including transparent glass or plastic bottles. An innovation represents Baumer’s development of the most reliable form of object detection in the field of photoelectric sensors, triggered by the object’s physical interruption of the closed beam of a light barrier. In SmartReflect light barriers, the light beam is closed by, for instance, a machine component. Detection takes place regardless of the colour and material of the background and the relevant object. This dispenses with the separate reflectors or receivers customarily required until now.

In the beverage industry, photoelectric sensors or light barriers are most commonly used in filling and packaging applications. Especially for such operations, Baumer offers SmartReflect in a wash down design with protection class IP 69K and its proTect+ leak tight concept. It monitors the process by, for instance, recognising the correct positioning of the foodstuff filling material. This has hitherto called for the complex installation of a sensor as well as the necessary reflector – both requiring hygienic shielding. The reflector is an extra element requiring the additional effort expenditure of regular cleaning. Furthermore, the aggressive cleaning agents gradually wear down the reflector and necessitate its eventual replacement. By dispensing with the reflector, SmartReflect also abolishes the otherwise necessary effort of mounting, starting up and aligning the reflector.



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