Fork Sensors

from top manufacturers

Fork sensors (slot sensors) operate using a through-beam design. Nevertheless, the alignment and adjustment are redundant as the transmitter and receiver are both integrated into a single housing. They enable you precise, fast, and reliable detection of a wide range of material combinations and surfaces in many applications, most typically in labelling.

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Detect reliably with top-quality Fork Sensors

With their precise, focused beam, different fork sensor variants offer key advantages when it comes to accurate and stable detection of different labels, double sheets, and objects. The additional advantages are their easy mounting and high ambient light immunity.
We offer you wide line of fork sizes, designs, and operating principles, from light (infrared, red light, laser) to ultrasonic and to capacitive, manufactured by world’s leading companies:

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Benefit from precision, flexibility, and simplicity

Fork sensors represent a combination of transmitter and receiver in one fixed U-shaped housing.

When labels or materials are guided through the slot, these sensors detect even slight differences in light attenuation. Nevertheless, as these differences can be minimal, a teach-in procedure needs to be carried out prior to detection to ensure their impeccable reliability.

Unlike in other sensors that operate using a through-beam principle, the alignment is not an issue in fork sensors. They are exceptionally sensitive, easy-to-mount and they provide extremely short sensor response times.

Leuze fork sensor plastic gears detection

Different detection methods accommodate all kinds of applications

Turck fork sensor in packaging application

Fork Sensors include sensors for object detection and sensors for label detection.

To provide precise detection of objects and a wide variety of labels, these sensors use different detection methods:

The optical fork sensors detect non-transparent, metalized, and cavitated BOPP labels, even with irregular shapes and outlines. They also detect leaflet and booklet labels.

The capacitive fork sensors are especially suitable for transparent labels without metallic coating.

The ultrasonic fork sensors detect non-transparent, semi-transparent, and transparent labels, even with irregular shapes and outlines. They are also suitable for the detection of foil labels, metallic-coated foil labels, thin metal foils, as well as of leaflet and booklet labels. Some special types are also used for splice inspection and for multiple track label inspection. These sensors mainly detect splices in roll machines or labels in further processing and do so independently of the surface colour and material properties.

The combined fork sensors using light and ultrasonic detection methods in the same housing, merge the advantages of both methods. In this way, they enable you reliable, quick, and position-accurate detection of all types of labels stated above. The material, texture, shape, and size of the labels are not limiting. These Fork Sensors are ideal for your applications, where a wide range of labels need to be detected, and the use of multiple different sensors was required in the past.

Effectively automate product labelling with Fork Sensors

The most common application in which you can use slot sensors is label detection in labelling machines.

In the packaging industry, product labelling is mostly automatic, and labels come in various formats, sizes, materials, and textures.

The time for the accurate placement of the label is usually very limited.

Label gap detection
Label and backing material detection

Label placement stands for the precise positioning of the label on the product or packaging, even at high conveyor speeds.

To achieve this kind of placement precision, it is crucial that the labels are reliably detected. Slot sensors provide such detection in application including processing and packaging machinery and automatic labellers.

With a reliable detection of labels of a wide range of materials and textures you can enable high machine throughputs and prevent downtime. Sensors that boast short setup time provide higher production volumes.

Web material is generally processed from a roll, but the splice can be hidden somewhere in the roll.

Some fork sensors with integrated paper tear detection enable safe detection of splices on paper, film, or plastic webs.

In special Teach-in method of these sensors only the sheeting is learned. When the sensor detects the level difference at the splice, it sets its output.

Splice detection

Take advantage of innovative functions and increase productivity

The same labelling machine often needs to detect various label formats made of a wide range of materials. Fork Sensors with IO-Link offer you a whole range of useful functions, from configuration and operation to control. They allow you to reduce machine downtimes and changeover times when switching products, more machine flexibility, and the prevention of false settings.

Also, the parameters that are stored in the IO-Link master or in the control system guarantee machine availability and provide recorded and documented replacement processes. You can use the IO-Link interface to simply upload the appropriate teach value of the label onto the fork sensor, making it suitable for another label type.

Integrate Fork Sensors into automation network

Benefit from the advanced functions of fork sensors with IO-Link and increase a plant or machine productivity by integrating these sensors into automation network. Here are some great non-labelling options on how to use sensors’ functions in automation:

To reliably carry out control tasks or to ensure that the speed of a roller stays within defined limits, some plants and machines need information on a speed of conveying equipment. Using the advanced counting function, you can implement these and other automation tasks with maximum efficiency.

In some cases, you need to check that an object on the conveyor belt is the right shape or in the right position to be suitable for transport to another destination. Fork sensors allow you to measure the time window directly and with high precision. They transmit the measurement results to the control system in the required format so the information can undergo further processing.

To maintain high productivity level, some plants and machines need information on which detection signals represent disturbances. The additional detection information is then used to supress those disturbances. Some fork sensors are equipped with such function that prevents your control system from being over-burdened.

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