Roller sensor bar ends conveyor headaches

25th July 2022

Logistics BusinessRoller sensor bar ends conveyor headaches

SICK has developed a versatile and easy to install Roller Sensor Bar to tackle common conveyor downtime headaches for operators in wide-ranging materials handling, parcel sorting or logistics hubs.

The SICK Roller Sensor Bar has been perfected to deliver high sensing performance when detecting the leading edges of varied, flat or irregular shaped packages on conveyors. Mounted between rollers or belted sections, the SICK Roller Sensor Bar’s flexible concept dispenses with the need to pre-qualify and stock multiple sensor types.

Quickly mounted using spring-loaded end caps, a pre-configured SICK Roller Sensor Bar is ready to start work without needing to be aligned. Whether mounted during conveyor manufacture or fitted to an existing production line, the time taken to install and set up a Roller Sensor Bar is minimal.

Eliminate Conveyor Jams

“Conveyor jams are a common headache for all sorts of logistics and materials handling environments. The Roller Sensor Bar eliminates the unplanned downtime caused when conventional sensor set-ups cause jamming, package build-ups or misdirects,” says David Hannaby, SICK’s UK Product Manager for Presence Detection.

“Jams can happen when packages catch on sensing holes in the conveyor walls, or on the sensor themselves. The Roller Sensor Bar can also be configured without blind zones at the sides of the conveyor. Installation and alignment time is reduced, and there is no need to purchase extra mounting brackets or reflectors.”

SICK says it has made it quick and easy to customise the Roller Sensor Bar so it can detect a wide range of shapes and sizes of packages simultaneously, in any orientation, and even when they have irregular or thin leading edges. It can therefore be quickly adapted for a broad range of detection needs from, non-transparent poly bags and jiffy packs through to totes or pallets.

Users specify the sensor bar length ranging from 200mm to 1.2m, then set between two and eight sensing points spaced 50mm to 200mm apart. As a result, they achieve alignment precision and avoid detection blind zones. Positioned to detect from below, the SICK Roller Sensor Bar has excellent ambient light immunity so false trips and triggers, e.g. by reflections from high visibility clothing, are avoided.

A choice of ten different connector types and nine standard cable lengths ensure quick and easy installation, not just into all kinds of roller conveyors, but for belted conveyor sections and flexible conveyors.

The IO-Link variant of SICK’s Roller Sensor bar enables operators to access diagnostic information to reduce conveyor downtime. Using IO-Link, individual beam breaks can be identified for product alignment checks, e.g. to confirm a divert has happened, or to alert when objects are skewed or in the wrong position on the conveyor. It can also track each sensor’s operating status and alert to service or maintenance requirements.

With an IP67-rated housing, the SICK Roller Sensor bar is resilient to the ingress of dust or water during cleaning procedures.