Serviceline Industrial Sensors
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ML100 Sensor for Reliable Detection in Laundry Folding Machines

Retroreflective Sensor Detects Various Textiles

The Application

In companies of the hospitality industry, such as restaurants, hotels, and bed and breakfasts, large quantities of bed linen, table linen, and towels accumulate daily, which are processed in commercial laundry facilities. After washing, the textiles have to be folded neatly and accurately. Industrial folding machines are used for folding, stacking, and sorting the laundry automatically.

The Goal

During the folding process, the laundry has to be reliably detected to ensure a smooth process. As the fabrics are transported flat on the conveyor belt in the folding machine, the sensor has to be installed inside the flat conveyor. Due to the particularly limited space available, the sensor has to have a very small dead band. It has to be able to detect the reflective tape at a distance of 50 mm to 80 mm. In addition, the machine processes a variety of nonuniform textiles where the material to be detected differs in color and reflectivity. Sometimes even fabrics with very low reflectivity are processed.

The Solution

ML100-54-F/102/115 retroreflective sensor with polarization filter
ML100-54-F/102/115 retroreflective sensor with polarization filter

The ML100-54-F retroreflective sensor with polarization filter is the ideal solution for this task. The sensor is mounted above the conveyor belt and points at the reflective tape, which has been attached to the conveyor belt below, over which the textiles are transported. The specially developed optics of the sensor reduce the dead band on reflective tape from more than 100 mm to only 20 mm. In comparison, the dead band of conventional standard retroreflective sensors is more than 100 mm to the reflector. With this particularly small dead band, the ML100 series retroreflective sensor can therefore be used at distances that are not possible with conventional retroreflective sensors. 

Technical Features:

  • Very short dead band down to 20 mm, even on reflective tape
  • Immune to object color and even shiny objects
  • Clearly arranged LEDs for Power ON and switching state
  • Miniature design with full metal thread mounting

The Advantages

The sensor with specially developed optics is just as economical as a standard retroreflective sensor. In addition, mounting and aligning the ML100 series are simplified by a red emitter LED and integrated all-metal threaded bushings. The switching states are also easily visible from all directions due to the highly visible LEDs.

At a Glance

  • Very small dead band for limited mounting conditions
  • Red emitter LED simplifies aligning
  • Reliable detection of laundry during the folding process
  • Detection of different material colors and reflectivity


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