Label Detection Sensor Capabilities: What to Look For

Friday, August 14, 2020

Label Detection Sensors Are Critical for Accurate Production

For label manufacturers and other companies involved in the production of various types of labels, ensuring accuracy and quality during high-speed manufacturing processes is of the utmost importance. There are a number of applications where a precise, high-performing label detection sensor can mean the difference between an efficient production line or one that produces inconsistent results and, as a result, a negative impact on the bottom line. 

For example, label manufacturers produce hundreds of thousands of labels per day (if not more) on large sheets and at an incredibly rapid pace. If a label is missing, or there is an issue with the webbing, it may indicate a problem earlier in the production cycle. This issue must be identified immediately to prevent significant wasted material and loss to the manufacturer. Even one label per thousand could indicate a problem, which quickly compounds due to the number of labels being produced. And because of speed, manual verification is simply not possible.

The speed of production presents more challenges as well. Because so many labels are being produced at high speed, determining the number of labels — not only for quality control purposes but also to ensure secondary processes have the correct number of labels — is virtually impossible without a label detection sensor feeding information into a programmable logic controller (PLC) or another system. Labels inadvertently stacked on top of one another also present production challenges, which a label detection sensor can identify.

Last but not least is opacity. Using a label detection sensor that works with both opaque and transparent labels ensures that not only is quality maintained, but the above application needs are also met regardless of the design and material of the label. 

Clearly, there are a number of checkboxes that a label detection sensor must tick. But for organizations that either aren’t using a label detection sensor, are struggling with production issues, or want to take their label detection needs to the next level, there are four key aspects that should be considered to ensure the proper sensor is selected and implemented.

Key Aspects of an Ideal Label Detection Sensor

1. Accuracy

As discussed above, perhaps the most important aspect of a label detection sensor is its ability to detect differences in light between the label and the backer sheet with extreme precision. This is how the sensor determines if a label is present and can inform a secondary operation. The label detection sensor must be able to identify the presence of a label regardless of its opacity. It must also be able to perform this function at high speeds.

The EMX difference: Our LabelX sensor features up to three programmable modes for detecting standard labels, low contrast labels, and nearly clear labels. Two models are available with fast and easy switching between the available modes.

2. Speed

In addition to accuracy (and perhaps just as important) is speed. Because label manufacturing occurs at such a rapid pace, it’s important that the sensor be able to detect labels rapidly. If the sensor can’t keep up with production, it’s inevitable that labels will be missed, leading to quality issues, inaccurate counting data, and other downstream issues with products, order quantities, and ultimately an impact on the bottom line.

The EMX difference: The LabelX sensor features extremely rapid response times of less than 40 microseconds (?s). That means the sensor is able to detect a label in less than 40 one-millionths of a second!

3. Manufacturing & Support

While the country of manufacture doesn’t necessarily impact day-to-day operations, a label detection sensor manufactured closer to home means that, if needed, parts will be more readily available. Service requests will be answered faster and more efficiently. And when it comes to production uptime in factories, being able to get answers and parts sooner rather than later makes all the difference.

The EMX difference: Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, EMX is a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced industrial sensor products. Our customer service and technical support teams are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm to assist with any product requests or support needs.

4. Setup & Integration

Last but not least (and often overlooked), the ability to quickly and easily set up and integrate a label detection sensor into the production line helps to generate positive results faster and thus ROI. Many label sensors consist of multiple pieces and have extensive setup requirements, extending the time needed to start realizing benefits from the investment. With a single-piece sensor designed to be integrated into factory automation systems, companies can gain the benefits of their new label detection sensor right away.

The EMX difference: Consisting of a single piece with an industry-standard connector, wiring, and mounting configuration, the LabelX sensor is designed to be put to immediate use with minimal setup needed.

Discover If LabelX is Right for Your Process Automation Needs

If your organization has been considering solutions for more effective label manufacturing and detecting needs, the LabelX label detection sensor from EMX Industries, Inc. brings all of the above-mentioned benefits and combines them into a single package. With small spot size and fast response times for high-speed label detection, LabelX detects a variety of adhesive labels on many different types of web backings by differentiating between the gap and the label. 

Wondering if LabelX can work for your application? EMX can test your label on our sensors at no charge. Once complete, we’ll provide you with a complimentary report. Get in touch with us to request your sample today.