Customisation of goods in packaging process with Smart Sensors

13 April 2015

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Customisation of goods in packaging process with Smart SensorsAt the Hannover Messe Industrie (HMI) trade fair, SICK AG will be using the example of a packaging machine to demonstrate how a higher product variance and general increase in productivity can be achieved using automatic batch changes without manual intervention by means of intelligent, autonomous components. Achieving maximum productivity with product variation up to “batch size 1” is a central goal of the concept of Industry 4.0.

Manufacturing plants must be flexible and must adapt to individual customer requirements. With high product variance but ever-smaller quantities, intelligent components (smart sensors) must be able to adapt and control themselves.

SICK is demonstrating the final packaging of pre-packed batches with bottle sizes of 0.5 l and 1.5 l, which can be packaged on one system using smart sensor detection with automatic format adjustment. The sensors detect the change in product and signal to the control that the system needs to reset itself so that the right box can be set up, the bottles can be placed inside, and the box can be labeled and transported away. The changeover steps are listed on a monitor as the machine adjusts itself. The system continues running automatically and does not need to be put back into operation manually.

If the sensors detect an incorrect classification when measuring the length of the product, they signal this to the control. The product is rejected without having to stop the system. The sensors also provide data to enable predictive maintenance – for example, monitoring the system for fine dust so that measures to safeguard the packaging process can be introduced automatically.

Industry 4.0 will only be possible with intelligent, communicative sensors: With Smart Sensors systems – the use of state-of-the-art sensor technologies in conjunction with complete integration into the control level – there is a particular focus on the decentralisation of certain automation functionalities in the sensor, in order to relieve pressure on the control and increase machine productivity.

To learn more about sensors for Industry 4.0, please visit

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