Advantage logoThis is a guest post by Advantage Industrial Automation, an Authorized SICK Distributor, based in Georgia that provides control and automaton solutions to OEMs, industrial end users, and system integrators.



Sometimes it’s the simple solutions that make the biggest difference.   In the case of a large food and beverage manufacturer, a single CLV622 barcode scanner helped turn an inefficient and costly situation into a smooth and cost-efficient operation.

The Problem

In the food industry, after goods are bagged and boxed, they are palletized and wrapped. This part of the process needs to be done differently depending on the product to ensure that boxes (and the food products inside) are not crushed during shipping.   For example, in our customer’s situation, certain pallets required corner pieces, sturdy pieces that give the pallet a square frame and prevent goods—cracker boxes, for example—from being damaged during wrapping and transport.

corner top 3The problem was that the customer’s existing vision system could not reliably detect which pallets required the corner pieces and which did not need them.  Instead, all pallets of outgoing goods were receiving the corner pieces, regardless of whether they were necessary.  With the pallets being prepared 24/7, that’s a lot of unnecessary corner pieces and a lot of extra cash wasted every day!

The Solution 

Part of the reason the competitive vision system failed was because of the poor ambient light conditions that hindered the vision system’s ability to distinguish which pallets needed the corner pieces.  So, we took a simpler approach, using a single SICK CLV622.

The CLV600 series is particularly reliable for code identification even at high conveyer speeds and has an excellent reading rate for damaged, contaminated, and partially concealed codes.  Just one CLV622 barcode scanner was installed on the customer’s application, and that scanner was able to reliably read the barcodes on the pallets and boxes, in spite of poor light conditions and variations in the position and quality of the barcodes.

CLV620With a consistently reliable read-rate, the customer could rest assured that pallets requiring corner pieces received them.  And they could avoid the cost of putting corner pieces on pallets that did not require them.

After a successful trial test, the solution has continued to deliver consistent reads and function as a cost-effective, easy-to-maintain solution for the past 6 months and counting.