Multiple Applications Require Splices, but Detection is Critical
Manufacturers in multiple industries must use splices to join various materials together for different purposes. Depending on your industry, splices may be used to join paper sheets, plastic film, label backing material as well as printed labels, and even rubber products. The splice is simply the joining of two ends of material together for reasons such as:
- Preventing interruptions in the production line
- Differentiating between sections of material
- Preventing material from ripping or tearing
- Preventing splices from ending up in the final product
- Quantifying products or sheets as they progress
While they may seem to be just another aspect and requirement of working in production lines, the ability to accurately detect splices and enable some resulting action is essential. It’s common for multiple splices to be present on single rolls or sheets of material, so identifying them where they occur is essential. If a splice is missing, the sensor can detect that and trigger another system to provide an alert for someone to come inspect the material or even shut down the production line to prevent further issues.
As a result, product quality can be maintained, the potential for damage to production equipment can be prevented, and overall processes can be protected to ensure you minimize downtime, reduce waste, and realize other important benefits.
But what sensor type is best for your application? Let’s explore a few examples of different splice materials and which sensors are best for those applications.
3 Splice Detection Sensors by Splice Material
1. Splicing Tape
Splicing tape is a common material for joining materials together in production processes. Often seen in red, blue, or white depending on the material, splicing tape vibrantly indicates the presence of a splice on a roll or sheet. But because today’s manufacturing lines are running faster than ever, and because paper and label processes are already operating at high speeds, it’s not possible to rely on human detection.
In instances where a tape is being used, a color sensor can be used as an accurate splice detection sensor solution. EMX Industries offers the ColorMax line of color sensors with a supporting sensor application software solution to assist with setup, color channel management, and real-time sample analysis. With rapid sample speeds, a range of available spot sizes, and flexible operating ranges, it will fit perfectly into your existing setup while enabling you to accurately detect the presence of different color splicing tapes on your materials as they move forward in production.
2. Luminescent Tape or Paint
It’s common in some industries to indicate splices with luminescent tape, paint, or an adhesive rather than solid color tape. It ultimately depends on the application and material being connected. In these instances, a color sensor won’t be able to accurately detect these splice materials because they likely won’t have a strong enough color to be detected — that, or they may be transparent.
In these applications, the ideal splice detection sensor will be one that can detect materials that fluoresce, such as luminescent tape and paint. These sensors are used in countless industries where the need to verify transparent or otherwise hard-to-detect materials can be accomplished by emitting UV light onto the fluorescing material, thereby allowing the sensor to detect them and output that data to a computer, programmable logic controller (PLC), or another system.
3. Any Contrasting Material
In some applications, materials may be joined using high-contrast solutions like darker tape, spray paint, or other solutions. In these instances, a color sensor may not be needed because the splice material itself may be different enough that a contrast sensor can be used to detect the separation.
At EMX Industries, our CNTX line of sensors uses a broad-spectrum white LED light source to detect a wide range of colors against any background. These high-speed solutions feature switching speeds as fast as 40kHz and high spectral sensitivity, allowing them to easily detect variations in the contrast between two surfaces.
To Find the Right Solution, Start with the Challenge
When it comes to detecting splices in your production line, know that you have options. Our team will work with you to understand your specific application and identify the right splice detection sensor for your needs. Once we have a recommended solution, our team can conduct a complimentary sample test to ensure the sensor — whether ColorMax, UVX, or CNTX — will detect your splice type and meet your production demand.