Sick Sensors ‘See’ Difficult Objects Reliably

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Sick Sensors ‘See’ Difficult Objects Reliably

Sick Sensors ‘See’ Difficult Objects Reliably
October 08
08:22 2012

Difficult shapes, flat or transparent objects that have previously defied reliable detection can now be seen clearly and detected reliably with the welcome new MultiLine and MultiPac sensors from Sick.


The Sick MultiLine photoelectric sensor ensures a stable and continuous detection signal from the leading to the trailing edge of a product, even when surfaces are glossy, flat, or contoured.  It consistently detects low-profile, uneven or glossy product surfaces for example, vacuum foil coffee packs, wrapped chocolate bars or soup sachets. The sensor’s innovative design reduces the risk of machine downtime by eliminating false signals, leading to improved productivity.

With MultiLine, a greater object throughput is possible, as objects may be placed on the belt with smaller gaps between them, improving productivity. Additionally, changeover between lines is speeded with less downtime, as the sensor repositioning is usually not required to achieve detection when changing to products with different profiles.

The MultiLine uses innovative twin light-beam technology for consistent detection of difficult objects that single beam sensors frequently fail to detect. The sensor’s innovative design reduces the risk of machine downtime by eliminating false signals, leading to improved productivity.

Glossy or dark surfaces, low profiles without obvious starts or finishes, textures, uneven and contoured outlines, can all be detected by the MultiLine. “With MultiLine we have combined two photoelectric sensors with an integrated logic evaluation program within one housing,” says Phil Dyas industrial sensor product specialist for SICK (UK).

“By using two parallel light lines arranged vertically, to continuously detect objects, the SICK MultiLine avoids the fluctuations and loss of signal caused by reflective or transparent objects.”

The MultiLine detection phase starts when both lines detect the object and detection stops when both no longer signal the object, from leading edge to leaving edge. No complex software is required to reduce and suppress false signals.


The Sick MultiPac optical sensor offers a promising new solution to the problem of detecting clear-shiny, dark-glossy or multi-reflective surfaces in automated packaging and logistics operations, especially where there are complex curved shapes or transparent outlines.

The MultiPac therefore promises to improve handling efficiency and productivity in operations where highly efficient checking and control is required, for example detecting PET-foil six packs or shrink-wrapped transparent bottles or pallets.

The Sick MultiPac eliminates the possibility of false or misleading signals and therefore achieves highly-consistent detection in multi-product handling applications even when detecting shiny, clear or curved surfaces.

“It has always been difficult to achieve reliable sensing for automatic handling of parts and packaging with shiny surfaces or complex curves and indentations,” explains Phil.

The MultiPac is a photoelectric sensor that operates from one fixed position without the need for reflectors. It can be mounted up to a height of 500mm above the conveyor, enabling detection of a wide variety of shapes and heights. On multiple-product lines, time-wasting adjustments for differing pack heights are therefore eliminated and product flow can be continuous.  New product lines can be introduced without interruption.

The MultiPac’s high performance is achieved by incorporating two completely separate receiver systems in a single unit with a high-power LED emitter for high light intensity. The sensor’s custom-developed software provides a powerful evaluation system to integrate the signals. The MultiPac therefore achieves improved detection and sensitivity no matter what the foreground or background.

For more information on the Sick MultiLine or MultiPac, contact Andrea Hornby on 01727 831121 or email andrea.hornby@sick.co.uk.

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