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The CS 8 Colour Sensor: to-the-point colour detection
Waldkirch, April 2005 – With its new CS 8 Colour Sensor, SICK brings high-end colour detection to the point at the Hanover Industrial Trade Fair and at Interpack in Düsseldorf. Thus a choice of up to four colours can be precisely differentiated and transmitted via the switching outputs. The high switching frequency of up to 10 kHz allows rapid machine cycles. Operation of the CS 8 also sets a new standard. Sensitivity and detection tolerance are taught-in via a button on the device. The considerably improved colour resolution of the CS 8 even allows differentiation between colours of similar appearance. The bar display supports operators during sensor adjustment and, during operation, provides information on settings, e.g. colour quality, colour tolerance and detection reliability.

With its speed, accuracy and user-friendliness, the CS 8 is the top product in the CS series. The device offers a scanning distance of 12.5 to 60 mm and can be used wherever objects have to be identified, controlled or sorted on the basis of their colour. The freely selectable light exit on the device permits sensor installation even under difficult conditions. Connection compatibility with the CS 1 and CS 3 series makes upgrading easy.

When colour is decisive…

CS series colour sensors operate according to the active three-range process. The scanner’s transmitter emits point-shaped light of differing spectral compositions. The light reflected by the target object is subsequently received, digitised and then processed and standardised by the integrated microprocessor.

The signal values thus obtained for the red, green and blue (RGB) wavelength ranges contain all the information on colour tone, saturation and brightness. These measured values are compared with the stored defined values within a few microseconds and, depending on the result, the state of the switching output changes. The separate reception channel LED indicators on the CS 8 visualise which of the up to four possible channels is activated.

Where and what the colour decides…

In addition to the most varied of industrial sorting, control and inspection processes, colour detection is of particular significance in the packaging industry. Packaging materials, and the objects to be packed, require numerous identification, sorting and checking processes on the basis of their colour. Sugar-free or sugared sweeties, filleted fish in paprika or dill cream sauce, shower gel for men or women – there are countless examples of goods and objects that are differentiated on the basis of their packaging colour. Moreover, colour transitions can be used as marks for initiating cutting or wrapping processes, for example. This area of application ranges from the monitoring and control of packaging of the actual article, through repackaging in boxes or plastic bags and single-article palletising for example, up to the uniform alignment of goods in sales trays to ensure attractive presentation on retailers’ shelves. Use of the CS 8 for checking colours is thus appropriate in a wide variety of applications.