SICK has unveiled its next-generation family of smart photoelectric 2D light array sensors, the RAY10 and RAY26, to detect difficult-to-see products moving on high-speed conveyors in packaging machinery.

The SICK RAY10 and RAY26 Reflex Array Sensors create a wide 2D light band to reliably detect transparent or irregularly-shaped products such as glass bottles, or packaging with no clearly-defined leading edges such as polybags containing fresh or frozen foodstuffs. 

Even when products are randomly positioned on the conveyor belt, only a few millimetres high, unevenly-shaped, shiny, transparent, high-contrast, or varied in height or colour, SICK’s RAY10 and RAY26 sensors deliver consistently reliable detection.  The sensors will also detect perforated objects, such as plastic totes, without danger of false tripping or the need to programme multiple switching operations. 

Where complex configuration of multiple sensors, or costly light grids, might previously have been needed to obtain reliable results, the compact RAY10 or RAY26 sensors achieve high levels of performance in a fraction of the space and set-up time.

 “The RAY10 and RAY26 Reflex Array sensors are a new proposition for integrating even the most challenging detection tasks in high-speed conveying applications in the packaging industry,” explains David Hannaby, SICK’s UK Product Manager for presence detection.

“The sensors also offer all the benefits of smart diagnostics and IO-Link integration, while halving the costs of detection compared to conventional solutions.”

Installation and commissioning of the RAY10 and RAY26 is quick and easy, using SICK’s PinPoint LED technology which makes the light array clearly visible, so the sensors can be accurately aligned. A simple teach-in process completes the set-up. The sensor settings can also be adjusted via IO-Link according to the object size and the conveyor conditions, reducing the need for time-consuming manual intervention during commissioning and operation.

Both the RAY10 and RAY26 offer advantages for real-time condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. They feature SICK’s BluePilot bar-graph indicator to show the level of dirt build-up on the lens of the sensor and reflector. Using SICK’s AutoAdapt technology, the sensors automatically adjust their sensitivity to contamination to lengthen the time between maintenance intervals. The sensor status can also be communicated via IO-Link to the PLC, so cleaning can be scheduled without unnecessary downtime.  

The RAY10 and RAY26 family are smart sensors that enable efficient Industry 4.0 integration of machines via IO-Link, together with the ability to track and view sensor health and diagnostics via an HMI or PLC. Smart logic functions embedded in the sensors themselves can also be used to develop custom field-level applications.

The SICK RAY26 sensor has three variants to detect objects ≥3 mm, ≥5 mm or ≥10 mm always within a 55 mm light array, with a sensing range for detection from 0 m to max. 4.5 m depending on the type. The RAY26 offers the option of conveyor belt suppression to compensate for vertical movement of the conveyor, through a stepped deactivation of the zone between the conveyor and the light array.

The smaller SICK RAY10 detects objects ≥5 mm within a 25 mm light array with a response time of just 0.5 ms and a maximum sensing range of 1.5 metres.