Vision Systems for Container Cleaning Machines

Vision Systems for Container Cleaning Machines

Though some will work as standalone units, most rinsing machines or other container cleaning equipment will be one of the first steps on an automated packaging line and one of the first pieces of packaging equipment to receive bottles or containers at the beginning of the production day. To ensure that the packaging process runs smoothly from the beginning, container cleaning machines will often be manufactured with one or more vision systems.  These vision systems are used to make sure that the rinsing machine itself, as well as the packaging machinery further down the line, is functioning properly before beginning a rinse or before releasing bottles to be filled, capped, labeled and otherwise packaged.   

No Bottle, No Rinse Vision System

Normally, a sensor is set up immediately before the bottles move into the rinse area of a container cleaning machine.  This sensor "counts" bottles as they enter the rinse area.  Once the correct number of bottles has been counted by the sensor, the container cleaning machine will begin the rinse cycle.  For example, if an inverting wet rinser has twelve rinse heads, the sensor must count twelve bottles before the rinse cycle will begin.  The sensor helps to avoid rinse heads spraying water or other rinse media when no bottle is present, in turn avoiding costly down time to clean up messes.  The sensor may also serve as a warning that bottle supply is running low on an automated packaging system.  Even if the operator of the rinser does not constantly monitor the machine, it will become obvious that the bottle supply is low when the packaging line is suddenly absent of containers.

Anti-Bottle Backup Vision System

Anti-bottle backup sensors will not be placed at the rinsing machine, but rather farther down the packaging line on the belt conveyor system near liquid fillers, capping machines or other packaging equipment.  The anti-bottle backup sensors do not count bottles, but instead relay back to the container cleaning equipment whether or not a bottle is present at the point that the sensor is located.  If no bottle is present in front of the sensor, the belt conveyor system is clear and the rinsing machine will continue to clean containers and send them down the line.  If a bottle is present in front of the anti-bottle backup sensor for a set period of time, the rinsing machine will finish the current rinsing cycle and pause the bottle cleaning process.  By pausing the rinsing process, the container cleaner ensures that any possible bottle jam on the conveyor system will not get worse by adding more containers to the blockage.  Again, this sensor also works as a warning system for the packaging line operator.  If the rinsing machine shuts down, the operator knows to check down line for possible bottle jams.

These two simple bottle vision systems are included on most automatic rinsing machines manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc. to make certain that the machinery runs efficiently and reliably during the packaging process.  To learn more about container cleaning equipment and packaging machinery vision systems, contact a Packaging Specialist at LPS toll free today.