In the production of complex folding cartons, such as six packs and other special designs, it is more cost-efficient to monitor gluing with line scan cameras than with individual sensors upwards of a certain number of glue joints. Many Baumer hhs customers use the company’s Xcam camera system for applications of this kind. Baumer hhs has now developed a new linear lighting system based on high-power LEDs that accelerates job changeovers on folder-gluers by several minutes.
The overall design of the new linear lighting system with high-power LEDs is geared entirely to optimum illumination.
“Monitoring glue application with line scan cameras requires uniform, very bright lighting so the cameras can reliably verify quality even at high machine speeds,” says Thomas Walther, head of Business Development, Baumer hhs. “Our new solution guarantees this level of lighting, even at distances of up to 250 mm, meaning customers can install it above the belt guides in their folder-gluers. In other words, our new linear lighting system does not need to be readjusted or reconfigured during job changeovers. The setup time otherwise required for this task can be eliminated. Our system also significantly facilitates the work of machine operators.”
The new lighting from Baumer hhs is an ideal substitute for the mercury-containing UV tubes still used by many folding carton manufacturers to inspect quality in adhesive application. Walther adds, “These controversial lamps currently are exempt under the RoHS Directive, but the exemption probably won’t be renewed due to occupational safety concerns. Folding carton manufacturers who still work with UV tubes for quality inspection are going to need a suitable alternative. And we can provide it, with our new linear lighting system.”
Machine operators need not reconfigure the lighting during job changeovers, which virtually rules out the risk of damage. In short, the new lighting system not only reduces setup times, it also significantly enhances occupational safety for machine operators.
The lighting module is contained in an aluminium housing equipped with heat sinks. It protects the high-power LEDs, provides for optimum heat dissipation and allows for safe installation in folder-gluers. What is more, today’s LEDs last three times longer and are more energy efficient than conventional mercury vapour lamps. LEDs consume up to 85% less electrical power. The new linear lighting unit can connect to the Baumer hhs controller for a safe 24V power supply, but on customer request can also run on an external 24V power source. However, supplying power via a connection on the Baumer hhs controller offers two main advantages: If production is down, the lighting system shuts off automatically, extending the life of the high-power LEDs and ensuring that machine operators are not blinded when performing maintenance and repair tasks. They don’t have to remember to switch off the linear lighting during breaks or other production interruptions – and that is another way the new lighting facilitates their work. Just one click on the magic wand button is all it takes for operators to enter glue patterns on the control panel of Baumer hhs gluing systems. Ease-of-operation like this also supports fast setup.
Baumer hhs’s linear lighting products, which combine high-power LEDs with linearly focussed light, are available immediately and can be flexibly combined with all line scan cameras on the market. The company supplies them in widths of 200mm and 400mm. If wider areas need to be monitored in folder-gluers, the lights can be combined to achieve the required dimensions without any loss of quality. Baumer hhs currently offers a version for activating blue fluorescing adhesives as well as a white version for monitoring fold characteristics in folder-gluers. The company is also developing a model with deep blue high-power LEDs for red or yellow fluorescing adhesives that will be available shortly.
“The risk associated with UV tubes of shattered glass or mercury leaks in the folding/gluing process is what prompted Baumer hhs early on to concentrate on LED lighting. Exploiting the latest LED technology is yet another way we are helping customers to optimise their quality assurance processes,” conclude s Walther.