Application Exploration: UVX Luminescence Sensor and Tamper-Evident Seal Detection

Monday, December 7, 2020

Promoting Consumer Safety and Process Efficiency

If you’re in the pharmaceutical, consumer goods, or personal care industry, you’re no stranger to tamper-evident seals. These small elements of your product packaging play a significant — and often mandatory — role in keeping your customers safe, promoting your brand’s concern for protecting those customers, increasing retail sales, and meeting compliance requirements.

To support companies that have invested in tamper-evident seals for their products, EMX Industries, Inc. offers the UVX line of luminescence sensors. Used to detect a variety of materials that contain luminescent properties, the UVX sensor series is a high-speed solution for verifying the presence of glues, sealants, greases, adhesives, coatings, clear labels, and other elements that are critical for product quality and customer safety.

Here, we’ll explore how the UVX sensor line was put to work for a major manufacturer of shrink sleeve labeling and tamper-evident shrink banding systems.

How the UVX Luminescence Sensor Was Used to Verify Tamper-Evident Seal Placement

The manufacturer approached us needing to verify the presence of tamper-evident seal placement. This verification needed to be performed on every product container during the high-speed production process. Because tamper-evident seals are required for pharmaceutical products, it was vital to verify that the seals were in fact present in the packaging process.

It’s worth noting that the use of shrink band films with optical brighteners to create a tamper-evident seal has become a cost-effective solution to improving the level of security manufacturers offer in their products. And because the film contains those optical brighteners, the UVX sensor has no trouble detecting them. In this instance, the company used the UVX-300 — a high-sensitivity variant of the overall UVX line with a display range of 0–50 mm, a variety of gain options, broad spectral sensitivity, and — as one of its most flexible features — a 20–350 mm operating range. This latter aspect is essential as not every manufacturing line is the same, and the sensor may need to be positioned closer or farther away depending on the line and product being evaluated.

tamper evident sealThe UVX-300 sensor provides a discrete output (PNP/NPN) to indicate the presence of the tamper-evident seals and was easily integrated into the company’s automated systems. Shown here, the UVX-300 features a 2-digit digital display indicating the signal level measured. A modulated, 370 nm UV light source prevents the sensor from being affected by ambient light, so the readings are extremely accurate. The sensor is viewing a pharmaceutical product with and without the tamper-evident seal.

The display shows the signal level from the optical brighteners in the seal. When the signal is above the company’s threshold setting, the red LED light triggers and a signal is sent to a programmable logic controller (PLC) or another control system, enabling production leaders to take action and prevent products without seals from moving forward in the process. The fast response of the UVX-300 supported the company’s high-speed environment as well. In the end, the UVX-300 provided this major manufacturer with the reliability needed to ensure every product was properly secured with a tamper-evident seal.

Why the UVX-300 Excelled in This Application

Meeting production goals, maintaining compliance with industry regulations, protecting customers, and minimizing waste and downtime are essential for success in today’s heavy-demand, high-speed manufacturing world. At EMX Industries, Inc., all of our industrial sensors are designed to enable our customers to do exactly that. Our sensor solutions are a cost-effective alternative to machine learning systems and other competing solutions. The UVX eliminates the inefficiency and inaccuracy of human verification methods.

The UVX line of luminescence sensors is just one of the many solutions designed to support the packaging and pharmaceutical industries. With different product variations and flexible customization options, the UVX series is a robust alternative to support your production goals.

Need a Solution to Improve Production Efficiency and Product Quality? 

Connect with our sales team now to learn more about the UVX series’ capabilities, or request a complimentary evaluation of your material by our application engineers.