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OMRON Introduces Sensors Enabling Stable Detection of Color Marks on Food Packages, Better Productivity in Packaging Process

June 29, 2016

OMRON Corporation (TSE: 6645, ADR: OMRNY) will introduce on June 1, 2016, “Color Mark Photoelectric Sensor E3S-DC Series (E3S-DC)” and “Color Fiber Amplifier Unit E3NX-CA Series (E3NX-CA)” targeting food and beverage makers faced with an increasing difficulty to detect color marks *1 printed on diversified product packages.
The E3S-DC and E3NX-CA can stably detect color marks which are printed on glossy or colorful materials with subtle differences in colors and previously difficult to detect, cutting back on time necessary to start production and do maintenance work, contributing to an overall productivity increase in the packaging process.
OMRON will showcase the E3S-DC and E3NX-CA at the FOOMA JAPAN 2016 to be held at Tokyo Big Sight from June 7 to 10.
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Color Mark Photoelectric Sensor
E3S-DC
Color Fiber Amplifier Unit
E3NX-CA
Faced with increasingly diversified consumer needs, the food and beverage industries are developing new products almost on a daily basis, diversifying packaging materials and designs in the process. Given such circumstances, manufacturers have been looking for a sensor capable of detecting, stably and simply, color marks printed on all sorts of materials in order to keep their plant running stably.
In response, OMRON cooperated with its customers to develop the E3S-DC and E3NX-CA which incorporate OMRON’s proprietary sensing technology and algorithm to stably detect “differences in colors” under various conditions. The E3S-DC and E3NX-CA not only reliably detect color marks on a variety of packaging materials but also help optimize initially set parameters to adjust to changes in manufacturing lots, contributing to a stable operation of the production plant.
Reliably detecting color marks on various packaging materials
- The “Super High Dynamic Range” function requires only a simple setting to stably detect color differences between marks and the background printed on glossy materials including aluminum vapor deposition film.
- The “Low Noise, High S/N Ratio Light Receiving System” reliably detects subtle differences in similar types of color often used on colorful packaging with little color differences.
Optimizing settings to adjust to lot changes
- Color information detected by a sensor will be transmitted to a host device such as a programmable logic controller via EtherCAT®. Color variations resulting from various lots can be easily managed in a database and sensors can be adjusted for optimal settings to keep the plant from an abrupt shutdown and maintain a high operation rate.
OMRON brings innovation to manufacturing sites through automation with "integrated," "intelligent" and "interactive" concepts. OMRON will continue to work with manufacturing partners to innovate processes at the manufacturing sites with one of the world’s most sophisticated Input-Logic-Output-Robotics + Safety (ILOR+S) technology including proprietary sensing technology.
*1: Marks which indicate the cutting positions of film packaging. The marks are printed on the film at regular intervals in colors varying with packaging design.
 ■Key features
1. High Dynamic Range for No Saturation Even with 99% Reflective Optical Mirrors In order to detect highly-reflective glossy packaging, the installation angle of a sensor needed to be adjusted to avoid saturation of the sensor’s incident level. The new Color Mark Sensor has a greatly widened incident light range. This allows for the stable detection of glossy aluminum vapor deposition packaging without saturation even if the Sensor is installed directly above it.
Aluminum Vapor Deposition Material Color Mark
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2. High S/N Ratio System Design to Identify Even Minor Color Differences
With designs becoming more colorful, there are times where there is little difference in color between the color mark and the design elements (background), and it possibly causes false detection of color marks. The new Color Mark Sensor provides a high S/N ratio to stably detect subtle color differences.

Colorful Packaging Color Mark
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3. RGB Data Transmission Function for Visualization of Color Variation
There are cases where colors of packaging materials vary from lot to lot, which may cause production downtime due to false detection of color marks. The new Color Mark Sensor enables RGB information for color marks and backgrounds for each lot to be transmitted to a host device, and the RGB information can be quantified. The Sensor helps reduce downtime due to false detection of color marks caused by variation in colors printed on packaging and also the time required for measures taken against it.
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Main specifications
Color Mark Photoelectric Sensor E3S-DC
  Specifications
Light source
(wavelength)
Red LED (635 nm), Green LED (525 nm), Blue LED (465 nm)
Power supply voltage 10 to 30 VDC±10% (Ripple (p-p) 10% max.)
Power consumption 960 mW max. (Reference: Power supply voltage 24 V, Current consumption 40 mA max.)
Response time Operate or reset: 50 μs max. for each (2-point teaching mode)
Operate or reset: 150 μs max. for each (1-point teaching mode)
Communication specifications IO-Link(Ver1.1)
Color Fiber Amplifier Unit E3NX-CA
  Standard models Advanced models Model for Sensor Communications Unit
Light source (wavelength) White LED (420 to 700 nm)
Power supply voltage 10 to 30 VDC, including 10% ripple (p-p) Supplied from the connector through the Sensor Communications Unit.
Power consumption At Power Supply Voltage of 24 VDC
Normal mode: 960 mW max. (Current consumption: 40 mA max.)
Eco function ON: 720 mW max. (Current consumption: 30 mA max.)
Eco function LO: 800 mW max. (Current consumption: 33 mA max.)
Response time Super-high-speed Mode : Operate or reset: 50 μs (only in Contrast Mode)
High-speed Mode : Operate or reset: 250 μs
Standard Mode : Operate or reset: 1 ms
Giga-power Mode (GIGA) : Operate or reset: 16 ms
No. of Units for mutual Interference prevention 10 Units (except in Super-high-speed Mode)
Maximum connectable Units 30 Units 30 Units (When connected to OMRON NJ-series Unit)
Power tuning setting Yes
Bank switching Select from banks 1 to 8.
Communication specifications - EtherCAT
About OMRON Corporation OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation based on its core technology of sensing and control. OMRON's business fields cover a broad spectrum, ranging from industrial automation and electronic components to automotive electronic components, social infrastructure systems, healthcare, and environmental solutions. Established in 1933, OMRON has about 38,000 employees worldwide, working to provide products and services in more than 110 countries. In the field of industrial automation, OMRON supports manufacturing innovation by providing advanced automation technologies and products, as well as through extensive customer support, in order to help create a better society. For more information, visit OMRON's website: http://www.omron.com/