Machine builder Glasproduktions-Service GmbH (GPS) relies on long-stroke sensors from Micro-Epsilon being developed in close cooperation under harsh conditions in the glass production industry. A team of experts overcame this huge challenge.
Today container glass is primarily produced in IS machines (Individual Section Machines) that operate according to the press and blow procedure whereby a parison is pressed into a plunger. The most important factors in this process are the size and weight of the glass drop and the huge challenge in determining these parameters.
The deeper the plunger immerses into the preform during the pressing process, the less glass is in it. In order to achieve the required accuracy of ±1% when weighing the glass drop, the plunger position must be measured to a repeatability of 0.1mm at a total stroke height of around 150mm. The machines, which operate 24h a day throughout the whole year, require sensors to overcome between 5 and 8.5 million cycles per year under these harsh ambient conditions. Particularly strong vibrations and sulphurous lubricants have made it necessary to redevelop the inductive sensors involved.
The IS machine operates with a special custom designed induSENSOR EDS long-stroke sensor, consisting of a sensor rod with integrated electronics over which a tube can be moved. The measuring principle is based on the eddy current principle. The sensor determines the exact position of the tube. This application does not require any separate tube. Instead, the sensor is directly immersed into the hollow plunger to measure the plunger position.
»The good cooperation with Micro-Epsilon for the development of the sensor has proven its worth,« concludes Jürgen Berger, head of the GPS electronics department. GPS customers now profit from the »Prozesskontrolle+« system that ensures a consistently high quality of the final products.
Micro-Epsilon views its customers as partners to collaborate with on developing customer-specific solutions if the catalog range does not provide a suitable sensor.
Customers often require adapted shapes for restricted installation spaces, different measuring ranges and sensor performance. Changes requested include cables, sensor material, design and interfaces (bandwidth, output signal, filters, etc.). The wide, modular product range enables fast and favorable custom designs even for small-to-medium sensor volumes.