Sensors & Transducers

Monitoring in-line accumulation on a single filer

October 2023 Sensors & Transducers

Monitoring clear bottles as they are removed from a depalletiser and progress through a single filer can be challenging. The transparency of the targets and the unstable signal from the movement of the bottles can be difficult for many sensors to detect reliably. The Q5X laser distance sensor from Turck Banner solves this problem.

When bottles are removed from a depalletiser, they are swept off the pallet by a sweeper arm, layer by layer. The bottles eventually start to move into a single file and continue downstream. It is important to monitor the bottles in the staging area to make sure that they have moved on before another layer is swept onto the conveyor. However, the unstable signal from the moving bottles and low-contrast objects can be challenging for sensors to detect reliably.

The solution is to use a laser distance sensor that incorporates background suppression. The Turck Banner Q5X detects when the staging area is clear of bottles and the system is ready for the next layer of containers. The integral timing delay on the Q5X filters out any small gaps between objects as they move in a cluster.

The background suppression function of the Q5X is also important in this type of environment because the sensor can be set to detect objects within a defined sensing field only, and ignore anything that is located beyond the sensing field cut-off point. In dual teach mode, which measures both distance and light intensity, the Q5X can also reliably detect the presence of clear bottles without the risk of double counting.

The Q5X sensor solves the most difficult distance-based applications, even at acute angles. It reliably detects extremely dark targets, black targets against a black background, black targets against a shiny metal background, clear and reflective objects, multicolour packaging, and targets of all colours. With industry-standard rectangular housing and 270° rotatable M12 QD, the Q5X sensor is compact and flexible to meet a wide variety of mounting constraints. In addition, the sensor features stable detection all the way out to two metres, even at an angle, which enables even greater mounting flexibility. The sensor is also rated IP67 for reliable performance in wet environments.

For more information contact Turck Banner, +27 11 453 2468,,


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