With every optical sorter, the software calculates the material’s distance by dividing belt speed to compute the proper air valve firing time and location. This is the key to optimizing the product sort.
Multiple factors can contribute to changes to belt speed – belt wear, bearings, gears and debris build-up. A belt running faster or slower than the established belt speed leads to a valve firing too early or late, resulting in product losses or contamination.
Therefore, it is essential to check for correct belt speed multiple times throughout each shift. If the sorter’s material feeder is not equipped with sensors, then the worker must manually check speed with a tachometer and make any necessary adjustment.
Automation, again, can assist with this process. For example, AUTOSORT™’s feeder belt is equipped with sensors that continuously monitor its speed.
Upon detecting a change, the operator is alerted for corrective action. If a sensor fails, the system also provides an immediate and automatic alert.