OMRON Introduces Sensors Enabling Stable Detection of Color Marks on Food Packages, Better Productivity in Packaging Process

Used in combination, the E3S-DC and E3NX-CA can stably detect color marks which are printed on glossy or colorful materials with subtle differences in colors and previously difficult to detect, cutting back on time necessary to start production and do maintenance work, contributing to an overall productivity increase in the packaging process.

KYOTO, Japan, May 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- OMRON Corporation based in Kyoto City, western Japan, will introduce on June 1, 2016, "Color Mark Photoelectric Sensor E3S-DC Series (E3S-DC)" and "Color Fiber Amplifier Unit E3NX-CA Series (E3NX-CA)" targeting food and beverage makers faced with an increasing difficulty to detect color marks (*1) printed on diversified product packages.


Used in combination, the E3S-DC and E3NX-CA can stably detect color marks which are printed on glossy or colorful materials with subtle differences in colors and previously difficult to detect, cutting back on time necessary to start production and do maintenance work, contributing to an overall productivity increase in the packaging process.

OMRON will showcase the E3S-DC and E3NX-CA at the FOOMA JAPAN 2016 to be held at Tokyo Big Sight from June 7 to 10.

Faced with increasingly diversified consumer needs, the food and beverage industries are developing new products almost on a daily basis, diversifying packaging materials and designs in the process. Given such circumstances, manufacturers have been looking for a sensor capable of detecting, stably and simply, color marks printed on all sorts of materials in order to keep their plant running stably.

In response, OMRON cooperated with its customers to develop the E3S-DC and E3NX-CA which incorporate OMRON's proprietary sensing technology and algorithm to stably detect "differences in colors" under various conditions. The combination of the E3S-DC and E3NX-CA not only reliably detect color marks on a variety of packaging materials but also optimize initially set parameters to adjust to changes in manufacturing lots, contributing to a stable operation of the production plant.

Reliably detecting color marks on various packaging materials - The "Super High Dynamic Range" function requires only a simple setting to stably detect color differences between marks and the background printed on glossy materials including aluminum vapor deposition film. - The "Low Noise, High S/N Ratio Light Receiving System" reliably detects subtle differences in similar types of color often used on colorful packaging with little color differences.

Optimizing settings to adjust to lot changes - Color information detected by a sensor will be transmitted to upper layer equipment such as a programmable logic controller via EtherCAT (R). Color variations resulting from various lots can be easily managed in a database and sensors can be adjusted for optimal settings to keep the plant from an abrupt shutdown and maintain a high operational ratio.

OMRON brings innovation to manufacturing sites through automation with "integrated," "intelligent" and "interactive" concepts. OMRON will continue to work with manufacturing partners to innovate manufacturing processes at the workplace with one of the world's most sophisticated Input-Logic-Output-Robotics + Safety (ILOR+S) technology including proprietary sensing technology.

(*1) Marks which indicate the cutting positions of film packaging. The marks are printed on the film at regular intervals in colors varying with packaging design.

Key features

1. High Dynamic Range for No Saturation Even with 99% Reflective Optical Mirrors In order to detect highly-reflective glossy packaging, the installation angle of a sensor needed to be adjusted to avoid saturation of the sensor's incident level. The new Color Mark Sensor has a greatly widened incident light range. This allows for the stable detection of glossy aluminum vapor deposition packaging without saturation even if the Sensor is installed directly above it.

(Photo4:
http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M102197/201605250941/_prw_OI10im_11hVFCqD.jpg)

(Documentation1: http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M102197/201605250941/_prw_OA1fl_0txEx6nr.JPG)

2. High S/N Ratio System Design to Identify Even Minor Color Differences With designs becoming more colorful, there are times where there is little difference in color between the color mark and the design elements (background), and it possibly causes false detection of color marks. The new Color Mark Sensor provides a high S/N ratio to stably detect subtle color differences.

(Photo5:
http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M102197/201605250941/_prw_OI11fl_LmS8J7pt.jpg)

3. RGB Data Transmission Function for Visualization of Color Variation There are cases where colors of packaging materials vary from lot to lot, which may cause production downtime due to false detection of color marks. The new Color Mark Sensor enables RGB information for color marks and backgrounds for each lot to be transmitted to a host device, and the RGB information can be quantified. The Sensor helps reduce downtime due to false detection of color marks caused by variation in colors printed on packaging and also the time required for measures taken against it.

Main specifications
Color Mark Photoelectric Sensor E3S-DC (Documentation2: http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M102197/201605250941/_prw_OA2fl_295A425w.pdf)

Color Fiber Amplifier Unit E3NX-CA
(Documentation3: http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M102197/201605250941/_prw_OA3fl_MQFfzQV3.pdf)

About OMRON Corporation
OMRON Corporation is a leading automation company focusing on proprietary sensing and control technologies as its core competence, developing a wide spectrum of businesses including control equipment, electronic devices, automotive electronic components and parts, social infrastructure, healthcare, and the environment. Established in 1933, OMRON now employs about 38,000 employees around the world, providing products and services in over 110 countries of the world. OMRON's industrial automation business is dedicated to providing automation technologies and products as well as customer support for innovating manufacturing, thus contributing to the building of an affluent society.

For more information, please visit our website (http://www.omron.com/).

EtherCAT (R) is a registered trademark of and licensed by, and is a patented technology of Beckhoff Automation GmbH of Germany.

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