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.
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 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.
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.