Design Engineering

Flange sensors on winding drive save time, improve accuracy in spooling processes


General DPN

Amacoil/Uhing traverse drive systems for spooling and winding machines feature optional PLC-controlled sensing of spool flanges. Sensors mounted on the traverse drive unit detect the spool flange and send a signal to a pneumatic switch which actuates the reversal lever on the drive. Normally the reversal lever is mechanically turned when the traverse drive hits a manually positioned end stop.

Optical flange sensing saves time because the operator no longer needs to set or adjust the end stops to assure that traverse stroke length matches spool width. With less time required to monitor the drive’s reversal points operators can manage more winding stations which helps boost production. Additionally, winding accuracy is improved because an opto-sensor is a more accurate means of detecting the spool flange edge than the human eye.

Machine designers and production personnel can choose between two versions of the flange sensing system to meet different production needs. In one version the diameter of the spool flange is programmed into the system. This version facilitates fast spool changeovers when all spools being used have flanges of the same diameter. As the material being spooled builds up on the spool core, it will not influence the sensor. The second version employs a two-pronged fork shaped fixture. At the end of one prong is a light transmitter and at the end of the other prong is a receiver.

The device creates a steady beam of light or light curtain. The fork is mounted on the moving traverse unit and when the spool flange breaks the light curtain, it signals the pneumatic switch to turn the reverse lever. Because the light curtain method is not set for a single spool flange diameter, spools with different flange diameters and varying widths may be used.

To optimize flange sensing effectiveness, warped spools or spools with damaged flanges should not be used. Constant reflection conditions are needed. The Amacoil/Uhing flange sensing system uses an 85 to 264 Vac, 47 to 63 Hz power supply with air pressure set at 6 bar (max.).


Flange sensing systems are available on new Uhing winding drive assemblies and in some cases may be retrofitted to existing Uhing set-ups.


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