New optical sensor copes with shiny or curved surfaces

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New optical sensor copes with shiny or curved surfacesThe new MultiPac optical sensor launched by Sick UK offers a promising new solution to the problem of detecting clear–shiny, dark–glossy or multi-reflective surfaces, which has always been a challenge in automated operations such as packaging, logistics and metal parts handling especially where there are complex curved shapes or transparent outlines.

Sick's W27-3 MultiPac eliminates the possibility of false or misleading signals and therefore achieves highly consistent detection in multi-product handling applications even when detecting shiny, clear or curved surfaces.

Phil Dyas, Sick UK’s industrial sensor product specialist, explains: “It has always been difficult to achieve reliable sensing for automatic handling of parts and packaging with shiny surfaces or complex curves and indentations. Sick has developed the W27-3 MultiPac as a single unit sensor that can cope consistently in applications where other sensors would provide fluctuating or unreliable signals.

“The Multipac therefore promises to improve handling efficiency and productivity in operations where highly efficient checking and control is required, for example detecting PET-foil six packs or shrink-wrapped transparent bottles or pallets, or silver and gloss-painted metal parts in Automotive production.”

Sick’s W27-3 MultiPac is a photoelectric sensor that operates from one fixed position without the need for reflectors. It can be mounted up to a height of 500mm above the conveyor, enabling detection of a wide variety of shapes and heights. On multiple-product lines, time-wasting adjustments for differing pack heights are therefore eliminated and product flow can be continuous. New product lines can be introduced without interruption.

The MultiPac’s improved detection performance is achieved by incorporating two completely separate receiver systems in a single unit with a high-power LED emitter for high light intensity. The sensor’s custom-developed software provides the evaluation system to integrate the signals. Sick claims that the MultiPac achieves improved detection and sensitivity over any comparable sensor system, no matter what the foreground or background.

For more information on the new W27-3 MultiPac optical sensor, email , or visit the website at

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